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ORIENTATIONS, CRITERIA, SEGMENTS: A GENERAL THEORY OF SEGMENTATION FOR MUSIC ANALYSIS

ORIENTATIONS, CRITERIA, SEGMENTS: A GENERAL THEORY OF SEGMENTATION FOR MUSIC ANALYSIS assume—rather than state or deliberately examine—the motivation or rationale for particular segments and segmentations. While this is not necessarily, or exactly, a problem (indeed, it is beneficial in that it streamlines the presentation of analytic interpretations and arguments), it does treat an important part of the analytic process as parenthetical, inaccessible to discourse and further inquiry. This has costs, both to communication and in lost opportunities. The cost to communication is fairly obvious: what goes unsaid is nonetheless (or therefore) open to misunderstanding. Difficulties can arise when an analyst’s motivation for a particular segmentation is subtle or unusual but essential to his arguments about musical organization and interpretation (as may be the case in some of the most original and interesting analyses). To assess the cost of lost opportunities, better to turn the question around: what might analysts gain by taking a more active interest in segmentation? One answer: when analysts articulate the rationales for particular segmentations, they open up the possibility for precise and reasoned intersubjective discourse about how their analytic interpretations differ, and about ambiguity, richness, and multiplicity of hearings. Another: analysts who look closely at details of musical segmentation can often connect formal, and in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

ORIENTATIONS, CRITERIA, SEGMENTS: A GENERAL THEORY OF SEGMENTATION FOR MUSIC ANALYSIS

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 45 (2) – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-45-2-345
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

assume—rather than state or deliberately examine—the motivation or rationale for particular segments and segmentations. While this is not necessarily, or exactly, a problem (indeed, it is beneficial in that it streamlines the presentation of analytic interpretations and arguments), it does treat an important part of the analytic process as parenthetical, inaccessible to discourse and further inquiry. This has costs, both to communication and in lost opportunities. The cost to communication is fairly obvious: what goes unsaid is nonetheless (or therefore) open to misunderstanding. Difficulties can arise when an analyst’s motivation for a particular segmentation is subtle or unusual but essential to his arguments about musical organization and interpretation (as may be the case in some of the most original and interesting analyses). To assess the cost of lost opportunities, better to turn the question around: what might analysts gain by taking a more active interest in segmentation? One answer: when analysts articulate the rationales for particular segmentations, they open up the possibility for precise and reasoned intersubjective discourse about how their analytic interpretations differ, and about ambiguity, richness, and multiplicity of hearings. Another: analysts who look closely at details of musical segmentation can often connect formal, and in

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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