Semiosis In Hindustani Music (
Institution:††† Helsingin Yliopisto (
); 0592 Finland
Source:†††††††††† DAI, 59, no. 01C, (1997): 0004
Standard No:††††† ISBN:†††††††††††† 951-96306-6-X
This is a study of musical semiosis as the foundation of several aspects of musical experience within the classical tradition of
North India. Musical signification is understood here as a dynamic system in which three elements (sign, object and interpretant) configure networks of representations. An understanding of semiosis in Hindustani music is sought by means of analysis based on a theory of musical semiotics, which in turn is founded on the general theory of signs of Charles Sanders Peirce. Thus, two objectives are pursued simultaneously: (1) the advancement of a Peircean semiotic theory of music; (2) an understanding of the various forms and strategies of signification generated by Hindustani music.
††††††††† This work is divided into three sections. The first discusses epistemological aspects of previous musicological and semiotic theories of music. The second section argues, from a Peircean perspective, that musical semiosis can be studied as comprising three, interrelated fields of inquiry: Intrinsic Musical Semiosis, Musical Reference and Musical Interpretation. In tandem with the elaboration of the theory, fundamental issues of Hindustani music are investigated. These include musical qualities, the formal and actual aspects of raga, tala and musical forms; iconicity, metalanguage, indexicality, symbolism; perception, performance, scholarship, and composition. The third section treats representations in Hindustani music in terms of the Indian classical aesthetic theory of rasa (feeling or essence). The evolution of the system as applied to musical structures is traced historically and analyzed semiotically. Conclusions drawn from the present investigation indicate that a semiotic theory based on Peirce comprehends the most important aspects of a musical culture in a manner that is fully consonant with traditional thinking, as regards the essential processes of musical conception, production, and reception--that is to say, of musical semiosis. In light of this theory, Hindustani music can be viewed as a sophisticated and complex system of acoustic representation.
Accession No:†††† AAGC617068