CMS 367 Rhetoric and Popular Music 8-28 to 10-23

CMS 367 Rhetoric and Popular Music 8-28 to 10-23 - CMS 367...

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CMS 367 Rhetoric and Popular Music Thursday 8-28-08 I. Intro a. Intensity b. Listening is radically subjective i. Each person’s music choice is not the same due to past experiences, likes, dislikes, etc. ii. The way in which we talk about musical rhetoric (the way you and I talk about musical intensities/use music) c. Rhetoric of music = what people do with it i. Use your passion of popular music to get through difficult material ii. This class enables you to talk about your music in an intelligent way II. What is intensity? a. Vernacular definition i. “Deeply felt”, “profound”, “tending to feel deeply”; After you get off a rollercoaster ride, you might say “Whoa, that was intense!” ii. Language eludes us when trying to communicate intensity b. The “ineffability” (incapable of being communicated) of music i. Paradox of intensity 1. Musical intensity is something that is felt and not said. a. This is the reason for the paradox of intensity i. 2 contradictory claims/principles: 1. Musical experience is ineffable 2. People will talk about their musical experiences ii. The adjective 1. The adjective is tautological, but it is the best we have to describe music – it is the basic unit. c. Modes of Communication (Larry Gross) i. Pure and “derived” modes (Popular music is a derived mode of communication – one tends to dominate and that is the musical mode) 1. 5 basic modes: (a mode is a state – a condition of being and rather often come in combo’s) a. Linguistic mode of communication i. Language – having something to do with the adjective. b. Sociogestural mode of communication i. Ex: Dance – but not limited to. c. Iconic mode of communication i. Images, pictures, etc. ii. Ex: MTV d. Logicomathematical of communication i. Concerned with number, reasoning – the closest academics have come to the study of music e. Musical mode of communication ii. The problem of translation (problem with moving from one mode of communication to another) 1. Moving from the mode of music to the mode of language a. Something get’s lost in translation b. Artist’s are the ones who are named for being able to translate in between modes
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i. Poet’s ii. Music critics 2. Musicology = translation into mathematicological a. Writing about music; the academic study of music b. The dominant translation is musical notation 3. “Rhetoric of music” = translation into linguistic mode III. Lauren Hill’s “To Zion” a. Analyzing the song systematically: i. Lyrics: 1. Lines 1-4 a. It immediately cues 2 meanings: i. Zion is Utopia – refers to a community that lives in peace and harmony 1. It is a place or a goal that cannot be reached 2. Zion refers to the Old Testament Jews 3. It refers to “Hope” a. The promise of something better, even if that something never arrives b. The whole reason of hoping is to not know the outcome ii. It also refers to her first born child that she named Zion 2. Lines 5-6 a. Religious reference i. Not secular, but spiritual
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2009 for the course CMS 367 taught by Professor Browning during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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CMS 367 Rhetoric and Popular Music 8-28 to 10-23 - CMS 367...

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