Music semiology


Music semiology

Music semiology (semiotics), the semiology of music, is the study of signs as they pertain to music on a variety of levels. Following Roman Jakobson, V. Kofi Agawu adopts the idea of musical semiosis being introversive or extroversive--that is, musical signs within a text and without. "Topics," or various musical conventions (such as horn calls, dance forms, and styles), have been treated suggestively by Agawu, among others. The notion of gesture is beginning to play a large role in musico-semiotic enquiry.

"There are strong arguments that music inhabits a semiological realm which, on both ontogenetic and phylogenetic levels, has developmental priority over verbal language." (Middleton 1990, p.172) See Nattiez (1976, 1987, 1989), Stefani (1973, 1986), Baroni (1983), and Semiotica (66: 1–3 (1987)).

Writers on music semiology include Kofi Agawu (on topical theory, Schenkerian analysis), Robert Hatten (on topic, gesture), Raymond Monelle (on topic, musical meaning), Jean-Jacques Nattiez (on introversive taxonomic analysis and ethnomusicological applications), Anthony Newcomb (on narrativity), and Eero Tarasti (generally considered the founder of musical semiotics). Roland Barthes, himself a semiotician and skilled amateur pianist, wrote about music in Image-Music-Text, The Responsibilities of Form, and Eiffel Tower, though he did not consider music to be a semiotic system.

Signs, meanings in music, happen essentially through the connotations of sounds, and through the social construction, appropriation and amplification of certain meanings associated with these connotations. The work of Philip Tagg (Ten Little Tunes, Fernando the Flute) provides one of the most complete and systematic analysis of the relation between musical structures and connotations in western and especially popular, television and film music. The work of Leonard Meyer in Style and Music theorizes the relationship between ideologies and musical structures and the phenomenons of style change, and focuses on romanticism as a case study.

Related articles

Source

  • Ashby, Arved, ed. (2004). "Intention and Meaning in Modernist Music", The Pleasure of Modernist Music. ISBN 1-58046-143-3.

Further reading

  • Molino, Jean (1975). "Fait musical et sémiologue de la musique", Musique en Jeu, no. 17:37-62.
  • Nattiez, Jean-Jacques (1987). Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music (Musicologie générale et sémiologue, 1987). Translated by Carolyn Abbate (1979). ISBN 0-691-02714-5.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Semiology — may refer to:* Semiotics, the study of sign, signification and communication * Semiology of music * Semiology (Gregorian Chant), a branch of Gregorian Chant research …   Wikipedia

  • Music theory — is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods. In a grand sense, music theory distills… …   Wikipedia

  • Music — For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). Music …   Wikipedia

  • Motif (music) — For other uses, see Motif (disambiguation) and Motive (disambiguation). A phrase originally presented as a motif may become a figure which accompanies another melody, as in the second movement of Claude Debussy s String Quartet (1893) …   Wikipedia

  • Definition of music — How to define music has long been the subject of debate; philosophers, musicians, and, more recently, various social and natural scientists have argued about what constitutes music. The definition has varied through history, in different regions …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of music in the United States (1970 to the present) — This is a timeline of music in the United States from 1970 to the present. NOTOC 1970*Armadillo World Headquarters opens in Austin, Texas. It will become a major venue for the music of Austin, especially the local country scene. [Malone and… …   Wikipedia

  • Chord (music) — Instruments and voices playing and singing different notes create chords. This article describes pitch simultaneity and harmony in music. For other meanings of the word, see Chord. A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes… …   Wikipedia

  • Aspect of music — An aspect of music is any characteristic, dimension, or element taken as a part or component of music. Contents 1 European music 2 Persian music 3 Universal aspect …   Wikipedia

  • Phrase (music) — For other uses, see Phrase (disambiguation). In music and music theory, phrase and phrasing are concepts and practices related to grouping consecutive melodic notes, both in their composition and performance. A musical work is typically made up… …   Wikipedia

  • Ainu music — refers to the musical traditions of the Ainu people of northern Japan.Genres include the oldest, yukar (mimicry), which is a form of epic poetry, and upopo, in which the second contrapuntal voice had to imitate the musical formula in the first… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.