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The Hidden Unity

An Experimental View on Aesthetics and Semiotics of Music in the Czech Milieu

Jarmila Doubravova

This book is based on the results of about forty years of work with one type of analysis of musical communication. It offers an elucidation of the meaning of music as, in addition to other factors, a fictive action and refers to the context of the intrapersonal, interpersonal and social aspects of communication. It does so against the background of the nearly unknown century-long history of Czech experimental aesthetics. At the same time it provides insights into a field of the humanities in the totalitarian era by referring to the roots of the method in the context of semiotics, aesthetics and cybernetics in the 1960s.
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7 Postscript

← 76 | 77 → 7 Postscript


Now it is time to give a brief summary of the history of working with the interpersonal hypothesis and to take a look at the progress of the experimental studies. A study concerning interpersonal hypothesis came out in 1965 in the journal Hudební věda (Musicology). That’s how it all began. The actual musicology experiments started a few years later. Starting with analysing the work of a single composer (in this case Béla Bartók) to look for an answer to the question whether it is possible to characterise the composer by the existence of interpersonal tendencies or formulas, the experiments were later directed towards analysing the period in which the music was composed. It was mainly the 1950s period when the music of totalitarian state had its “stage” as well as its “backstage”. It became clear that the so-called SHADOW MUSIC was largely unknown to most of the contemporary Czech audience because it existed in the communication “shadow”; it was not really played. It also became apparent that the contemporary Czech audience responded to this music with reservation or with disapproval; the foreigners’ responses varied without any prominent characteristic differences.

Then it also became apparent that the interpersonal hypothesis itself was connected with the environment in which it arose, in which it was developing. Similarly, its use in musicology was subject to the tendencies prevailing during that period; the abstract terminology of semiotics focused all the attention on itself and was already addressing the subject (e.g....

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