Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 734.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 09:23:29 +0000
From: email@example.com (Francois Lachance)
Subject: textural and textual
I have come across a description of a musical piece which might also serve
for describing such phenomena as richly encoded electronci text, tightly
woven hypertextual webs and the buzz of meeting of humanists involved in
computing. I quote it here and append a question.
James Pritchett on John Cage's _Music for Changes_
"During phrases of low density, the listener attends to the contours of
individual events; during periods of high density, the ears are
overloaded, the events become unfocussed, and the impression is
James Pritchett _The Music of John Cage (Cambridge University Press, 1993
rpt 1996) p. 88
I wonder if any musicologists or linguists could elaborate on how the term
"textural" has been invoked in descriptions of music (when does it appear
and to what end).
Supplemental question: would re-reading (or "deep reading" a la Gregory
Crane) be a paradoxically a mechanism for reducing aesthetic overload as
well as inducing such a condition. It would perhaps be worth considering
distinguishing two types of reading modes: the one, a parsing that slows
down the reader's interaction with the textual artefact; the other, a romp
through the possible intertexual relations a textual artefact might
entertain with others. And of course on wonders if digital technology
doesn't make any association between the speed of reading and the
intra/intertextual space to be traversed very contingent.
I am sure our musicological friends can help us better understand how the
speed of traversal of a given field of elements or events has a tremendous
impact on the phenomenological space consturcted out of the union of the
traversal and the topology.
Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
some threads tangle in tassles, others form the weft
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