42 Years of Popular Music Analysis
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42 Years of Popular Music Analysis

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42 Years of Popular Music Analysis




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Presentation on theme: "42 Years of Popular Music Analysis"— Presentation transcript:

Slide1

42 Years of Popular Music AnalysisTeaching in 21 Minutes [2 years per minute]

Philip TaggVisiting Professor, Universities of Huddersfield and Salford (UK)www.tagg.org

http://tagg.org/Clips/Nantes130531.mp4 or http://youtu.be/GbDG8ApNhRs must be accessible

A short audit of a few problems in the denotation ofmusical structure, with suggestions for improvement

Presentation at Popular Music Analysis Conference,University of Liverpool, 4 July, 2013

Previous versions ‘The Trouble with Tonal Terminology', ‘Too Important to Fail', etc. presented in Rome, Glasgow,

Århus

,

Göteborg

, Durham, Liverpool (2011); Newcastle, Lancaster, Nottingham, Berlin, Granada, London (City), Manchester, Granada,

Cáceres

,

Huddersfield

(2012), Cambridge (Anglia), Naples, Trento, Nantes (2013).

Slide2

Overviewpresentation overview as intended in Liverpool, 4 July 2013

‘Time’

‘Totality' or ‘form’

Que faire?

Background and aim

‘Tonality’

Slide3

BACKGROUND

Slide4

Background [potted CV 1]

1957-62 Organ, composition, trad. jazz1962-65 BA in Music (Cambridge); Scottish country dancing, soul/R&B1963 -66 Cert. Ed. (Manchester); mainstream blues/jazz, pop demos1966-71 Various gigging combos (Sweden)1971 Full time employment as music teacher

‘unusually eclectic’

Slide5

Background [potted CV 2]

1968-72 Choir (sing & arr.)1971-76 Agitrock band1971-78 Keyboard harmony, etc.1971- History and analysis (incl. euroclass., pop, jazz, ‘world’, etc.)1993- Music & Moving Image courses1998-2001 EPMOW articles2009 Everyday Tonality2012 Music’s Meanings: a musicology for non-musos

Slide6

Visited 2012-05-03

Slide7

Sets and subsets (1)

Rain

Hail

Snow

‘MUSIC’

‘popular’

‘ethno

‘world’

‘dance’

‘contemporary’‘medieval’‘jazz’etc.

‘avant-garde

‘early’

‘rock’

etc.

Slide8

TONALITY

Slide9

Sets and subsets (2)

Rain

Hail

Snow

Euroclassical

c. 1730 – 1910

― ‘functional’ (!?)―

—‘tonal’ (!?)—

‘modal’

‘pretonal’ (!)‘posttonal’ (!?)

‘contemporary’‘medieval’‘jazz’etc.

‘atonal

’ (!?)

‘primitive’

etc.

Slide10

Tonal Terminology

Aspects of musical structure compatible with Western notation:

i.e. a system of graphic representation developed to encode mainly

monometric

music whose pitches conform to the twelve notes of our chromatically divided octave.

(a v. small % of all music at any time anywhere)

Slide11

Basic definitions

TONE : note with audible fundamental pitchTONAL : consisting or characteristic of tonesTONALITY : system of tonal configurationTONIC : central reference tone in relation to which other tones in a piece or extract of music are audibly related One problem :Tonalité/tonalidad/tonalità, etc. = key/Tonart—idiome tonal for ‘tonality’/‘Tonalität’— ?

PLEASE DISTINGUISH

between

TONE

and

TONIC

Slide12

‘ATONAL’ !?

Slide13

Linguistic derivative pattern 1— -al -ality

Noun Adjective Abstract noun

root derivative derivative

brute brutal brutality

crime criminal criminality

form formal formality

mode modal modality

TONE TONAL TONALITY

Slide14

Linguistic derivative pattern 2 -ic -ical (-icality/-icism)

Noun Adjective Noun Adjectivecleric clerical clinic clinicalcomic comical critic criticalethic[s] ethical lyric[s] lyricalmagic magical music musicalmystic mystical physic[s] physicalsceptic sceptical rhetoric rhetoricaltactic[s] tactical topic topicaltropic[s] tropical Abstr. n. musicality, physicality, topicality OR criticism, mysticism, scepticism HENCE TONICALITY OR TONICISM

ergo: ATONICAL or NON-TONICAL, ATONICALITY,etc.

