Conceptualizing Music

Conceptualizing Music : Cognitive Structure, Theory, and Analysis

3.87 (8 ratings by Goodreads)

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This book shows how recent work in cognitive science, especially that developed by cognitive linguists and cognitive psychologists, can be used to explain how we understand music. The book focuses on three cognitive processes-categorization, cross-domain mapping, and the use of conceptual models-and explores the part these play in theories of musical organization. The first part of the book provides a detailed overview of the relevant work in cognitive science, framed around specific musical examples. The second part brings this perspective to bear on a number of issues with which music scholarship has often been occupied, including the emergence of musical syntax and its relationship to musical semiosis, the problem of musical ontology, the relationship between words and music in songs, and conceptions of musical form and musical hierarchy. The book will be of interest to music theorists, musicologists, and ethnomusicologists, as well as those with a professional or avocational interest in the application of work in cognitive science to humanistic principles.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 152.4 x 221 x 25.4mm | 567g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 38 line illustrations and 58 music examples
  • 0195187970
  • 9780195187977
  • 583,263

Table of contents

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Review quote

Zbikowski embraces many discreet strands in the gamut of thought on music theory and cognitive psychology in this groundbreaking study. He provides a clear outline of each field of research, both historical and contemporary, before carefully weaving them together... Recommended. * Choice * Zbikowski has written a book that bears comparison to some of the great works of psychologically oriented, humanistic music theory... This is a timely book... The writing is clear, the chapters address a surprisingly varied and valuable set of pieces, and Zbikowski dispenses with the cloying formalisms that too often make music theory impenetrable... This is a large, important book. * Robert Gjerdingen, The School of Music, Northwestern University *
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About Lawrence M. Zbikowski

Lawrence Zbikowski has taught music theory and analysis at the University of Chicago since 1993, and will be a visitor at Getty- CASBS research group on Cognition, Brain, and Art during the 2001-2002 academic year.
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Rating details

8 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 38% (3)
4 25% (2)
3 25% (2)
2 12% (1)
1 0% (0)
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