Episode 3

In this episode of Talking Musicology we discuss articles by Mark Greif on Radiohead and the philosophy of pop and by Jennifer Walshe et al on a new movement in composition, the New Discipline.

You can listen to the episode below; to download click the arrow on the right.

Mark Greif, ‘Radiohead, or the Philosophy of Pop,’ in n+1, Issue 3 (Fall 2005).
Article online: https://nplusonemag.com/issue-3/essays/radiohead-or-philosophy-pop/

Jennifer Walshe et al, Various articles on the New Discipline, in Musiktexte, 149 (May 2016):
Articles online: http://musiktexte.de/MusikTexte-149


  1. composer_chris · October 13, 2016

    Another interesting episode! I’m particularly interested in the talk of ‘creating meaning which maybe isn’t actually there’ and the ‘problems with analysis’, and wanted to know more about the Walter Everett issue you raise. It’s suggested that ‘any musical justification’ is sublimated to the ‘literary analysis’ he has already made from the lyrics, but I wonder how else his analysis could be approached, avoiding these pitfalls? At a certain point, any analysis becomes ‘literary’, doesn’t it? Any attempts at a ‘purely musical’ analysis is grounded either implicitly or explicitly in musical philosophy. This grounding might not be ‘literary’ in being based on the lyrics of the ‘object being considered’, but it brings with it a priori assumptions in a very similar way. I know this is, in many ways, an ‘old issue’, and I’m avoiding mentioning Keller’s wordless functional analysis (until now…) but it’s something I’ve never really been able to get over for myself, and I’d be interested in any further thoughts you have!


    • talkingmusicology · October 22, 2016

      Hi Chris! I agree (Stephen here) that music analysis rarely ever gets away from literary support. The issue in the Everett, I think, is that he claims to – he suggests his interpretation derives from the ‘music’, when really he’s simply read the music through the stuff outside it. No great crime of course, it’s just its missing a confession…

      Liked by 1 person

      • composer_chris · November 1, 2016

        Thanks, Stephen! (I didn’t realise you’d replied. I thought they’d send me a notification…) Are there any examples that you can think of where music analysis gets away from literary support? I’d be keen to check them out. Cheers! C


      • talkingmusicology · November 2, 2016

        No I don’t think it ever does…well, it manages to do so in varying degrees, but we’re always having to mobilise linguistic concepts and categories to fill out analyses so really it’s a bit of a Gordian Knot!


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