[Smt-talk] You say structure I say structuralism lets

Ildar Khannanov etudetableau at gmail.com
Sat Jul 12 21:56:17 PDT 2014

Dear Murray,

agree, ah those continentals! Reminds me the phrase from the Adams Family,
You're so continental ! addressed to a vampire.

That structure and function should be closer related and
examined--sure! Dokei d'autois arkhas einai ton holon duo: to poiun kai to
paskhon. to men oun paskhon einai apoioun ousian ten hulen, to de poioun
ton en aute logon ton theon. This crazy formulation was provided by Zeno of
Chitteum at the time when the Contintent to the West was populated by

The causes of the whole are two: the active and passive. The passive is an
unmade essence of hule (clay); the active is the words of god.

I guess, the structure (something that is built) is the product of active
cause (making) applied to the passive substance (clay, or, as in Latin
translation, wild forest, silva).

If I read your thought correctly, the structure is not a passive material
but the product of action (of function) on that passive material.
Unfortunately, music theorists often take structure for granted, as if
it were something given and passive by itself. Sometimes they even try to
dissociate structure from function (as in non-functional pitch centricity).
All our patterns, embellishments, collections and sets are clay in Greek
terms. They become structure only after function is applied.

Best wishes,

Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Institute
etudetableau at gmail.com

2014-07-12 9:05 GMT-04:00 Phillip Dineen <murraydineen at uottawa.ca>:

>  Oh those stretch Continentals. What a hangover.
>  Presumably the structuralists were looking at some kind of structure.
> Perhaps historically the functionalists -- Radcliffe Brown, Propp? --
> stopped at that point, and concerned themselves with only the function of
> (structural) elements within a system. (Perhaps as theorists we're
> functional.) But following the insights of Saussure (or his students), some
> folks took that a little further, suggesting that the nature of the
> functional elements determined the structure (not vice versa, or maybe vice
> versa, or probably both -- I'm simplifying here).
>  I don't think most music theorists have gone that far, although it comes
> to mind that articles by Roland Jackson (ITO, mid 80's) and the late Chris
> Lewis (19thCM) might have touched upon structural thought. (I'm forgetting
> others, memory being a thing of the past.)
>  Cleaning the Derrida out of the way so I can get at the coffee.
>  Murray (dineen)
> University of Ottawa
> murraydineen at uottawa.ca
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