[Smt-talk] prolongation

Frank Lehman flehman at fas.harvard.edu
Sun Jul 17 09:01:08 PDT 2011

Dear all,

I believe we can all agree that the Wikipedia article on
prolongation<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prolongation> could
stand some improvement. Of course we cannot hope  for the article
to accommodate all the philosophical complexity and nuance of the concept,
nor should we. The page must only present a clear and concise picture of the
theoretical essentials of prolongation, its intellectual background
and analytic applications, and the current thinking around it -- provided it
has been expressed in print and represents a reasonably mainstream or
consensus view on the topic.

Editing Wikipedia is generally an easy and intuitive process. Like Dmitri
said, the time-consuming part can be contending with other editors. Article
discussion ("talk") pages provide Wikipedia's preferred forum for these
discussions. I have a feeling that because prolongation is currently a stub,
and represents a topic a casual musician will not be too familiar or
invested in, we would not need to suffer fools in fleshing out the the
article -- instead we could rely on each other's much higher levels of
expertise. To get the ball rolling, I have created a
prolongation-article discussion
page <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Prolongation> with some initial
suggestions. It is here, for example, that we could arrive at a formulation
of the problematic ontological and temporal nature of prolongation that can
be adequately sourced and expressed with (relative) simplicity.

Frank Lehman
Harvard University, Ph.D. Candidate in Music Theory
flehman at fas.harvard.edu

On 17 July 2011 04:22, Eytan Agmon <agmonz at 012.net.il> wrote:

> Nicolas wrote:****
> ** **
> “As to Y–X–Y as a ‘model of prolongation’, I can only repeat that this
> would form an excessively superficial view of the process. There is only one
> ‘Y’, that which is prolonged; the prolongation does not consist in splitting
> Y in two in order to insert X between the two parts, but in letting Y grow.
> ‘X’, if any, fully belongs to Y, of which it is an organic outgrowth.
> Schenker's thought is not an easy one; it certainly never is ‘naïve’.”
> Suppose that the “Y-X-Y model” includes a relationship between Y and Y-X-Y.
> Then certainly Nicolas’s first objection is overcome (“there is only one
> ‘Y’, that which is prolonged”). As to his second objection, I think we need
> to have a clearer sense of what it means to “let Y grow” (or “let X grow
> organically out of Y”) before we can judge the “Y-X-Y model” in this sense
> as a “superficial” or “naïve” interpretation of Schenkerian Prolongation.*
> ***
> ** **
> Eytan Agmon****
> Bar-Ilan University  ****
> ** **
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