Reflections on Musical Meaning and Its Representations
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Reflections on Musical Meaning and Its Representations

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How is it possible to talk or write about music? What is the link between graphic signs and music? What makes music meaningful? In this book, distinguished scholar Leo Treitler explores the relationships among language, musical notation, performance, compositional practice, and patterns of culture in the presentation and representation of music. Treitler engages a wide variety of historical sources to discuss works from medieval plainchant to Berg's opera Lulu and a range of music in between.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 334 pages
  • 154.94 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 476.27g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 23 b&w illus., 63 music exx.
  • 0253223164
  • 9780253223166
  • 1,018,180

Review quote

This is a compendium of writings by one of the most original thinkers in musicology. Lawrence Kramer deals with essentially the same subject in Interpreting Music (CH, May'11, 48-4986), but his writing is difficult. By contrast, Treitler's book is lucid and also more entertaining. Treitler (emer., CUNY Graduate Center) stands every issue on its head and shakes well to expose a viewpoint about musical meaning; for example, in a chapter titled 'What Kind of Thing Is Musical Notation' he casts the nursery rhyme 'Pop Goes the Weasel' in medieval neumes. All this said, readers may have difficulty understanding the interpretative frames into which Treiter organizes the chapters. Accordingly, those who approach this book should have some background in both historical musicology and philosophy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- ChoiceW. K. Kearns, emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder, February 2012 "Treitler brings to his work the deep experience of a seasoned musician and music historian who is at the same time a thoughtful philosopher, and the benefits of both kinds of experience play through all of his writings in a very palpable way." -Lewis Lockwood, Harvard University "This is a compendium of writings by one of the most original thinkers in musicology... Treitler stands every issue on its head and shakes well to expose a viewpoint about musical meaning... Highly recommended." -Choice "A determined, imaginative quest to explore musical meaning through a variety of repertoires and a range of methodologies and lines of inquiry." -Walter Frisch, Columbia University " -Music & Letters, Nov 2012 "A dozen essays await in this most recent gathering of Leo Treitler's writings, each teeming with ideas and together inviting us to follow one of musicology's most engaged thinkers in a sustained examination of what he calls the 'awesome task of representing music'." -Nineteenth-Century Music Reviewshow more

About Leo Treitler

Leo Treitler is Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus, CUNY Graduate Center, and Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.show more

Table of contents

IntroductionI. Language1. Language and the Interpretation of Music2. Being at a Loss for Words3. Beethoven's "Expressive" MarkingsII. Performance-4. The Immanence of Performance in Medieval Song5. Early Recorded Performances of Chopin Waltzes and Mazurkas: The Relation to the TextIII. Notation6. What Kind of Thing is Musical Notation?7. Sketching Music, Writing MusicIV. Interpretative Frames8. The Lulu Character and the Character of Lulu9. History and Archetypes10. Gender and Other Dualities of Music History11. Hermeneutics, Exegetics, or What?12. Facile Metaphors, Hidden Gaps, Short Circuits: Should We Adore Adorno?NotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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