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Posted on Mar 21, 2013 in Academic Assignments, Semantic Musicology | 0 comments

Conceptual Metaphor and Conceptual Blending as Central Processes for Music Perception

Conceptual Metaphor and Conceptual Blending as Central Processes for Music Perception

Conceptual Metaphor and Conceptual Blending as Central Processes for Music Perception

Introduction:

Various publications argue that music uses some of the mental software that is used by language as well. (Comp. Pinker 1989, Jackendoff/Lehrdahl 1983, Patel 2008, Fitch 2006, Patel/Peretz 1997)

Patel and Peretz (1997) state, that Music and Language are “labels for complex sets of processes, some of which are shared and some different” (Patel/Peretz 1997: 208)

Music and language are two cognitive systems that are unique to humans. For both cases, music perception and speech perception, the structuring, conceptualization, categorization, and integration of the respective auditory stimuli is the precondition for an understanding. Patel and Peretz examine if music and language are autonomous from each other. Their findings suggest, that music and language as cognitive domains are not independent from each other, but share some cognitive processes.

The meaning of music is never literal, e.g. music cannot narrate even a simple idea or folk concept, such as “tree” or “chair”, or a simple plot, such as “John takes the bus to go to work” in any of its varying idioms. Music can generate referential meaning by onomatopoeia, or imitation, e.g. by imitating the sounds of nature such as birdsong, thunder, the falling of rain, etc. Music cannot, however, express everyday abstract concepts, such as e.g. love, hate, argument, or education. There are symbols in music, arrived at by convention, that “stand for” ideas, such as the sound of the trombone for death in church music, or the trumpet for triumph, there are motifs, that refer to an extramusical reality, such as the dies irae as a symbol for The Last Day, or national anthems that are symbols for the members of the respective nation. This kind of musical meaning belongs to the semiotics of music…

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Excerpt from: https://alexjandausch.wordpress.com/papers-and-drafts/

 

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