Introduction to Musicology: A Survey of the Fields, Systematic & Historical, of Musical Knowledge & Research

By Glen Haydon | Go to book overview

of the various specific types of musical form as crystallized in the thinking and practice of musicians through the ages. Here the work of the theorist is to so analyze and describe the significant details of the structural design of specific compositions as to formulate a conception of the abstract types constituting the principal formal categories. The effective execution of the task depends largely upon the theorist's ability to grasp the implications of aesthetic laws of designs as they apply in detail to the structure of music.

Study, investigation, and thought concerning the problems of musical form are intimately related to the highest activities of the composer, performer, and critic. Aesthetics itself, as Prall says,19 is theory, and the application of aesthetics to the theory of form may lead to further theory; but such theory, intelligently applied, yields discriminating musical experience of the highest type. That lack of space and other considerations have necessitated a somewhat cursory treatment of the subject in the present work -- a treatment wholly incommensurable with its importance -- should not cause anyone to underestimate the value and significance of musical form. All studies in the field of music theory are or may be pointed in the direction of the theory of musical form, which thus becomes the crowning achievement, or climax, of theoretical endeavor in music.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Much of the basic material relating to the theory of music theory is in the works on acoustics, psychophysiology, and aesthetics listed in the bibliographies to the preceding chapters. Many of the following references are primarily textbooks, but the introductions frequently contain observations on the theory of music theory; further theoretical implications are implicit in the organization of the material and especially in the definitions of terms. The works of Riemann, Shirlaw, and Yasser are for the

____________________
19
David Prall, Aesthetic Analysis, page 204.

-180-

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