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SWING AND MOTIVE IN THREE PERFORMANCES BY OSCAR PETERSON

SWING AND MOTIVE IN THREE PERFORMANCES BY OSCAR PETERSON ¬¬ is more global in nature, that involves rhetoric as well as timing, that balances intensity and relaxation, and that—most of all—engenders a felt physical response. The sine qua non of this second type of swing is the way a swinging performance makes you want to dance. I have previously argued that experienced listeners hear tonal music as purposeful action within a dynamic field of musical forces (Larson 1997, 102): Three of these forces I call “gravity” (the tendency of an unstable note to descend), “magnetism” (the tendency of an unstable note to move to the nearest stable pitch, a tendency that grows stronger the closer we get to a goal), and “inertia” (the tendency of a pattern of musical motion to continue in the same fashion, where what is meant by “same” depends upon what that musical pattern is “heard as”). This view of expressive meaning in music as physically-grounded metaphor finds support in recent studies of metaphor and embodiment by cognitive linguists and music analysts (Aksnes 1996, 1997; Coker 1972; Cox 1999; Guck 1981, 1991; Johnson 1987; Kassler 1991; Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 1999). Looking at jazz performances along these lines can help us understand something http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

SWING AND MOTIVE IN THREE PERFORMANCES BY OSCAR PETERSON

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 43 (2) – Jan 1, 1999

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1999 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-43-2-283
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

¬¬ is more global in nature, that involves rhetoric as well as timing, that balances intensity and relaxation, and that—most of all—engenders a felt physical response. The sine qua non of this second type of swing is the way a swinging performance makes you want to dance. I have previously argued that experienced listeners hear tonal music as purposeful action within a dynamic field of musical forces (Larson 1997, 102): Three of these forces I call “gravity” (the tendency of an unstable note to descend), “magnetism” (the tendency of an unstable note to move to the nearest stable pitch, a tendency that grows stronger the closer we get to a goal), and “inertia” (the tendency of a pattern of musical motion to continue in the same fashion, where what is meant by “same” depends upon what that musical pattern is “heard as”). This view of expressive meaning in music as physically-grounded metaphor finds support in recent studies of metaphor and embodiment by cognitive linguists and music analysts (Aksnes 1996, 1997; Coker 1972; Cox 1999; Guck 1981, 1991; Johnson 1987; Kassler 1991; Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 1999). Looking at jazz performances along these lines can help us understand something

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 1999

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