Olivier Messiaen's System of Signs: Notes Towards Understanding His Music
Andrew Shenton's groundbreaking cross-disciplinary approach to Messiaen's music presents a systematic and detailed examination of the compositional techniques of one of the most significant musicians of the twentieth century as they relate to his desire to express profound truths about Catholicism. It is widely accepted that music can have mystical and transformative powers, but because 'pure' music has no programme, Messiaen sought to refine his compositions to speak more clearly about the truths of the Catholic faith by developing a sophisticated semiotic system in which aspects of music become direct signs for words and concepts. Using interdisciplinary methodologies drawing on linguistics, cognition studies, theological studies and semiotics, Shenton traces the development of Messiaen's sign system using examples from many of Messiaen's works and concentrating in particular on the Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité for organ, a suite which contains the most sophisticated and developed use of a sign system and represents a profound exegesis of Messiaen's understanding of the Catholic triune God. By working on issues of interpretation, Shenton endeavours to bridge the traditional gap between scholars and performers and to help people listen to Messiaen's music with spirit and understanding.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Communicating through Music
Adding a Communicable Language
7 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
Albert Roussel Alleluia analysis angels Aquinas bird birdsong black woodpecker Catholic chords Church cipher colour commentary composer composer's compositional cryptography described Dieu discussion example explanation expression extra-musical Father fin du Temps French garden warbler grammar hermeneutics Hill and Simeone Hindu rhythms Holy Spirit Ibid instrument interpretation langage communicable Leduc leitmotifs letters linguistic listener liturgy Livre du Saint Mache meaning Meditations melody Messiaen's langage Messiaen's music modes motifs movement Music and Color musical language mystery non-retrogradable rhythms octave Olivier Messiaen organ Organ Music Paris passage pedals Pentecote performance phonetic phrase piano piece pitch plainsong played preface problems Quatuor recording reference religious rhythmic RoBler Rosetta Stone Saint Francois Saint Sacrement Sainte Trinite Samuel score semiotic Sherlaw Johnson sign system significant Soggetto cavato song sound specific stars Summa Theologiae symbols T.S. Eliot technique theme theological timbre translation transliterated Trinity understanding verbal verbs words yellowhammer