MUS 113 Lecture 4: Week 4 Notes

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MUS 113
Charles Curtis

MUS113 Week 4 Notes 4/24/17 - Leos Janacek (1854 – 1928) o Extraterritorial composer, outside main cultural centers o Very productive late if life; experimentalist o Transcribed speech and conversation into musical melodies o Used birds and nature sounds as a direct transcription o Observed and followed what the sounds give him - Glagolitic Mass (1926) o Ancient, proto-Slavic language that no one understood o Masses of instruments, vocal soloists chorus and organ o Music that explores sonority as an end in itself o Unintelligible language is itself an exercise in sonority — not the meaning of the language, but its expressivity beyond language o This relates back to the transcription of speech into pitches - Musical nominalism o No universals, no abstract concepts (mental concept that does not exist in a spatial or temporal form) o Focuses only on the concrete and particular o categories of being are not vested in generalized, generic, or conceptually grouped genera that can be defined by headings and understood as interchangeable o Only the specific, the partially and temporally present experience has truth o Quiddity: shows as specific set of cultural, technical aspects. It’s ‘that’ o Haecceity: ‘this’. Only this thing happens at one moment, that doesn’t refer to something bigger. It’s just itself o Derives somewhat from Empiricism, the close observation of actual events o Can devolve into relativism, the elimination of any binding standards of evaluation or comparison o But a true musical nominalism would focus on music as an act of perception, an act of performance in time, either as listening or as music-making, rather than the reproduction of something pre-existing like a binding score or a work that the experience-in-time refers to o This is a feature of early modernism: the art work as event or act, open to highly complex and varying instantiations, not repeatable, unstable, varying, irreducible to a single description or definition - Proust reading o Swann at a party with a group of wealthy, upper-bourgeois class o Madame has exquisite taste, proud of her sofa, always has her guests: the doctor, the painter o Swann is new to the group, brought by Odette; Madame is interested in Swann and Odette getting together o Piece: Sonata for violin and piano ▪ Young pianist hired to play the solo piano arrangement o Madame doesn’t want the sonata to be playe
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