Wonder and Beauty
What is musicology?
In 1827, the Germans coined the term Musik-wissenschaft. It wasn't until the twentieth century that we English speakers came up with our own word to describe the scholarly study of music: musicology. Thus for a hundred years--and arguably extending to today--people have equated musicology with "music science".
I disagree with this definition for so many reasons that I'm already planning out another blog post. But for now, I'll go along with the popular view. Musicology is the science of music: Many people cringe at this thought. Science is intellectual, music is emotional. Can the two really get along? (Never mind that the Greeks put music in the quadrivium next to arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy; that's neither here nor there.) Doesn't analysis just take the wonder and beauty out of everything?
Short answer: No, see above comic.
I empathize with those who have sat (or slept) through boring analytical lectures, where the professor drones on and on about... actually, I'm drawing a blank because I don't stay awake through such lectures. This isn't musicology, this is just uninspired teaching. For me, musicology is a tool for discovery. Sometimes a discovery will affect how I perform a piece. Other times a discovery is just cool in and of itself. Maybe nobody will actually hear the palindrome in the tenor and bass of Josquin's Agnus Dei from Missa L'homme armé sexti toni. (Yes, I just wrote a paper comparing two Renaissance Masses.) But isn't it cool that it's there?
Come on, it's at least as cool as "Dog Vomit slime mold".
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