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Darwin-L Message Log 5:55 (January 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<5:55>From SMITGM@hawkins.clark.edu  Mon Jan 10 20:10:52 1994

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Gerard Donnelly Smith"  <SMITGM@hawkins.clark.edu>
Organization: Clark College, Vancouver WA, USA
Date: 10 Jan 94 18:10:19 PST8PDT
Subject: music and meaning

Would anyone on darwin-l wish to discuss music and meaning in regards
to poetics, semiotics, semantics?  I've just finished John Shepherd's
book MUSIC AS SOCIAL TEXT and found his theories exciting. I wrote my
doctoral dissertaion, "Sound Foundations: Music, Lanauge and Poetry,"
exploring the connection between sound and meaning in poetry and now
wish to pursue a dialog concerning the social implications of sound
beginning with music as a symbolic structure. A semiotic analysis, I
believe might uncover a "code" which regulates the generation of
musical meaning.  This "code" would have economic, cultural,
metaphysical, as well as social imperatives.  Let me begin with an
example I recall from youth.  I can't recall the exact commercial,
but it involved a cold remedy.  When the commercial began,
the notes "Da-da-da-DA" from Beethoven's Fifth would sound.  After
several exposures to the combination of sound, image and text, I
associated Beethoven's lietmotif with cold medicine.

Dr. Gerard Donnelly-Smith            e-mail: smitgm@hawkins.clark.edu
English Department                   phone:  206-699-0478
Clark College
Vancouver, WA  98663

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