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Speaking of MusicAddressing the Sonorous$
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Keith Chapin and Andrew H. Clark

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251384

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251384.001.0001

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Speaking of Music

Speaking of Music

(p.19) Speaking of Music
Speaking of Music

Lawrence Kramer

Fordham University Press

Speaking of music is widely thought to be a problem either because what music expresses cannot be put into words, or because only the special language of musical technique is adequate to describe music, or both. Both reasons are mistaken. Both derive from misunderstandings of language and music alike. Music is not unusual in resisting full representation in language, nor is it unusual in presenting features open to a special vocabulary. To speak of music effectively is not to deny these traits but to use them. In the largest sense, even works of music can sometimes be heard to comment on themselves: to speak of music. The Funeral March from Beethoven's Piano Sonata no. 12 in A-flat, Op. 26, is one such piece, which makes it especially useful in demonstrating how and why speaking of music means—that is, should mean–using language freely, resonantly, and with all of its resources in play.

Keywords:   Ludwig van Beethoven, musical meaning, musical analysis, Funeral March Sonata, Ineffability, Hermeneutics, Imagetext, Martin Heidegger

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