[Smt-talk] missing citations was theory of film music

Phillip Dineen murraydineen at uottawa.ca
Thu Jul 10 07:19:53 PDT 2014

Someone accused me privately of being even more oblique than usual in my most recent post. The McHose I was referring to is Allen McHose, late of the Eastman School of Music, and the book I am thinking of was introduced to me by William Caplin a few years ago when teaching at McGill. It is called Contrapuntal Harmonic Technique of the 18th Century, notable for its statistical analyses (this was the 1950's) of Bach chorale style characteristics. Charles Seeger wrote copiously on the subject of musical analysis from what could be construed as a structuralist-informed point of view. Taylor Greer has written a book on Seeger's philosophy. There is a collection of Seeger's essays published in 1977 entitled Studies in Musicology 1935-1975 (by which he meant systematic musicology, I believe), and therein you will find essays with titles like "Speech, Music, and Speech about Music," and "The Musical Compositional Process as a Function in a Nest of Functions and in Itself a Nest of Functions" (whew!).

My point was twofold. There are antecedents for structuralist-like thought in music theory, and these might prove useful at least in filmed music studies, since so much of film studies was informed by structuralist thought, as perhaps was the case in music theory, albeit tacitly. (That's four points, at least, but who's counting.)

Murray Dineen
University of Ottawa
pdineen at uottawa.ca

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