TONIC TONICAL

Slide15

Tonality v. Modality

ionian

(heptatonic/diatonic)phrygian (heptatonic/diatonic)Nawa Athar (heptatonic) نوى أثر

doh-pentatonic (anhemitonic)ré-pentatonic (anhemitonic)hirajoshi (pos. 4: hemitonic, pentatonic)

Which of these modes are tonal and which are modal?

Slide16

Chordal mystery category

QUARTAL

‘triadic’? ‘functional’ ? ‘diatonic’?

TERTIAL

PLEASE DISTINGUISH

TETRAD

FOURTH

TRIAD

THIRD

Slide17

Tonal terminology conclusions

Don’t confuse TONE with TONIC. Tonal music without

a tonic is ATONICAL, not ‘atonal’.

Don’t confuse TRIADs with THIRDS. If harmony based

on stacked fourths is

quartal

, harmony based on stacked

thirds is TERTIAL.

Don’t propagate false contradictions like ‘TONAL v.

MODAL’. Please

conceptualise

all modes, including the

ionian

, as

modes. Please also consider all modes as tonal.

Don’t use TONAL and TONALITY in a musically,

culturally and intellectually restrictive manner. Please

consider

the MULTIPLICITY of TONALITIES (tonal systems).

Slide18

TIME

SORRY. NO TIME FOR TIME THIS TIME

except to mention just a few terms

Slide19

Time: a few problem terms —under construction—

syncopation polyrhythmpolymetricitycross-rhythmextendedpresent

— only possible in monometric music with unequivocal downbeats— arises when >1 rhythmic pattern is heard at the same time— more accurate designation of rhythmic traits in many Subsaharan musics— term used by Subsaharan music scholars and practitioners to cover ‘polymetricity’ (a eurocentric term)— neuroscientifically established concept essential to understanding how batches of ‘now sound’ (syncrisis, groove, etc.) work

Slide20

FORM

“a shape; an arrangement of parts”

(

Concise Oxford Dictionary

, 1995)

Slide21

Visual “form” (‘composition’, ‘shape’, etc.)

Musical “form” (‘composition’?)

Exposition | Exposition | Development | Recapitulation

Chorus | Chorus

|

Middle 8/Bridge

| Chorus

A | A | B | A

diachronic, extensional form

synchronic, intensional form

vessel

formed as a coffee pot

bush

formed

as a

mushroom

Slide22

Play video

http://tagg.org/Clips/Nantes130531.mp4

or

http://youtu.be/GbDG8ApNhRs

Slide23

QUE FAIRE?

Slide24

What to do? (1)

Ostrich

strategy.

‘Nothing

is wrong’. Carry on as

usual.

‘We may be in the minority but we’re always right

.’

Defeatist (‘realist’) strategy.

T

ake

note but no

action:

‘interesting; some valid points but we have to deal with

music theory “as is”. You can’t

change >

100 years of

dubiously ethnocentric

labelling

. Get used to it!’

Tokenist

strategy.

‘We’re broad-minded and modern.

We have ethnomusicology and/or popular music

studies and/or music technology on the curriculum but

we see no need to change the basics of music theory.

Laissez-faire (‘anti-authoritarian’) strategy

. New terms

are as bad as old ones. You’re forcing everyone to

think like you. Let things develop organically, man!

Slide25

What to do (2)?

Risk

alienation from conservative musicology

(both ancient and modern) by making life easier

for the popular majority of students through:

- simple reform of a few basic terms;

- recognition of vernacular musical competence;

- reintegration of music as a specific form of

symbolic production on a par with others.

Slide26

What to do (3)

Establish a forum of interested parties in music education, media education, etc.Get together to decide on priorities for a reform of music theory terminology.Involve experts from as many musical territories as possible so as to minimise risks of producing new ethnocentric concepts.Collaborate across cultural, disciplinary and professional boundaries to produce a music theory primer (max. 100 pp.) to take us into the 21st-century and the age of globalisation.

Slide27

Further edification

Music’s Meanings: a modern musicology for non-musos (2013) tagg.org/mmmsp/publications.htmll [710 pp.]

Everyday Tonality

(2009)

tagg.org/mmmsp/publications.html [334 pp.]

Dominants and Dominance

Musical Learning & Epistemic Diffraction

Scotch Snaps: the big picture

Troubles with Tonal Terminology

(2011-13)

—tagg.org/articles/

xpdfs

/Aharonian2011.pdf [32 pp.]

‘Not the sort of thing you could photocopy’

(2013)

A short idea history of notation with suggestions for reform in music education and research [21 pp.]

—tagg.org/articles/

xpdfs

/Frith1301.pdf

Slide28

THE END

Philip

Tagg

— tagg.org — MMXIII