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Metaphor and Musical Thought

Michael Spitzer



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University of Chicago Press
15 February 2016
Dance & Performing arts; Music; History
The experience of music is abstract and elusive enough that we're often forced to describe it using analogies to other forms and sensations: we say that music moves or rises like a physical form; that it contains the imagery of paintings or the grammar of language. In these and countless other ways, our discussions of music take the form of metaphor, attempting to describe music's abstractions by referencing more concrete and familiar experiences. Michael Spitzer's Metaphor and Musical Thought uses this process to create a unique and insightful history of our relationship with music. Treating issues of language, aesthetics, semiotics, and cognition, Spitzer offers an evaluation, a comprehensive history, and an original theory of the ways our cultural values have informed the metaphors we use to address music. As he brings these discussions to bear on specific works, what emerges is a clear and engaging guide to both the philosophy of musical thought and the history of musical analysis, from the seventeenth century to the present day.
By:   Michael Spitzer
Imprint:   University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   2nd ed.
Dimensions:   Height: 238mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   635g
ISBN:   9780226273136
ISBN 10:   022627313X
Pages:   392
Publication Date:   15 February 2016
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Michael Spitzer is professor of music and head of school at the University of Liverpool, UK.

Reviews for Metaphor and Musical Thought

Eloquently dispels any former connotations of metaphor as mere poetic nuance and reclaims it as the basis for musical thought. . . . Metaphor and Musical Thought will certainly inspire us to think differently about music past and present, and more so, question the very means we employ to do so. --Linda Muller Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa

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