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Re: Let's have a test on chord grammar
(I prefer this one ...)
Martin Braun wrote :
>There are just no clear semantic signals in music, and
>syntactic signals are missing altogether.
'Syntactic signals' in speech exist (only) in relation to an external
(structural) reference system -- you might easily have such thing also
in music ... So the 'inversions' as for a triad, i.e., sixth chord (1st)
and six-four chord (2nd), might be sort of corresponding to the
'inflections' of (flexible) words (characterizing 'grammatical'
categories / 'syntactical' relations, conformal to the respective
reference system), likewise as you have 'inversions' and 'retrogrades'
in dodecaphonic music, plus their 'mirroring', (analogously)
corresponding to (inflected) word form and / or order in speech
sentences ; or one might also think of the conclusive (terminative)
character of different (final) cadences in traditional music in this
'Semantics' is due to the reference to some (external) meaning,
conventionally relating to (the context of) a given (general) acoustic /
graphic pattern, which [the meaning] might yet intra- /
inter-linguistically differ (as will pronunciation ...). In music,
references are given in many contexts : the (musical) 'quote' of Richard
Wagner's 'Tristan'-chord or the (musical & literal) 'allusion' to
Alexander Zemlinsky's 'Lyrische Symphonie' in Alban Berg's 'Lyrische
Suite', the 'Dies ira'-citation in Hector Berlioz' 'Symphonie
phantastique', the (musical) signature of J.S. Bach (among others) by
virtue of (German) tone letter encoding (i.e., 'B [Bb]-A-C-H [B]'), B.
Smetana's (musical) 'Vltava' depiction, the numerous bird song
transcriptions in the work of Olivier Messiaen, the various Variations
on Nicolo Paganini's '24th Caprice', or, in common jazzy manner, on
George Gershwin's 'The man I love' ...
Yet by means of modern technology, this (re)contextualization has become
even more eas(il)y (manageable), where examples might be found reaching
from (the most dada-like) 'musique concrete'-collages over acoustic
'soundscapes' to techno music ... As to 'dada' in general, the link
should be even more easily to draw as 'concrete poesy' (e.g.,
Gerhard Ruehm, Ernst Jandl, ...) does yet aim at the acoustic (or
visual) 'material' aspect of language elements rather than their
(potential) syntactical implications ... Note that 'syntax' here refers
to the (basic) linguistic aspect, yet you might easily have a 'musical'
one in using one and the same (sonic) element repeatedly as, e.g.,
'motive' or 'refrain' or 'punctuation mark' ...