Modes of Communication in Stravinsky’s Works : Sign and Expression book cover
1st Edition

Modes of Communication in Stravinsky’s Works
Sign and Expression

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 17, 2021
ISBN 9781032111087
December 17, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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 literate and Stravinsky the musician.

Table of Contents


Part I: Sign and Expression in Communication



1.1.1. The point of departure

1.1.2. Discourses of a musical work

The multi-layered triad

1.2.1 Ogden

1.2.2 Agawu

1.2.3 A multi-layered triad

1.2.4 Literacy

1.2.5 Bacon

1.2.6 A complete communication model

Stravinsky’s background and languages

1.3.1 St. Petersburg

1.3.2 Suisse/France

1.3.3 Religion

1.3.4 America

The Aesthetics

1.4.1 A grid

1.4.2 Quotes from Stravinsky

1.4.3 Comments and critiques of Stravinsky’s aesthetics

1.4.4 Adorno

The Logics

1.5.1 An operational grid

1.5.2 Some aspects from semiotics and linguistics

1.5.3 Some statements from Stravinsky

1.5.4 Bacon’s idols

1.6 The Ethics

1.6.1 The ethical grid

1.6.2 The listening process

1.6.3 The composer in action

1.7 Postlude


Part II: Modes of Communication in Stravinsky’s music

2.0 Notation

2.1 Music Notation and Literacy in Music

A historical approach

2.2 A study of Stravinsky’s notation practice

An empirical approach

2.2.1 Design

2.2.2 Results

2.3 Vocabulary, concepts and adjustments

A semiotic approach

2.4 Musicians’ music reading practices

A cognitive approach

2.4.1 Music reading

2.4.2 Approaching the music notation

2.4.3 Elements in Stravinsky’s notation practice

2.5 Stravinsky’s performances and recordings

A critical approach

2.5.1 The composer as performer

2.5.2 Some case studies

2.5.3 Reliability and validity





1 Work categories

2 Vocabulary

3 Works in the Serial period

4 Shorted and stretched notes


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