Frameworks, Perspectives, and Issues in OHWM

[Vol. 1, pp. xiii-xxii] Before launching into the project tomorrow, I wanted to briefly take stock of the critical and analytical perspectives Taruskin discusses in the introduction. At a diminutive 9 pages, the intro essay lays out a handful of musicological issues that will be taken up in greater detail throughout the work. Taruskin’s listContinue reading “Frameworks, Perspectives, and Issues in OHWM”

More Thoughts on Musical Meaning

[Vol. 1, pp. xiii-xxii] The question of meaning in music is one of the most fascinating – and rancorous – inquiries in contemporary musicology. As Mark cogently points out, the question is a highly nuanced one, yet the default position of many in our culture is the old maxim – music is a universal language.Continue reading “More Thoughts on Musical Meaning”

Meaning in (of? through? attached to? inherent in?) Music

[Vol. 1, pp. xiii-xxii] Meaning and music. Their relationship is ambivalent at best. Is musical meaning associative, like a language whose syllables and patterns are collected and understood by the initiated listener? Or is it inherent, including certain physical reactions to vibrations of sound waves that hit every body in the same way? I poseContinue reading “Meaning in (of? through? attached to? inherent in?) Music”

The Challenge

Monumental, gargantuan things captivate us. Whether it be the world’s biggest ball of twine, the county’s fattest pig, or the Grand Canyon, objects that are supersized and beyond all reasonable scale thrill people. We delight at the dwarfing influence of big things – standing next to a Redwood tree, one is less likely to reflectContinue reading “The Challenge”