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Re: [microsound] maths science and electronic music
The poietic/neutral/esthesic tripartition is actually due to Molino, who
formulated it in the general context of symbolic exchange. Nattiez adapted
it to music.
Peter Price wrote:
-->In other words it is pointless to argue if "meaning" is "constructed" at
the point of production or reception...the answer is of course both and
everywhere in between... <--
I think for Nattiez, the tripartite division implies that there are three
different aspects of a musical work that are legitimate and separate areas
for analysis- the composer's methods of production, a listener's reception,
and the 'neutral' object in itself (the 'trace'). Nattiez gets more
interesting with it- further subdividing this into, e.g. extrinsic and
intrinsic analyses (if I remember the terminology correctly)- intrinsic
analysis draws conclusions from the music itself (e.g. in a poietic
analysis: there are tone rows, hence the composer was using serialist
methods); extrinsic analysis draws on factors external to the music (e.g.
the composer wrote in her diary that she was using stochastic processes,
hence...). I think Nattiez's book 'Music and Discourse' is the best-known
exposition of this.
In the discussion of math/music, the esthesic/poietic division seems
crucial- after all, where is the math? The math may be important to the
composer or producer, but does it matter to the listener? That is, do we
hear math? I remember reading, ages ago and I have no idea where, a critique
of serialism based on studies of aural perception. The point was that we
don't hear by counting. And if you make a piece with Galois cohomology or
pseudo-Riemannian manifolds, what of this will come across in the sound? Do
people think that this will encode some deep structure in the music that
will be communicated as musical structure in the listening experience?
That's certainly not self-evident- I think the case that needs to be proved
is that mathematics is somehow relevant to the aural experience and the
perception of music, form, structure, etc. Obviously there's math floating
around, because sound obeys physical laws, but that doesn't mean that math
can tell us anything deep or profound about music and why we find it
interesting enough to spend half our lives doing it and talking about it.
all the best,
Peter Price wrote:
In his "Semiology of Music," Nattiez proposes a semiology of music as the
investigation of the "total musical fact."
He spells out a 3 part structure:
1) The "poietic process" or questions around the intention of the producer
2) The "trace" or the musical object in its material form (score, cd, mp3,
3) The "esthetic process" or questions around the reception of the object by
any of these by itself could constitute an interesting "heuristic
discourse," but remains only part of the picture.
In other words it is pointless to argue if "meaning" is "constructed" at the
point of production or reception...the answer is of course both and
everywhere in between...
does this seem reasonable?
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