By Byron Almén, Edward Pearsall
Approaches to which means in song provides a survey of the issues and concerns inherent in pursuing that means and signification in tune, and makes an attempt to rectify the conundrums that experience plagued philosophers, artists, and theorists because the time of Pythagoras. This assortment brings jointly essays that replicate a number of different views on techniques to musical which means. demonstrated song theorists and musicologists disguise issues together with musical element and temporality, university, borrowing and organization, musical symbols and artistic mythopoesis, the articulation of silence, the mutual interplay of cultural and music-artistic phenomena, and the research of gesture.
Contributors are Byron Almén, J. Peter Burkholder, Nicholas cook dinner, Robert S. Hatten, Patrick McCreless, Jann Pasler, and Edward Pearsall.
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Extra resources for Approaches to Meaning in Music
2b. Reversal of eighth-note descent in Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 3, fourth movement, mm. 138–42 ages to make itself known, thus conveying the sense of a courageous struggle for survival on the semantic level. 2b) after which it climbs with renewed vigor, ¤nally joining with the principal melody to create the triumphant climax that arrives ¤nally in measure 142. To the extent that it conveys the bleak isolation that accompanies many of life’s most oppressive challenges, the tenacious stream of eighth notes in the passage imparts meaning just as much as the more discursive events it accompanies.
Ives’s Unanswered Question (1953) provides an excellent proving ground for testing these ideas. 1. In terms of its melody alone, then, the passage seems to embody a sense of motion. The underlying harmony and voice leading, however, con®ict with this interpretation. While the ¤rst few chords of the piece outline the key of G, for example, the leading tone (F ) veers uncharacteristically downward in measure 5, thus weakening the tonal effect of G. Even the promising discursive move from G7 to C in measures 6 and 7 fails to restore a clear sense of harmonic continuity because the passage ultimately ends on A minor.
The Prelude shares this overt thematicism of the descending ¤gure of its climactic gesture with the A major Ballade, although the character of the two pieces is utterly different: the same four-part gesture that articulates triumph in the Ballade brings tragedy in the Prelude. In the D minor Prelude, the sweeping ascending gestures—two of which are introduced by comparable descending gestures—that crescendo to the downbeats of measures 15, 19, 33, and 37, provide emphatic melodic cadences at phrase endings, and each concludes on the tonic of whatever key is tonicized at the time (F major, A minor, C major, and E minor, respectively).