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2012年1月7日 星期六

Ways of Listening: Aesthetics, Metaphors, and Quotations in Music - Part IV

  引言:

真的很久沒有寫新的文章了。教學越來越忙,雖然這表示我的收入多了,生活穩定了,但,這並不是我最喜歡的情況。不過,我已前也確實寫了不少文章,當然以英文寫的佔多,因為我的中文打字很慢。所以,我也只好出版多一些英文寫的文章了。以下的是一篇絕對有實力的學術文章,也是我往後開拓現代音樂美學,意義研究的啟蒙文章。以自己寫的文章作為自己的啟蒙老師,怕是由我開始的了。以下的文章也有數千字,所以會分期刋載。如讀者是喜歡音樂分析的,必能從這篇文章得益。


Part IV:




Not only does the first quotation in the song The Things Our Father Loved work like a sonic photo that invites us to share the experience with Ives, all the rest of the quoted tunes function similarly.  After the “Kentukcy” tune of “long ago” brings us to Ives’ imagined “home,” the borrowed old folk song of On the Banks of the Wabash comes next.  The piano sonority becomes more and more dissonant.  Perhaps, it is a kind of appassionate dissonance.  The music of “aunt Sarah’s humming from the organ on the main street”[1] is another sonic photo that we can experience.  While the sense of religious faith emanated from the borrowed Gospel of Nettleton is still haunting us, the patriotic song of The Battle Cry of Freedom suddenly intrudes into our muse of devout.  The block chord accompaniment in the right hand and the swing-like skipping bass in the left hand seem to raise listener’s spirit courageously higher and higher.  The effect of the quoted songs now is no longer the halcyon remembrance or pious meditation, but is changed to a kind of patriotic bravey.  But how does this effect influence our sensation and experience?



To listeners, the march-like music stepping restlessly forward until reaching the climax is particularly a high spirited moment.  We can hear the highest sounding of the piano chords, contrasting with the inexorable descending low bass, to reinforce the voice singing, “all red, white and blue, now!”  This is a moment that Ives attains his “liberty,” or more directly, Ives’s “liberty” in terms of ours, that is, a moment of all made of memorable tunes!  Not for a second, a sweet quoted family folk, In the Sweet Bye and Bye, furtively emerges from the biosterious climatic reverberation.  When the running semiquaver arpeggios are still keeping their rapid chromatic motion, listeners’ sensations are caught up again in this conclusive time.  What are the “things” our father loved?  It is an out-of-key, even distorted, nearly unrecognized fragmental tune from the Sweet Bye and Bye, singing, “in my soul of the things our Fathers loved.”  The unresolved G# dominant ninth chord in the piano suspends softly in the open air, seeming to call listeners to search what was there once again.  It is the final sonic photo in Ives’ private collection.


To be Continued.....


David Leung (theorydavid)

2012/01/07 (published)






[1] The text of the second phrase of this song is, “I hear the organ on the Main Street corner, Aunt Sarah humming Gospels.”
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