Sunday, September 28, 2008

My master thesis

Actually I managed to complete my master thesis in about a year ago, and soon forgot all about this blog. But everything turned out okay, and a got a lot of good response for my work.

The entire text can be downloaded here:

Lakoff og Johnsons metaforteori og musikalsk terminologi

En undersøgelse af forholdet mellem sprog og oplevelse i forbindelse med beskrivelsen og analysen af det klassisk/romantiske repertoire

Download (Word, 1043 kbytes, 103 pages)

English summary

George Lakoff and Mark Johnsons cognitive semantic theory of conceptual metaphors states that all human understanding and perception are embodied. This means that every human concept, from our basic everyday concepts to the most elaborate philosophical theories is understood through basic bodily experiences called image schemas.

This thesis addresses this idea in relation to musical concepts - the words we use to describe musical phenomena. The thesis explores the ways in which these musical concepts, and their image schematic foundation, relate to the experience of musical phenomena themselves.

This is done though the reading of two articles by Janna Saslaw and Candace Brower respectively, articles that, in two different ways, examine the ways in which musical concepts can be understood as based on bodily experiences.

Both of these articles are shown to be based on a model that closely correlates the concept with the experiences itself. This model is derived from Lakoff and Johnson’s analysis of everyday language. Lakoff and Johnson show that everyday language is understood via a number of conventional conceptual metaphors that we, to a large extent, to quote the title of Lakoff and Johnson’s now famous book, live by. This means that in everyday language there are indeed a rather good correlation between concepts and experiences.

But musical concepts are not necessary everyday language. In fact a large number of musical concepts originate in rather advanced theoretical backgrounds and/or from situations were music is produced - not merely listened to. This means that musical concepts and their metaphorical foundations are not only related to the experience of music but also to thoughts and ideas about the nature of music experience and music production. This thesis suggests that these tenets are included in the analysis of musical concepts metaphorical and bodily foundations - and expands the model suggested by Saslaw and Brower accordingly. It also concludes that the musical concepts investigated by Saslaw and Brower are indeed partly production oriented and prescriptive (that is concerned with how music should be experienced rather than concerned with how music actually is experienced).


Anonymous Diane Peeples said...

It was good that you posted your thesis online for us to see it. And I think it would also be good to have thesis ideas for education purpose of other people who are also on the same field as you. I do hope everyone read your work. By the way, is it just me or the link you provided isn’t available anymore.

5:36 AM  

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