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Historical Musicology: Is it Still Possible? Essay Example

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Historical Musicology: Is it Still Possible?

In this argument, I should stress the limitations that I rest in my concept of historical musicology – interpretation. This means that although I argue that historical musicology is still possible, there is tolerance in the margin of error. Such tolerance is what Wegman describes as the risk in historical musicology. Simply put, historical musicology is possible if taking the risk of inaccuracy and mistakes in the interpretation is acceptable to the musicologist and the society.The first point in my argument is that history doesn’t exist in the present time anymore. The memory of the past is left in artifacts or any object from the past. In music it is the notes and lyrics of a composition to attest that music has existed or has been composed. However, with these genuinely concrete raw data or materials existing to support for empirical evidence or we may call the truth of history doesn’t tell of history. It is the interpretation, the meaning behind each of these musical notes and lyrics along with intensive research in all aspects revolving around it like the author, the culture, the era, etc., which breathes life into a realistic illustration called the musical history.the lyrics and musical notes are but rubbish and cannot be considered history if without its meaning studying every part of that music entirety. To stress this point, Wegman expressed, “…[w]ithout interpretation, we are not engaged in history, but in collecting and storing raw data.” (“Historical Musicology”, p. From this view, it is comprehensible that history is about a story to tell, an illustration of the past supported by historical truth like the lyrics but simply not a collection and storage of these raw data. To tell a full story out of the musical notes and lyrics, interpretation is necessary. In such a way, that we understand the music and enjoy it. The meaning of the song, how the notes in the song are played, how the song is sung – all these elements are a significant part of historical musicology to be able to recount complete history of Mozart composition, which is subject to interpretation. History therefore cannot be told only with empirical evidence rather developed with subjective interpretation.The second point I would like to stress is that, each and every individual in this world enjoy music in one way or another – be it a hum, a beat, an acapella, anything with melody. As

Works Cited

Wegman, Rob C. “Historical musicology: Is it Still Possible?” retrieved from Chapter 11 on May 23, 2008.

“Musicology”. Outsourced from wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and occasionally developed by Indopedia authors. November 28, 2004. retrieved May 23, 2008. http://www.indopedia.org/Musicology.html

Cook, Nicholas. “What is Musicology?” The Royal Musical Association. The following article appeared (with minor changes) in BBC Music Magazine 7/9, May 1999, pp. 31-3. retrieved May 23, 2008. http://www.rma.ac.uk/articles/what-is-musicology.htm.

preview essay on Historical Musicology: Is it Still Possible?
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Music
  • Level: Ph.D.
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