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Welcome to JMM10!

Now with Rolling Publication

As previously announced, JMM: The Journal of Music and Meaning will, from this issue and onwards, publish articles as they become ready for publication. We hope you will enjoy following the development of this new format!

Full Issue PDF

Full Issue PDF Posted on Jul 07, 2012 11:36AM

We are pleased to announce that every issue of JMM from JMM9 and onwards will now also appear as a full PDF document, once the issue has been completed. A full PDF document of JMM10 can be downloaded here.

For the full PDF version of JMM9, please see the website for JMM9.


Editorial Posted on Jul 07, 2012 11:28AM

Read the Editorial for JMM10 here.

“Creavolution” with Trevor Wishart

Research Reports Posted on Apr 27, 2012 02:45PM

This article is part interview, part research report. The author, Nicolas Marty writes in the abstract:

Trevor Wishart is an electroacoustic composer who obtained his PhD at the University of York in 1973 . books On Sonic Art (1984 and 1996) and Audible Design (1994), which present his ideas about sound treatment, perception and composition. All of the theories and ideas I talk about here are related to my research as a graduate student in music and musicology, entitled Sound identification, listening strategy and narrativity in Trevor Wishart’s Journey into Space – Agentization, objectization and narrativizations (translated from the French: Identification sonore, stratégie d’écoute et narrativité dans Journey into Space de Trevor Wishart – Agentisation, objétisation et narrativisations). The present essay is mainly the transcription of an interview with Wishart himself, in which we talked about Journey into Space, sound identification (“landscape”), voice (both recorded and improvised), symbolism and narrativity. I will add some comments and ideas throughout the essay; these will deal with music and meaning, the main subject of JMM, as well as with my own research on electroacoustic narrativity.

Born in 1990 into a family without musicians, the author, Nicolas Marty, discovered music at the age of 15, learning guitar and piano from Jean-Pierre Malardel in Périgueux, France. From 2007 to 2010, he participated in Jean-Yves Bosseur’s instrumental composition workshops and Patrick Mellé’s Computer-Assisted Composition workshops at the Jacques Thibaud conservatory of Bordeaux, while attending the University of Bordeaux III, France, as a bachelor student in musicology. In September 2010, he joined the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris-IV) and began his master’s thesis under the supervision of Professor François Madurell. Nicolas Marty’s research field is narrativity and its perception in electroacoustic music (and in all music by extension). His master’s thesis focuses on Journey into Space (1970-72) by Trevor Wishart. In September 2011, Marty begins graduate studies in psychology at the University of Paris-8, while pursuing his second year of master’s at Paris-Sorbonne, with the aim of opening up to music cognitive and psychological research. He published his first paper, “Vers une narratologie naturelle de la musique”, in December 2011, and will participate in the 12th edition of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference in June 2012.

Read Nicolas Marty’s research report here

Recent Publications

Recent Publications Posted on Mar 30, 2012 02:25PM

Read Jens Hjortkjær’s list of recent publications related to the study of music and meaning here.

Harmonic Content Influence on Colour-Choice Association with Unaccompanied Tones

Peer-Reviewed Papers Posted on Oct 04, 2011 10:37AM

This study investigated simultaneous auditory and visual sensory processing. It was hypothesized that visible spectrum colours ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) would specifically map to tones of the 88 note piano keyboard, and presence/absence of harmonic content would manifest as measurable variability differences regarding colour choice associations between sine and harmonic tones. A sinusoidal wave colour-picker image was presented upon which participants subjectively defined borderlines between colours ROYGBIV, and then listened to 77 sine or harmonic tones/semi-tones (G#1-C8) while clicking on the colour-picker image to render colour choices. Results indicate: 1) A consistent colour-across-octaves pattern demonstrating piano keyboard mapping of pitch with colour; 2) Presence of harmonic content in tones manifests via increased variability for colour-choices—choices tending toward ‘blended’ colour borders such as yellowish-green, or greenish-blue.

The author, Jeffrey N. Howard is currently an Assistant Professor of psychology at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Dr. Howard received his PhD in Human Factors Psychology at Wichita State University. His primary research interests are music-cognition, audiovisual perception, and cross-sensory modality investigations. He holds master’s degrees in clinical and experimental psychology, with a bachelor’s degree in radio-television production-engineering, and has 10 + years experience in the radio-television field. As a self-taught keyboardist, guitarist, and drummer he has written, produced, and engineered his own smooth jazz CD entitled “Walking on the Moon” as well as a Christian Contemporary album titled “Leap of Faith”. One of his primary directives is combining his music technology and software programming skills to create unique presentation environments to explore human processing of cross-sensory stimulus combinations.

Read Jeffrey N. Howard’s paper here

Hush… The Lights are Dimmed: A Case of Situational Silence

Peer-Reviewed Papers Posted on Jul 20, 2011 03:09PM

The aim of this article is threefold. Firstly, the article attempts to use pragmatic analysis in the context of musical and other theatrical performances. Secondly, it offers further support for the typology the author has proposed in previous articles. Here he relates to the silence in live theatrical and musical performances, which, it is argued, are instances of situational silence. Thirdly, against the background of Goffman’s frame analysis, in which the silence is regarded as a frame of the performance indicating that the performance is about to begin, and should not be regarded as part of the performers/audience interaction, the author argues that the silence is communicative for two major reasons: in certain registers of performances such as pop concerts silence does not occur at such junctures, and in musical performances, the silence of the audience and the performers may be considered part of the work.

The author, Dennis Kurzon, professor of linguistics at the University of Haifa, Israel, has carried out research on silence as a pragmatic phenomenon. His book The Discourse of Silence appeared in 1998, in which he analyzed, among other things, silence in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron. Further articles on silence were published in 2007 and 2009. He has also written on legal language, especially from the perspective of speech act theory, on the sociology of languages in India, on adpositions, and on writing systems.

Read Dennis Kurzon’s article here

Theorizing Conceptual Change in Music Scholarship

Peer-Reviewed Papers Posted on Jul 05, 2011 10:10AM

This study aims its critical eye towards a conceptual narrative that current music scholars have inherited from their “New Musicological” forebears to describe the growth and development of knowledge in music scholarship. The narrative traces its origins to Thomas Kuhn’s treatise The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), which argues that knowledge will only advance when a research paradigm that dominates a particular field of study is proven to be ineffective in the face of new research problems and is therefore discarded in a conceptual “coup d’état.” Kuhn’s narrative, and the critical descriptions of music scholarship that have ensued, is premised on an either/or perception of the practice of research according to which scholars will be required to choose between an established research paradigm and a replacement methodology. This study will dispel this perception with a statistical analysis of research interests in the field of music theory, represented in a sampling of 171 articles, which show that the methodologies in that field are more fluid and adaptable than the Kuhnian narrative would admit. This data demonstrates that existing research paradigms have been largely successful in adapting to the new conceptual environments within which they find themselves and suggests that a better metaphor for conceptual change might lie in the process of evolution. The study cites the work of the philosopher Stephen Toulmin to provide the plot of a new conceptual narrative.

The author, Karen Fournier, is a professor of music theory at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She holds a PhD in music theory and an MA in musicology from The University of Western Ontario (Canada), a BA in music from the University of Ottawa (Canada), and a BA in history from Carleton University (Canada). Karen is an active scholar, having presented papers at over three dozen music and cultural studies conferences in Spain, England, Canada, and the United States. She has published articles in GAMUT, The Journal of Musicological Research, Culture and Power, The College Music Symposium, and Music Theory Spectrum, and is currently working on a book-length project on British punk rock.

Read Karen Fournier’s article here