Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

My music studies began in the public schools under Vernon Ludwig and Jim Reynolds; my professional life as a music teacher and scholar has been possible only because of the existence of such programs and the efforts of these educators. In my undergraduate studies at Humboldt State University I was fortunate to learn from Frank Marks, Charles Moon, Hubert Kennemer, and our instrument technician and mentor-in-residence Dan Gurnée, each of whose encouragement and lessons have contributed to the...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Like many music students, I spent a good deal of my undergraduate and graduate coursework in music theory focusing on musical structure and making more or less factual observations about how the various elements of music fit together in particular works and styles. Since I enjoyed this kind of study, for my doctoral thesis I planned to take the same approach in analyzing the music of Debussy. But then one day the stove in my apartment stopped working, the repairman came over, and we started chatting. He asked if I was a student up at the college, and I said yes, and that I was studying...

Part 1: Theoretical Background

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1. Mimetic Comprehension

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pp. 11-35

If music cognition is embodied in a musically meaningful way, in the flesh of experience, then we ought to be able to specify just how this occurs. One way begins in imitation of musical sounds and of the physical exertions that produce them. This bodily comprehension of sounds and of sound-producing actions is one of the bases of embodied cognition of music, and it is the central basis that we will be exploring in the following chapters.

The issue of musical embodiment may be relatively straightforward in the case of performers, in the sense that performing, planning,...

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2. Mimetic Comprehension of Music

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pp. 36-57

The twenty principles of the mimetic hypothesis that I describe in this chapter are meant to specify the nature of mimetic comprehension of music.1 The role of mimetic comprehension in music conceptualization (chaps. 4–6) and in the creation of musical affect (chaps. 8 and 9) reflects the details and variables considered here. Although the extent of variability means that mimetic processes do not provide a uniform basis for conceptualization and affective responses, this variability appears to be integral to the nature of musical experience, conceptualization, and meaning....

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3. Metaphor and Related Means of Reasoning

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pp. 58-82

Throughout each day we implicitly and explicitly ask What is that? and the most direct way in which we answer this question is via categorization, as in naming or recognizing things according animal species, kinds of vegetables, types of musical instruments, and so on. This basic question often takes the richer form of How shall we understand this? which we sometimes answer via metaphor—that is, by conceptualizing something from one category in terms of another category to which it normally does not belong. Literary examples, such as Shakespeare’s prating stones (Macbeth) and Maya...

Part 2: Spatial Conceptions

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4. Pitch Height

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pp. 85-108

“Pitch height” refers to the apparent height of musical pitches: for the most part, height is not a perceptible property of sounds, but the sense that melodies ascend and descend, and that some notes are higher or lower than others, is both strongly motivated and logical. It is the sense and logic of fictional and illusory height that is at issue in this chapter.1

We can begin this exploration by asking what is high about high notes. Various answers may come to mind, perhaps having to do with frequencies, staff notation, and so forth, all of which are part of the story...

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5. Temporal Motion and Musical Motion

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pp. 109-133

In this chapter I focus on the “horizontal dimension” of musical motion and space. Unlike the concept of pitch height, there is no component of the concept of musical motion, as defined below, that directly involves literal motion. Or, as Viktor Zuckerkandl (1956) and Judy Lochhead (1989–90) have argued, in most cases musical motion is entirely imaginary. Even more than with pitch height, musical motion is thus not perceptible: what we hear and feel is something other than motion, which we then conceptualize metaphorically as motion. The proposition that we do not hear musical motion...

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6. Perspectives on Musical Motion

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pp. 134-160

The other day I reached a milestone—several of them in fact. Near my home is a former railroad line that has been converted to a bike trail, and along this path are milestones: mile markers, made of stone, indicating the distance to the next large city. When used metaphorically to conceptualize significant events in one’s life, milestone is an expression of the conceptual metaphor STATES ARE LOCATIONS and its corollaries, as are curriculum vita (life course), the “verge” of a scientific “break-through,” the concept of “eccentricity,” and the difficulty of “bringing oneself to believe,” for example, that temporal...

Part 3: Beyond Musical Space

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7. Music and the External Senses

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pp. 163-175

Beyond the spatial metaphors examined in chapters 4–6 are those that draw upon the various senses to conceptualize properties of pitch, timbre, and strength, such as color (chromaticism; timbre as color), clarity, brightness/darkness, softness (piano), strength (forte), warmth, sharpness, sweetness (dolce), and so forth. But as useful as such particular concepts may be, and as interesting as the reasoning processes that produce them may be, in this chapter I focus on the broader topic of how the external senses shape our relationship with the world, including our relationship with...

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8. Musical Affect

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pp. 176-199

The analyses in chapters 4–7 help to show how our musical concepts are conceptualizations of experiences that are seldom if ever simply a matter of what is heard. Musical experience in general also includes what we see, do, and feel, whether we are actually performing or whether we are listening to, recalling, or otherwise thinking about music. In what we have considered so far, the feeling component includes the following: the feelings of overt and covert exertions (actual and imagined actions), in both mimetic and nonmimetic forms; the feelings of the anticipation-presence-memory dynamic; the feelings...

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9. Applications

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pp. 200-220

In this chapter I offer three demonstrations of how the ideas in the preceding chapters, particularly chapter 8, might be applied. For this purpose I have chosen the opening of the fourth of Webern’s Five Movements for String Quartet (1909) to represent posttonal music performed directly by human exertions, Stockhausen’s electronic work Studie II (1954) to represent postcorporeal music, and the topic of dissonance treatment in Western tonal music. I have chosen the Webern and the Stockhausen because the role of affect might seem less obviously relevant here than in some other kinds of music,...

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10. Review and Implications

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pp. 221-230

I have described what I take to be some fundamental processes in musical experience and conceptualization. In addition to specific processes, this includes an essential variability in how these play out in different musical practices, among different individuals, and even for a given individual at different points in one’s life. Specialists might rightly note the many sources I have excluded and the avenues I have only pointed toward or overlooked, but I have attempted to offer a coherent story of the relationship among metaphor, embodiment, and affect—or among concept, flesh, and feeling. I want to close...

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Appendix I. Mimetic Subvocalization and Absolute Pitch

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pp. 231-232

Absolute pitch (AP) is, loosely speaking, the ability to recognize the pitch of a sound by ear and/or to sing a given note without the aid of an instrument. Traditionally this is implicitly understood to involve nonmimetic processes, and if AP truly is nonmimetic, then this has implications for the overall relevance of the mimetic hypothesis, particularly because of the number of music academics who possess AP and the likelihood that this ability might shape how such scholars think about music and how they teach others...

Appendix II. Levels of Abstraction among Metaphors

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pp. 233-236

Notes

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pp. 237-256

Bibliography

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pp. 257-272

Index

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pp. 273-288

About the Author

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p. 289