[Smt-talk] the impossibility of listening

Giorgio Sanguinetti giorgio_sanguinetti at fastwebnet.it
Wed Oct 31 16:48:38 PDT 2012

I wonder why extracting informations about the way music works listening to Rigoletto should be "virtually impossible", while doing the same  with, say, Mahler sixth symphony should be relatively easy. Am I mischievous if I suspect that they wanted to say "pointless" instead? Isn't it a terrible waste of time spending so much trouble analyzing that messy Italian stuff?

Giorgio Sanguinetti

Il giorno 31/ott/2012, alle ore 21:04, Richard Cohn ha scritto:

> I just received a copy of A History of Opera, a new book co-authored by Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker. In their preface, they write that "at a very early stage... we we decided that this history would contain no musical examples...we wanted to write a book without reference to musical scores." After the usual justification about not wanting to swamp readers with anything that might be challenging to their technical facility, they write the following: "Readers will look in vain for abstract structural analyses of music, or extended descriptions of notes interacting with each other: that kind of information, although relatively easy --- with training --- to extract from a score, is virtually impossible to extract from listening to or attending an opera."
> Without further comment on my part, I thought this was a sufficiently provocative set of claims that I would just pass it on to the community for savoring, in advance our congregation in New Orleans. 
> --Rick Cohn
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Giorgio Sanguinetti
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