The Preludes and Beyond
Chapter 7. The phenomenology of fingering Structure and ontology in the F-minor Etude from Méthode des méthodes
Chapter 7 The phenomenology of fingering Structure and ontology in the F-minor Etude from Méthode des méthodes Although much will be said here about Chopin’s F-minor Etude from Méthode des Méthodes - or actually about its first 24 notes - the points to be made transcend this specific object of study. The present essay deals with certain aspects of interpretation (taken to be what you understand when seeing, hearing, and/or performing a piece of music) and with how the phenomenal structure of music necessarily affects its ontological status.1 The main purpose is to actualize matters that are frequently neglected, although analysts, aestheticians, and musicians ought to keep them in mind. The initial passage from Chopin’s etude merely serves as an example, which could be exchanged for others, but one can hardly think of a more economical and inspiring material than this introductory right-hand melody, full of structural smartness and manual delights. I will begin by giving a critical background to the main issues. The bulk of the essay will be devoted to a thorough analysis of the passage, starting with some structural observations that may occur to a musically imaginative reader, turning then to a description of the melody as a heard phenomenon, and ending with a presentation of meanings that emerge only to the pianist, partly as a result of the fingering chosen. In the last sections, I will return to the broader problems, offering a further discussion and some conclusions. 1 An earlier version...
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