1st Edition

Modes of Communication in Stravinsky’s Works Sign and Expression

By Per Dahl Copyright 2022
    240 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Igor Stravinsky left behind a complex heritage of music and ideas. There are many examples of discrepancies between his literate statements about music and musicians and his musical compositions and activity. Per Dahl presents a model of communication that unveils a clear and logical understanding of Stravinsky's heritage, based on the extant material available. From this, Dahl argues the case for Stravinsky’s music and his ideas as separate entities, representing different modes of communication. As well as describing a triangular model of communication, based on a tilted and extended version of Ogden's triangle, Dahl presents an empirical investigation of Stravinsky's vocabulary of signs and expressions in his published scores - his communicative mode towards musicians. In addition to simple statistics, Dahl compares the notation practice in the composer’s different stylistic epochs as well as his writing for different sizes of ensembles. Dahl also considers Stravinsky’s performances and recordings as modes of communication to investigate whether the multi-layered model can soften the discrepancies between Stravinsky the literary and Stravinsky the musician.


    Part I: Sign and expression in communication


    1 Prelude

    1.1. The point of departure

    1.2. Discourses of a musical work

    2 The multi-layered triad

    2.1 Ogden

    2.2 Agawu

    2.3 A multi-layered triad

    2.4 Literacy

    2.5 Bacon

    2.6 A complete communication model

    3 Stravinsky’s background and languages

    3.1 St. Petersburg

    3.2 Suisse/France

    3.3 Religion

    3.4 America

    4 The Aesthetics

    4.1 A grid

    4.2 Quotes from Stravinsky

    4.3 Comments and critiques of Stravinsky’s aesthetics

    4.4 Adorno

    5 The Logics

    5.1 The operational grid

    5.2 Some aspects from semiotics and linguistics

    5.3 Some statements from Stravinsky

    5.4 Bacon’s idols

    6 The Ethics

    6.1 The ethical grid

    6.2 The listening process

    6.3 The composer in action

    7 Postlude


    Part II: Modes of Communication in Stravinsky’s music

    8 Notation

    9 Music notation and literacy in music: a historical approach

    10 A study of Stravinsky’s notation practice: an empirical approach

    10.1 Design

    10.2  Results

    11 Vocabulary, concepts and adjustments: a semiotic approach

    12 Musicians’ music reading practices: a cognitive approach

    12.1 Music reading

    12.2 Approaching the music notation

    12.3 Elements in Stravinsky’s notation practice

    13 Stravinsky’s  recordings and performances: a critical approach

    13.1 The composer as performer

    13.2 Some case studies

    13.3 Reliability and validity





    1 Work categories

    2 Vocabulary

    3 Works in the Serial period

    4 Shorted and stretched notes



    Per Dahl is Professor of Music at the University of Stavanger, Norway.