[Smt-talk] Symmetry and Musical Aesthetics

Scott Gleason scottmg2010 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 11 21:12:23 PST 2010


I'm thinking the best writing in this area is by Martin Scherzinger and
Neville Hoad, "A/Symmetrical Reading of Inversion in Fin-de-Siecle Music,
Musicology, and Sexology," in *Queering the Canon: Defying Sights in German
Literature and Culture* ed. Christoph Lorey and John L. Plews (Columbia SC:
Camden House, 1998), 36-72.  See also Martin Scherzinger and Neville Hoad,
"Anton Webern and the Concept of Symmetrical Inversion: A Reconsideration on
the Terrain of Gender," *Repercussions* 6 (1997): 63-147.

Fascinating stuff. Enjoy.

Scott Gleason
Adjunct Instructor, Fordham University
PhD candidate, Columbia University

> Dear colleagues,
> An upper-level undergraduate student at our liberal arts and sciences
> university is embarking on a long-term interdisciplinary study of the
> relationship between symmetry and beauty.  She is an accomplished
> violinist,
> but is not a music major and has no post-tonal theory background as yet;
> however, she is both well-versed and interested in calculus, statistics,
> and
> other mathematical forms so could pick it up fairly easily. While there are
> hundreds of scholarly articles on various kinds of compositional symmetry
> in
> the music of Western composers to which I could refer her, I'm wondering if
> anyone can recommend:
> 1) a good historical overview of how symmetry has been used in Western
> music, and/or
> 2) scholarly writing that addresses the *aesthetics* of musical symmetry
> rather than (")simply(") the compositional mechanics of its usage in the
> works of specific composers.
> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
> Best wishes,
> Laurel Parsons
> --
> Laurel Parsons, Ph.D.
> Co-ordinator, Humanities Division
> Quest University Canada
> 3200 University Blvd.
> Squamish, BC
> VB8 0N8
> laurel.parsons at questu.ca
> www.questu.ca
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