Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

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Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby confusions_prince » Wed May 13, 2009 9:23 pm

Threatened with the prospect of having to read Hegel last night, I decided to explore library stacks I had never visited. I found that nonsense in research is not confined to the humanities. Not even music is exempt.

This article is an example of needless piling on of meaningless noun phrases:
http://jmt.dukejournals.org/cgi/content ... t/50/2/143
This is my personal favorite: "The study of harmonic cross-reference in the three-key expositions of [two pieces] reveals a tension between functional distinctions for the sonorities involved (as defined by Schenkerian analysis), and the interconnection of these sonorities in processes of motivic development." How about "Schenkerian analysis of harmonic cross-references in [two pieces] shows that its voices are both distinct and connected, and this tension is what develops the motifs of the pieces." I don't see how this passes as cutting edge, unless the analysis itself is what matters, but does it matter if it only states the obvious?

I don't know much about music theory, but I can tell the difference between *making sense* and being over my head. How do I know I can tell the difference? I read my instructor's thesis. I didn't understand much of it, but it was readable. Compare with this clearly-written abstract:
http://jmt.dukejournals.org/cgi/content ... t/50/2/181
The premises are named, then defined. Incredible!
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby sack the wack » Thu May 14, 2009 6:11 am

Whatever he said.
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby jackr » Thu May 14, 2009 7:01 am

I dont know if I am in agreement with the Schenkerian analysis. I have a few issues with it. I am not too sure about the interconnection of these sonorities in processes of motivic development because Schenker believed that these were underdeveloped in the area surrounding dissonant tones relating to sub dominant modes.

Don't you guys agree?
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu May 14, 2009 7:32 am

Image
These Schenkerian's ?
What episode of Star Trek are you guys talking about ?
:D
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby jackr » Thu May 14, 2009 7:37 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:
These Schenkerian's ?
What episode of Star Trek are you guys talking about ?
:D


No, I don't believe Schenker is a salt creature.
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu May 14, 2009 7:46 am

jackr wrote:
Tennessee Jedi wrote:
These Schenkerian's ?
What episode of Star Trek are you guys talking about ?
:D


No, I don't believe Schenkerian is a salt creature.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
THESE Schenkerian's ?
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu May 14, 2009 7:47 am

"The study of harmonic cross-reference in the three-key expositions of [two pieces] reveals a tension between functional distinctions for the sonorities involved (as defined by Schenkerian analysis), and the interconnection of these sonorities in processes of motivic development."


These words all have meanings, they're just not well known if you're not a super theory geek.

If I understand it correctly, he's saying that the two pieces he references have expositions whose harmonic content varies between the traditional function of the chords (chords all have a harmonic function - your ear is trained to expect a ii resolve to V, V7 resolve to I, etc, primarily for voice-leading reasons that I won't go into detail about) and cross-referencing each other, and this variety is used as an aid in developing the motives? (Motives are roughly defined as melodic themes, but are usually shorter and simpler so that you can use them in retrograde (backwards) or inversion (upside-down) and they retain their character)
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Emoto » Thu May 14, 2009 7:59 am

jackr wrote:I dont know if I am in agreement with the Schenkerian analysis. I have a few issues with it. I am not too sure about the interconnection of these sonorities in processes of motivic development because Schenkerian believed that these were underdeveloped in the area surrounding dissonant tones relating to sub dominant modes.

Don't you guys agree?


Heinrich Schenker, not Heinrich Schenkerian.
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu May 14, 2009 8:18 am

Image
Heinrich Schenker
B: 06/19/1868
D: 01/14/1935
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby sack the wack » Thu May 14, 2009 8:30 am

This is fascinating!
I remember that spike horn. He had the transmitter in the fake antler. Nasty moho.
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Emoto » Thu May 14, 2009 8:32 am

sack the wack wrote:This is fascinating!
I remember that spike horn. He had the transmitter in the fake antler. Nasty moho.


I used to love it when Brent would sing "Never Trust a Romulan".
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby confusions_prince » Thu May 14, 2009 8:48 am

Emoto wrote:
sack the wack wrote:This is fascinating!
I remember that spike horn. He had the transmitter in the fake antler. Nasty moho.


I used to love it when Brent would sing "Never Trust a Romulan".


Are you pulling my leg? I would love to hear this if it's real!
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby sack the wack » Thu May 14, 2009 8:51 am

Ummm.
"I just wonder if you shouldn't feel,
less concerned about the deep unreal"?
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby Emoto » Thu May 14, 2009 8:52 am

confusions_prince wrote:
Emoto wrote:
sack the wack wrote:This is fascinating!
I remember that spike horn. He had the transmitter in the fake antler. Nasty moho.


I used to love it when Brent would sing "Never Trust a Romulan".


Are you pulling my leg? I would love to hear this if it's real!


Consider it pulled. :drink:
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Re: Nonsense? in academia (Journal of Music Theory)

Postby mttourpro » Thu May 14, 2009 12:35 pm

confusions_prince wrote:Threatened with the prospect of having to read Hegel last night, I decided to explore library stacks I had never visited.


After trying to read/comprehend those two links I'da definitely stuck with Hegel. Makes much more sense I'm sure. I love this one though...

"Through this motivic interconnection, the sonorities achieve an ontological status partially independent of their individual linear-contrapuntal environments. Each motivic harmony gains meaning through its particular tonal function, but each also exists within a network of associative connection based more generally on chord identity."

I didn't know "sonorities" could achieve "ontological status" let alone as being "partially independent" of their "individual linear-contrapuntal environments", but I'm sure Jerry knew this distinctly when he wrote Dark Star.

FWIW, that is more about the Philosophy of Music than it is about Harmony Theory at least imho. Then again, what do I know....I didn't really understand much of that and I have studied theory and played a lot of classical music.
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