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Music vs Words: Exploring the Problematic State of Semantic Meaning in Music
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Musicology.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Musical language does not carry obvious semantic meaning. The question of whether music has semantic meaning, or how it does, has been an age old question in musicology. This paper is a case study of musical analyses from Lawrence Kramer and Constantin Floros, and it discusses how they interpret semantic meaning into the Beethoven and Mahler pieces they analyze. Their analyses are then discussed against Nicholas Cook's model of musical meaning, and the formalist approach of Leonard B. Meyer. Even though these offer some insight to the difficulties faced in Kramer's and Floros' methods, some major problems with associating semantic meaning into music remain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 46 p.
Musikvetenskapliga serien i Uppsala (MSU), ISSN 1102-69xx ; 65
Keyword [en]
music, meaning, semantic
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281665OAI: diva2:915094
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2016-03-29Bibliographically approved

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