Music 575 Seminar in Theory:

Nonhierarchy Revisited (Winter 1998)

NEW TIME: Thursday 1:30-3:20 Music room 216

John Rahn,, 3-2291, office Music room 108

The members of the seminar will explore alternatives to hierarchical structures in music itself and in theories for its analysis, in models for its perception and the psychology of its cognition, and to some extent, in social settings for its creation and perpetuation, and in life in general as it interacts with music.

The seminar will include partial views of such topics as mathematical modelling, grammars, Lewin's transformational networks, neural nets, and other formal structures; non-hierarchical evaluations of Schenkerian and other tonal theories; nontonal music and its theories; the flux of hierarchical relations and moves toward dominance in the community of music theorists and musicologists; and some alternative thinking about musical communities.

Or, alternatively,

a a graph...
we, like nodes
transform, arcing and re-arcing, in what space
topologically? if we are nothing but our transforms,
then are we a group?
The soi-disant dominance of intentionality
flickers like lightening realizing a p-space, perhaps
a metamathematical Duchamp.
The musical field welcomes straight furrows,
the harrow tumbles worms and toads,
linearity mocked-up from nonlinearity, castles whose ramparts
are heaps of crumbling clods of inconceivable inconsequentiality.
A soil for music.