Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics
In this groundbreaking, historically-informed semiotic study of late eighteenth-century music, Stephen Rumph focuses on Mozart to explore musical meaning within the context of Enlightenment sign and language theory. Illuminating his discussion with French, British, German, and Italian writings on signs and language, Rumph analyzes movements from Mozart’s symphonies, concertos, operas, and church music. He argues that Mozartian semiosis is best understood within the empiricist tradition of Condillac, Vico, Herder, or Adam Smith, which emphasized the constitutive role of signs within human cognition. Recognizing that the rationalist model of neoclassical rhetoric has guided much recent work on Mozart and his contemporaries, Rumph demonstrates how the dialogic tension between opposing paradigms enabled the composer to negotiate contradictions within Enlightenment thought.
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accents aesthetic Allanbrook Allegro analysis anapestic Andante archaic endings aria Beethoven begins Berkeley bourrée cadence Cambridge University Press Cherubino chromatic composers Condillac context conventional Così fan tutte counterpoint Credo masses dance decasillabi Diderot Die Zauberflöte Don Giovanni downbeat Duettino Eighteenth-Century Music Elaine Sisman Enlightenment Entführung Essai expression figure final gavotte gestures Haydn Heartz Heinrich Christoph Koch Herder human Ibid ideas instrumental interpretation Johann Johann Gottfried Herder l’origine langage d’action language linguistic markedness meaning melody metaphor meter metrical minor Monelle motive movement Mozart Mozart’s music Mozart’s Operas Mozart’s Piano Concertos musical examples nature nozze di Figaro object opening Oxford Philosophical phrase structure Piano Concerto poetic Pygmalion quartet Ratner refrain Reid represent representation rhetoric rhythm ritornello Rousseau semantic semiotic sensation sense sensory Serail sigh signs Sisman Smith soloist sonata stile antico style Sulzer Susanna’s theme Symphony syntax texture theory thought tonal topics touch trans upbeat Vico Vico’s words Zerlina