Chapter

CATEGORIZATION, COMPOSITIONAL STRATEGY, AND MUSICAL SYNTAX

Lawrence M. Zbikowski

in Conceptualizing Music

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195140231
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871278 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140231.003.0005

Series: AMS Studies in Music

CATEGORIZATION, COMPOSITIONAL STRATEGY, AND MUSICAL SYNTAX

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This chapter examines how musical materials are organized within a work — more properly, the problem of musical syntax and, by extension, musical semiotics. Although semioticians are usually quick to grant that music has a syntax, they are more doubtful about whether its semantic level has any depth. By taking a close look at how composers make use of categories of musical events — in this case, the way Mozart and Beethoven use motives in the opening movements of three string quartets — the chapter provides insight into how musical materials are organized in the service of musical discourse, as well as how features of this organization contribute to meaning construction as a whole.

Keywords: musical materials; musical semiotics; semiotician; composition; sematic level

Chapter.  21415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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