Re: On the Grammar of Music (Alexandra Hettergott )

Subject: Re: On the Grammar of Music
From:    Alexandra Hettergott  <a.hettergott(at)WANADOO.FR>
Date:    Sat, 28 Apr 2001 22:23:35 +0200

Martin Braun wrote : >Each word in a sentences carries a semantic AND syntactic signal. [...] >When preferred chord patterns appear in music history, >they are temporary and accidental habits, ornaments without >syntactic content. In speech the reverse is true. The problem is that you're looking for 1:1-relations between speech and music (that in *this* way certainly cannot be found) ; however, whereas also in speech syntax & semantics are *relative* with regard to context (needless to recall all the words with non-unequivocal meaning), the same applies to music -- 'syntactic content' ? A subject-object- predicate-relation here might well be (relatively) analogous to a I-IV-V-I one ... Yet the main commonality in both language(s) and music(s) is that they are *all* using an external (coherent, (sufficiently) stable, and in itself logical, pre-established) reference system (in case of Mozart & Co. even the same), which (besides communicational) might also serve for inductional classification purposes (or structural analysis / generative synthesis), as well as (re-)interpretation (most successfully) follows the consequent application of just this (set of) recipe(s) ... And yet another point : there are theorists arguing that for an extraterrestrial the languages from all over the world would appear like different dialects of one and the same language ... The same might apply to music(s), that from a little more 'distanced' angle might easily provide much more (structural) similarities as we might ever assume (more of the sort of '1/f-like', for instance). Sorry for late-coming / redundancy, Alexandra Hettergott.

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