Abstracts T--Z

Lujza Tari (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest) &
Vilmos Voigt (Hungarian Academy of Sciences & ELTE, Budapest)
Signs on and through (Folk) Musical Instruments

Musical instruments represent a highly qualified sort of artefacts, characteristic to every culture and style period. It is a well-known fact of culture history and history of applied arts that various and rich decorations appear on the musical instruments. Their form often is symbolic too, with anthropomorphic and other representations. There are various personal signs and illustrations on musical instruments. According to our best knowledge this phenomenon has not yet been studied within the domain of semiotics. It seems to be a lesser known fact too that not only high music instruments but also folk music instruments show such symbolizations.

If already the appearance of the musical instruments tells us a lot, then their sound tells us even more. While the investigation of the body (painting, carving) of the instrument is not a task of ethnomusicology, examining the "inside" - the sound of an instrument - has already lead to great achievements. One part already taken into consideration in research programmes is the musical signalling. We decided to concentrate on musical communication through musical instruments, since it is present throughout society - from folk music to art music, and from civilians to the army.

In our paper we will present both sound material and some striking examples regarding signs on folk music instruments. The illustrations will present mostly source material from Hungary, but, in fact, such symbolization on musical instrument is a world-wide one. This is the reason why our paper will serve only as an introduction to an entire field in the social semiotics of music.


Krystyna Tarnawska-Kaczorowska (Warsaw)
A la recherche des valeurs perdues...

From among multifarious meanings and signs which the musical works can produce (create) and then communicate to a listener (therefore to a community) my contribution will focus on four of them and they are of semiotico-axiological value. In other terms: they are signs of distinctive axiological dimension. These are: ecological signs (signs of nature), ethical signs, metaphysical signs and therapeutical quasi-signs tantamount to the therapeutical function of music. The issues will be exemplified by the music of many composers. In these days, featured by the impoverishment of nearly all values concerning human relations and life in general (in favour of mere economic success), those signs/values preserved and conveyed to people by music are particularly worthwhile to be reconstructed by hermeneutics.


Millie Taylor (University of Exeter)
"Evil" as a Musical Theatrical Convention

"Evil" in this context is not intended to imply moral value judgements but is observed as a historical theatrical convention. The representation of "evil" uses a combination of signs: costume, vocal tone and pitch, facial characteristics and textual motifs. These are complemented by lighting, stage design and music. In all, "evil" as a musical theatrical sign is a conjunction of the aural and the gestic.

The context for this study is contemporary British commercial pantomime. Comparisons drawn with earlier popular theatrical forms of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries show a remarkable continuity. The wide constituency of the audience for these popular forms reinforces the codes despite changes in social conditions and reception. The popularity of the form and the consequent knowledge of the musical language have allowed the codes to become conventional to the extent that they can be used outside the theatre as iconic representations of "evil" characteristics.


Errol H. Tout (Curtin University of Technology, Perth, W.A.)
Architecture & Music. The Connection between Constructs

The objective of this paper is to examine the relationships between music and architecture. This analysis explores the connection between the constructs for designing space and designing sound and is also an examination of correlations between them.

Architecture has the capacity to inspire and celebrate. Music has many capacities beyond pure entertainment. Both play a major part in the quality of life.

Architecture is concerned with ideas. Further to this, it would follow that Music is also concerned with ideas. Is there a way of examining them to see what common aspirations, objectives, and executions they have? Are there things that are expressed in architecture that can be expressed in music? Can one be used to develop a deeper understanding of the other?

The paper will attempt the following: 1) Present an overview of previous research in the area of synesthetics - that is the translation of one artform into another. The paper will confine itself to issues of Music and Architecture. This section will examine (describe and contrast) the constructs that have been seen as important and significant in other scholarly research; 2) present examples of contemporary projects; 3) examine and summarise the common constructs which appear in the work as the basis of establishing the guidelines for the research of the author; 4) describe the research being carried out by this author. This will involve a case study where the constructs of a piece of music are used to design a building.


Michajl S. Uvarov (St. Petersburg State University)
Toward the Russian Musical Semiotics of 1920s-1990s (Alexei Losev and others)

As Arthur Schopenhauer once remarked, "music is a mysterious exercising in the soul metaphysics, which does not realise its own philosophising".

These words accurately express the essence of interchange between traditions of symbolisation in philosophy, semiotics and music in Russia. The Russian musical semiotics arose in a field of synthesis. Music often appears as a kind of symbolic "cut" of Christian philosophy - a perception of the world, manifesting itself in very diverse form of compositions of P. Tchaikovsky, F. Stravinsky, A Skrjabin, S. Rachmaninov, S. Prokofiev, D. Shostakovich, E. Denisov, A. Shnitke.

