By Downing A. Thomas
The quest for the origins of language was once probably the most urgent philosophical problems with the eighteenth century. It has escaped realize, even though, that song figured prominently in that seek. This research analyzes reflections on track and track idea as they seem in the logical and narrative constitution of texts by means of, for instance, Rousseau, Diderot, Rameau and Condillac, and considers the ways that song enables hyperlinks among language and which means, among conceptions of an unique society and an awesome social order.
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Extra resources for Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism)
English quotations from both the second Discours and the Essai sur Vorigine des langues will be taken from this edition, hereafter cited as Discourse or as Essay, according to which text is being cited. In a few cases, I have altered the translations slightly for the sake of clarity. Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, Histoire naturelle, ed. Jean Varloot (Paris: Gallimard, 1984), 156. Pierre Esteve, UEsprit des beaux-arts (Paris: Bauche Fils, 1753), 1:32-33. 38 Origins writers posited a second, "secular" origin after the flood, thereby avoiding a direct confrontation with the first), eighteenth-century writers adopted the conceptual framework of empiricism, creating narratives that would link language, society, and culture to a common origin in human experience.
Michel Paul G u y d e C h a b a n o n , De la musique consideree en elle-meme et dans ses rapports avec la parole, les langues, la poesie, et le theatre (Paris: Pissot, 1785), 26. Timothy J. Reiss, The Discourse of Modernism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982), 21-54. Jean le R o n d d'Alembert, CEuvres et correspondances inedites (Geneva: Slatkine, 1967), 142. John Neubauer, for example, sees mathematical approaches to music as forwardlooking. ], which had no definite 32 Music and language associates the verbal paradigm with mimesis and the mathematical paradigm with non-representational art, with the play of "pure form/' As I suggested at the outset, this binary opposition is at best an oversimplification.
1953). " Mattheson asserts that in music as in language, we naturally use tropes just as we naturally order our thoughts according to certain structural principles which were discovered later. Yet the outlook in music has been "dark" because, unlike the case of language, no one has bothered to codify the natural rules of musical rhetoric. Since musical "figures" are based on the universal nature of sound, a musical rhetoric should form, mutatis mutandis, a stable and entirely cross-cultural set of procedures.
Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism) by Downing A. Thomas