[Smt-talk] Classical Form and Recursion

Martin Braun nombraun at telia.com
Sun Apr 12 12:55:10 PDT 2009

Dmitri wrote:

> 3. Without semantics, it's very hard to set a non-controversial  lower 
> threshold on "competence."

I think we can be more decisive than this. "Without semantics" there can be 
no syntax at all. Both in natural and in artificial (technical) languages, 
syntax is alway dependent upon semantics. Assuming the possibility of syntax 
in music is like assuming a red herring.

If listerners feel that a song is incomplete with the last note missing, we 
do not have an indication for the existence of a syntax. We simply have an 
indication of a violated expectation. And the expectation was formed by 
knowledge of the song, not by a subconscious grammar. In general, a song can 
end on any singable note.


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm 

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