Časopis Slovo a slovesnost
en cz

Řeč hudby a řeč o hudbě

František Daneš

[Články]

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The speech of music and speech about music

A B S T R A C T
This essay discusses several topics concerning the relations between language (linguistics) and music (musicology). The first section deals with the problems of the semiotic interpretation of music (instrumental and absolute) and finds that the difficulties in arriving at clear-cut solutions to them follow from the problematic and unclear status of the signatum of musical works. In the following section, the question of “musical content” is discussed on the basis of two classically opposing standpoints: aesthetic autonomy and aesthetic heteronomy. A further issue examined is the existential mode of musical works (with emphasis on their interpretive essence) and the position of “text” in musical discourse. A small set of established Italian and Czech terms indicating the manner of execution are examined and their semantic vagueness and heterogeneity stated. The final section briefly comments on the various manners and genres of talking and writing about music. In particular, several texts from sleeve notes are critically examined and the usefulness as well as the problematic musicological status and mixed linguo-stylistic qualities of various concert guides, program booklets, etc. are examined.

S U M M A R Y
This essay discusses several topics concerning relations between language (linguistics) and music (musicology). The first section deals with the problems of the semiotic interpretation of music (instrumental and absolute) and finds that the difficulties in arriving at clear-cut solutions to them follow from the problematic and unclear status of the signatum of musical works. In the following sections, the question of “musical contents” is discussed on the basis of two classically opposing standpoints: aesthetic autonomy and aesthetic heteronomy (in recent wording). According to the author, music does not, sensu stricto, express emotions etc., but rather, evokes them, and not them alone. It simply activates the entirety of the listener’s psychological and spiritual faculties, life experiences, momentary dispositions, and stimulates his or her imagination and creativity. This is all in integral unity with the corresponding physical responses. Thus the process of musical comprehension has an outspoken synesthetic character. In this context, the evasive nature of the phenomenon of emotion has also been touched upon. A further issue discussed is the existential mode of musical works and the position of “text” in musical discourse. The author agrees with Jiránek’s (1988a) statement that it is the live performance and perception of musical works which represent the musical text itself, and that music is an interpretive kind of art. This approach implies two relevant points. The first is that identity of a musical composition is realized through the set of all possible various interpretations (by particular performing artists), and the second is that the features in the rather complex structure of a composition enable the performer to interpret it, in a creative way, rather freely (within the limits given by a relatively few fixed values at the core). In this essay, a small set of established Italian and Czech terms indicating the manner of execution are examined and their semantic vagueness and heterogeneity stated. The final section only briefly comments on the various manners and genres of talking and writing about music. In particular, several texts from sleeve notes are critically examined and the usefulness as well as the problematic musicological status and mixed linguo-stylistic qualities (esp. immoderately emotional and metaphorical style) of various concert guides, program booklets, etc., are examined.

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Ústav pro jazyk český AV ČR
Letenská 4, 118 51 Praha 1

Slovo a slovesnost, ročník 66 (2005), číslo 1, s. 3-18

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Následující Radek Čech: Limity (nejen lingvistického) strukturalismu