[Smt-talk] Classical Form and Recursion

Ildar Khannanov solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 24 21:04:14 PDT 2009

That was a memorable conference, indeed! I thought that something great should come out of it. For me, the most exciting aspect was to see the three leading theorists from North America giving the keynote speeches at the EUROMAC and German Society for Music Theory joint meeting.
I still think that recursion is just a small detail in the logic of form as it has been discussed in Freiburg. It is not the panacea for either natural language or music. I sense also that Dr. Meeus has much more to offer from his French experience of reflection on language.
Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory
Ikhanna1 at jhmi.edu

--- On Tue, 3/24/09, Thomas Noll <noll at cs.tu-berlin.de> wrote:

From: Thomas Noll <noll at cs.tu-berlin.de>
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Classical Form and Recursion
To: "smt-talk Talk" <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 2:31 PM

An exciting new book, edited by Pieter Bergé entitled "Musical Form, Forms, Formenlehre" (2009, Leuven University Press) with lectures, comments and responses by William Caplin, James Hepokoski and James Webster contains a contribution by William Caplin, presented in the Formenlehre-session at the Euro-MAC 2007 in Freiburg. There we find tree structures with two kinds of labels, namely temporal functions and formal functions. It is the labeling with temporal functions (before-the-beginning, beginning, middle, end, after-the-end), where recursion becomes manifest. 
I'm grateful to my colleague Karst de Jong, who lent me his copy this morning. What I took for a vague and undigested idea of mine in my posting of yesterday is actually a sediment of memory from William Caplin's inspiring lecture, where the well-digested idea was supported by good arguments and examples. I apologize if I caused wrong déjà-vu experiences or discomfort with my weakness of memory.
Thomas Noll  

technically the (not yet digested) idea would - at first sight - lead to derivation trees with labels "presentation", "continuation", "cadence" (and some more) for non-terminals and concrete units from the score for terminals. 

Thomas Noll
noll at cs.tu-berlin.de
Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, Barcelona 
Departament de Teoria i Composició 
Tel (priv.):   +34 93 268 75 19
Tel (mobil): +34 66 368 12 02


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