By Ruth Katz
The Western musical culture has produced not just track, but in addition numerous writings approximately song that stay in continuous—and vastly influential—dialogue with their topic. With sweeping scope and philosophical intensity, A Language of Its Own lines the previous millennium of this ongoing exchange.
Ruth Katz argues that the indispensible dating among highbrow construction and musical production gave upward thrust to the Western belief of song. This evolving and infrequently conflicted method, in flip, formed the paintings shape itself. As principles entered track from the contexts during which it existed, its inner language constructed in tandem with shifts in highbrow and social heritage. Katz explores how this infrastructure allowed tune to provide an explanation for itself from inside of, making a self-referential and rational starting place that has began to erode in fresh years.
A magisterial exploration of an often missed intersection of Western paintings and philosophy, A Language of Its Own restores track to its rightful position within the background of principles.
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Extra info for A Language of Its Own: Sense and Meaning in the Making of Western Art Music
Like letter script, the notation that concerns us here, if it is to fulﬁll a curse the enemy—the Children of Israel—before engaging in actual ﬁghting) suggests that Balak entertained the thought that “points of view” may affect the perception of the object observed and, consequently, the action it might elicit (see Numbers 23:11–13). In a less “literal” fashion, the query about the feasibility of “objective” observations has preoccupied not only physicists dealing with quantum mechanics but also many others—anthropologists, historians, not to mention philosophers—who also wished to supply “objective views” of the subjects, issues, or processes they had chosen to study.
For example, the Eastern conception of the identity of a given melody is markedly different from the European one, since it does not conceive of the melody as a series of ﬁxed “immovable” notes, but rather as a characteristic musical gesture that can be performed in a number of ways. Different renditions of a melody, therefore, may be considered identical as long as the character of the speciﬁc gesture is maintained. The gestures, in turn, entail typiﬁed motives and the manner in which they are employed.
Though the neumes clearly 14. Treitler, “Homer and Gregory,” 352–53. 15. Kenneth Levy, Gregorian Chant and the Carolingians (Princeton, 1998), 13. 16. Much of Treitler’s claims rested on the interesting work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord. Their work transformed the ﬁeld of Homeric studies and other oral poetry by pointing to the consistencies within their forms, that is, their use of formulaic language (repeated phrases and other formations) that helped poets to construct and remember their poems.
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