Actually, the philosophy of music in Russia, dawning in the early 20th century, reflects trends that are common for European culture. Musicians-as-philosophers treat creating as an extreme display of ecstatic experience, the source of all other forms of art.

The understanding of European musical phenomena from artistic and philosophical views is a particularly distinctive feature of Russian culture. The typical images of Leo Tostoj (The Kreutzer Sonata) and Ivan Kuprin (The Garnet Bracelet) are only preceding the variations to the theme of "Der Fall Wagner" on the Russian ground. The philosophical and musical semiotics has been arising out of this paradox, where the "Music as the subject of logic" and the Wagner studies of Alexej Losev, colour-musical and poetical experiences of Skrjabin, poetical and musical codes and images of Andrew Belyj and Velimir Khlebnikov, the symbolic field in The Golden Cockerel of Rimski-Korsakow and The Sacred Spring of Strawinsky are getting mixed up. Russian music of the 20th century, living in the world of philosophical and poetical codes, becomes the powerful indicator of "breakdown in writing" in the national culture, the prophecy of forthcoming tragedies.


Peter C. van Wyck (Trent University, Peterborough, Ont.)
Settling the Score: Tracking Glenn Gould through a thicket of signs

The recent proliferation of Gould studies have run aground on questions of interpretive authenticity, and a fetishization of Gould qua iconoclast. While Gould the man - in the process - has been cast adrift from his moorings. I would like to consider how it is that Gould has become the site, or punctum of a wonderfully rich semiotic thicket where signs of authenticity (pertaining to interpretive iconicity) are pitted against questions of textual fidelity (the motivated score), "genius" (and its idiosyncrasies, including the nuance of "madness"), and the historicity of the Baroque generally. Gould has become a polysemic sign, and here I would propose (in a preliminary fashion) to map out the manner in which Gould comes to fulfill socio-cultural needs according to the desires of the moment. Such questions exceed the boundaries of musicology proper, as they are firmly ensconced within larger social and cultural concerns of the instrumental character of meaning.


Manfred Wagner (Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien)
Gibt es eine "österreichische Konstante" in der Musik?

Ob es diese österreichische Konstant in der Musik gibt, versucht der Autor anhand einzelner Faktoren nachzufragen. Diese wären: die Verwertung des Geschichte, das Verhältnis zur Natur, das Ethnische, die Tradition des Gestus, das "geheime Programm", Allegorie und Parataxe, die Handwerklichkeit, die Semantik und die Integralität. Bei genauerer Untersuchung stellt sich allerdings heraus, daß diese Faktoren jedenfalls für die "Musik aus Wien" in Anspruch genommen werden können, also aus einem topographisch enger einzugrenzenden Ort, was möglicherweise nur mit der Aufführungspraxis zusammenhängt, möglicherweise aber auch mit der Verschiedenheit der österreichischen Landschaft.


Josef Wallmannsberger (University of Kassel & University of Innsbruck)
The Voice as Labour and Market: Calling Acts and Shots

Echos of the voice haunt both linguistics and music. The grammatological and dodecaphonic turns have moved the physical presence of vocality to the margins of discourses predicated on the hegemony of systems operating exclusively by significant opposition. Following the voice had meant doing what comes naturally before this semiotic rupture, but nature will return no longer, with the arbitrariness of the vocal sign coming into full swing. Or so it seems. In this paper an attempt will be made at deconstructing the opposition of natural voices and artificial acoustic signs. Taking Rossi-Landi's "Language as Labour and Market" as a methodological point of departure, the natural historicity of the voice will be presented. A history of the voice will in turn supply the indivisible physical remainder of semiotic arbitrariness.


Michael Weber (Universität Wien)
Populäre Musik in Österreich in den 1970er bis 1990er Jahren unter dem Blickwinkel der kulturellen Identität - einige Ansätze, Anmerkungen und Aspekte

Die bisherigen Untersuchungen zur populären Musik in Österreich in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, die sich um einen zusammenführenden Überblick bemühen, gelangen nur zum Teil zu einer gemeinsamen Sicht von deren Ausformung und Weiterentwicklung. Edward Larkey betont in seinem Vier-Stufen-Modell (Konsumption, Imitation, Deanglisierung, Reethnisierung) vor allem deren Beitrag zur Ausbildung einer eigenständigen kulturellen Identität und zur Abgrenzung gegenüber dem einflußreichen und gewichtigen deutschen Nachbarn aus politischen Motiven heraus.

