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Ideas of Time in Music : A Philosophico-logical Investigation Applied to Works of Alberto Ginastera (1916 - 1983)

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Title: Ideas of Time in Music : A Philosophico-logical Investigation Applied to Works of Alberto Ginastera (1916 - 1983)
Author: Calleja, Marianela
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, Musicology
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Abstract: This thesis proposes temporal conceptions that stem from philosophical inquiry, such as linear time, cyclical time and branching time, to then find a connection with the way music is structured and with musical meaning. I consider ontological and phenomenological approaches to the problem of time and music in order to demonstrate this.

The central aim of this investigation is to build bridges and dissolve the opposition between time taken (clock time) vs. time evoked (conceptual time) in studies on time and music. Lewis Rowell, Jonathan Kramer, Jos Kunst and Alan Marsden s contributions are going to be taken as the main references. I consider the ontological approach as extremely literal since linearity, circularity and branching time are not explored there as concepts defining the meaning of music, but as abstract orders in time for music being processed, viewed from an exclusively technical point of view. In turn, the phenomenological approach does not generally link music to philosophical developments, it just describes general cultural conceptions of time. This thesis interprets the temporal modes of the phenomenological approach as highly coincident with the temporal ontologies in the ontological approach, as seen through developments in temporal logic.

Temporal logic, a branch of the classical logic, is used as a methodological trigger. Here the work of Arthur Prior is going to be taken as reference. Temporal logic first formalises, then clarifies, and finally validates assertions expressing temporal beliefs. The hypothesis of this thesis, that temporal conceptions are expressed through music, having in this case the power to explain at least its primary meaning, uses temporal logic as a bridging symbolism. In this sense, a comparison between music and language within a broader analysis is undertaken, before developing ideas of logic and temporal logic within musical practice.

In particular, in my study of some works by the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (1916 1983), I illustrate the idea of a multi-temporality, i.e. the same composer works with several time structures already available by a cumulative process in the history of ideas.

The thesis finds there is a special type of time in music─neither an exclusive musical time as a totally separate time species; nor Time in music, in an abstract de-subjectified view. Thus, a cooperative, synthetic position is defended. Secondly, music represents by means of its distinct elements something inherent to itself, which links with concepts of time (ideas), and by using these elements in certain conventional ways, displays culturally conditioned temporal meanings. Thirdly, music displays a kind of temporal logic, although an extended view comparing it with the exclusively linear logic of music as conceived by the formalist tradition in musicology. It is also an aesthetically oriented approach different from the temporal logic as applied in literal representations of music in computing areas. Finally, I argue for a new musical temporal mode, the actual branched time in music (in the sense of parallel times), through the addition of a theoretical background for this mode in musicological studies.Ideas of Time in Music states that music is not only a source of pleasure but also a source of knowledge. We learn something about time with music, not only in the primal sense of understanding dimensions, but in the profound sense that music meditates, through sound, ideas about time. Linear, cyclical, and branching time conceptions external to music find a connection with music s internal structure and meaning. In order to demonstrate this, issues of musical ontology, musical language, and musical logic are developed. In addition, the main philosophical perspectives on time, ontological and phenomenological, are combined for a more comprehensive account of time in music. Alberto Ginastera s music is analysed at the end as an example of how the time of music helps in constructing its meaning.
URI: URN:ISBN:978-952-10-8993-0
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/40017
Date: 2013-06-28
Copyright information: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
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