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Semiology in Music and Art: Czech Music Semiology

Basic information
Original title:Semiology in Music and Art: Czech Music Semiology
Author:Lubomír Spurný
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Original language:English
Field:Art, architecture, cultural heritage
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Type:Chapter of a book
Keywords:Semiology; Music; Music Semiology; Music Analysis

With help of music semiology, it’s possible to interpret the syntax of music and the process of structuring a musical work; semiology thus becomes part of music theory. Semiology (at least as a music-oriented pragmatic system) can be an inspiration to music sociology, historiography, ethnomusicology. Not even the emancipatory tendencies of the last few decades have deprived semiology of its links to aesthetics. It is still true that questions of signs and meanings in music is one of the key problems of music aesthetics. Its study offers three possible approaches with, of course, a range of varieties and cross-currents. The most radical approach denies that music carries any sign, or even a communicative status. A second approach, let’s call it “non-semiotic formalism”, connects the meaning of a work with the way it is structured and modelled at all levels. The third approach acknowledges that music is a sign structure of its own kind and that musical signs have specific meanings.