Werner Jauk dagegen sieht eher in der doppelten kulturellen Sozialisation der Jugendlichen den Anstoß für die Herausbildung einer eigenständigen Popularmusikszene gegeben. Heide Pfeiler stellt als das Gemeinsame der unterschiedlichsten Musikstile des sogenannten "Austropop" die Verwendung österreichischer Dialektvarianten fest. Eva Spreitzhofer zeigt deutliche Hinweise auf den entscheidenden Beitrag dieser Lieder zur Herausbildung eines "Österreichischen Deutsch" und eines nationalen Bewußtseins auf. Neuere Musikströmungen wie "volkstümliche Musik" und die sogenannte "Neue Volksmusik" scheinen diese Identitätsstiftung nur beschränkt fortzusetzen. Ein Ausblick auf die Diskussion um die "Österreichische Literatur" mag insgesamt weitere Anhaltspunkte liefern. (Einige Musikbeispiele sollen den Vortrag ergänzen.)


Sigrid Wiesmann (Universität-GH Siegen / Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien)
Oper im Fernsehen seit 1985. Aufführungspraxis und Medienästhetik

Aufgrund der zunehmenden Bedeutung von Opernsendungen seit Mitte der 80er Jahre und der Tendenz zur intermedialen und plurimedialen Produktion im Bereich Musiktheater hat sich die Aufarbeitung dieses komplexen Gegenstandes als notwendig erwiesen. Gegenstand ist - neben der Programmgeschichte - in erster Linie die Ästhetik der Oper im Fernsehen. Wichtig ist die quantitative Auswertung der Datenbanken (die im Sonderforschungsbereich bereits angelegt wurden) und ihre qualitative und korrelative Auswertung.

Wichtig sind darüberhinaus die unterschiedlichen Sendeformen (Live-Übertragung, Inszenierungsaufzeichnung, Opernfilm und das seit etwa drei Jahren gebräuchliche Digest-Verfahren.

Im Zusammenhang mit der Untersuchung der Sendeformen stehen die Werkanalysen.


Douglas Wilkerson (Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Japan)
Chanting for Life and Glory: "Shigin" in Contemporary Japan

This lecture examines the meaning and practice of "shigin" in contemporary Japan. "Shigin" is a peculiar form of chanting/singing which most frequently takes as its text poetry in classical Chinese (though traditional and modern poems in Japanese are also used). Originally a pedogogical practice of the warrior class (bushi) during Japan's feudal period, it served an important function in the civil and foreign wars of the modern period (1860s to 1945). Despite being forbidden after WWII, the polysemous (philosophical/physiological) nature of the central technical term "ki" (universal life force/breath) has facilitated a masterful exercise in code-switching, permitting the transformation of "shigin" into, among other things, a technique for increasing longevity and a nation-wide association recognized by the Ministry of Education. By examining musical structures and tablature, selection and reading of texts, education and outreach, association activities, marketing, and philosophical rationales I demonstrate the ways in which this music has been packaged for democratic Japan while maintaining its martial underpinnings.


Edith Zack (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan)
The Social Relevance of Puccini's Turandot

Puccini's last masterpiece is the most contemporary of all his works. It is here that the figure of the New Woman is most strongly drawn, in all her contemporary relevance. This paper will discuss the operatic Turandot as a cultural model, who is motivated by the force of absence (following Tzvetan Todorov's structural view of literature), and consequently represents resistance against sexual violence. In modern terms the Chinese princess can thus be interpreted as the manifestation of both liberal and radical feminism, as viewed by Julia Kristeva. With her musical language Turandot constitutes a new vocabulary which represents women's free access to the cultural order (liberal feminism) and which is constructed on experience and positive valued otherness (radical feminism).


Klaus Zerinschek (Universität Innsbruck)
Sprache, Zeichen, Musik: Schreibweisen bei Roland Barhtes.

Roland Barthes' Schriften sind ein wichtiger Impuls für die Theoriediskussion des Poststrukturalismus, der Postmoderne und der Frauen/Gender/forschung: "Musik" als Chiffre hat einen speziellen Status in Barthes' Werk: für den Semiotiker und Ideologiekritiker Barthes ist Musik als Diskursform mehr oder weniger ganz ausgespart. Tritt er aber als Kritiker eben dieser Praktiken (Semiotik, Ideolokritik) auf, wird Musik einer seiner favorisierten "Diskurs"-Mittel. Diese Diskrepanz zwischen Verweigerung und Bevorzugung soll genauer untersucht werden: warum, weshalb ist der "späte" Barthes, der Liebhaber der Musik, in Differenz zu sehen zum "frühen" Barthes, dem Mythologen. Die Relevanz dieser Differenz soll im Rahmen des Vortrages sichtbar gemacht werden.

Abstracts A--C | Abstracts D--H | Abstracts I--L | Abstracts M--O | Abstracts P--S