By Andrew Dell'Antonio

In a hugely influential essay Rose Rosengard Subotnik opinions "structural listening" as an try to situate musical that means exclusively in the unfolding of the musical constitution itself. The authors of this quantity, popular younger tune historians and theorists writing on repertories starting from Beethoven to MTV, absorb Subotnik's problem in what's more likely to turn into one in every of song scholarship's highbrow touchstones for a few years to return. Illustrations: 1 line representation, 1 desk, 15 track examples

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Holding still, and knowing that she is not permitted to make any sounds, the listener submits to the persona’s will, accepting the distinction between the roles of active, willful persona and passive, receptive listener. At the same time, while the listener is inhibited and dominated by the persona, she also identifies with the persona’s power and activity. A listener’s imaginative experience, then, has a strange multiple consciousness, conjoining an awareness of submission (the persona’s power over her) with a thrill of identification with power (even though that power takes effect, in part, by domination of herself).

Bollas (1987) writes of a phenomenon that he calls “extractive introjection”: sometimes two people interact so that some mental content or process, originally belonging to one person, seems to be taken away from that person, subsequently belonging only to the other one. Bollas illustrates the concept through a series of anecdotes. For instance, he describes a four-year-old, B, at play, “engaged in a private drama that is nonetheless realized through actual objects. ” With repetition of such interruptions, the child’s “sense of spontaneity would diminish” and B “will come to experience an extraction of that element of himself: his capacity to play” (1987, 159).

But a more exact sexual analogy is possible, one that matches many aspects of Cone’s account of listening. To see this other analogy, let’s begin by remembering embodiment: in sexual activities, bodies interact, and so one might ask how the bodies of listeners affect these analogies. As it happens, Cone’s book—which really is remarkably comprehensive—addresses the embodiment of listeners. ” This submission includes a suppression of bodily movements. Some listeners might “hum, or beat time, or make other physical gestures,” but “most sophisticated music lovers .

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