Musicology in Narrative Emphasis

In recent years, musicologists have been showing great interest in researching the “effect” of musical connection. This effect is the creation of a net of signs intertwined in the music, which the listener interprets and in which they create new codes. This novel approach grew from the understanding that structural analysis and historical scheme are not enough to explain the meaning of a musical work to the listener. There are three key ideas to this musicology trend: 1. Trying to grasp the intention of a musical work (usually in its original historical context); 2. Seeing a music piece not only as an architectonic structure of a kind but as a process through time; 3. Addressing the musical work’s effect as it stems out of a complex net of meanings in different strata, complementary and contrasting (like the contrast between the composer’s social environment to ours).

To a great extent, the narrative approach contains the meaning, the process, and the effect because the occurrence of the “events” in a musical work creates a story. Musical storytelling is a process in which musical signs are revealed over time because we cannot experience them all at once. In other words, a work of music has a narrator who arranges the events according to a particular logic. Narrativity can describe and sort the events occurring in the “self” and can also be the re-formation of transcendental ideas into tangible and real ones. Narrativity can be expressed on the surface of the musical discourse as a unique style or movement’s gesture. The music moves toward a target or a story, and must have a direction; the story of the musical work is what drives and controls the force of its movements. The Music Department’s research in this field focuses on nineteenth-century music, vocal styles (opera and lieder) and instrumental styles (piano music), and more.