14.0734 textural and textual

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Sun Mar 11 2001 - 04:36:48 EST

  • Next message: by way of Willard McCarty: "14.0736 brain thoughts"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 734.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 09:23:29 +0000
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: textural and textual


    I have come across a description of a musical piece which might also serve
    for describing such phenomena as richly encoded electronci text, tightly
    woven hypertextual webs and the buzz of meeting of humanists involved in
    computing. I quote it here and append a question.

    James Pritchett on John Cage's _Music for Changes_
    "During phrases of low density, the listener attends to the contours of
    individual events; during periods of high density, the ears are
    overloaded, the events become unfocussed, and the impression is
    predominantly textural."
    James Pritchett _The Music of John Cage (Cambridge University Press, 1993
    rpt 1996) p. 88

    I wonder if any musicologists or linguists could elaborate on how the term
    "textural" has been invoked in descriptions of music (when does it appear
    and to what end).

    Supplemental question: would re-reading (or "deep reading" a la Gregory
    Crane) be a paradoxically a mechanism for reducing aesthetic overload as
    well as inducing such a condition. It would perhaps be worth considering
    distinguishing two types of reading modes: the one, a parsing that slows
    down the reader's interaction with the textual artefact; the other, a romp
    through the possible intertexual relations a textual artefact might
    entertain with others. And of course on wonders if digital technology
    doesn't make any association between the speed of reading and the
    intra/intertextual space to be traversed very contingent.

    I am sure our musicological friends can help us better understand how the
    speed of traversal of a given field of elements or events has a tremendous
    impact on the phenomenological space consturcted out of the union of the
    traversal and the topology.

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
           some threads tangle in tassles, others form the weft

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Mar 12 2001 - 00:47:00 EST