The Unanswered Question III : Musical Semantics

Bernstein at Harvard

Poster for The Unanswered Question III : Musical Semantics

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This series comprised six lectures on music, which cumulatively took the title of a work by Charles Ives, The Unanswered Question. Bernstein drew analogies to other disciplines, such as poetry, aesthetics, and especially linguistics, hoping to make these lectures accessible to an audience with limited or no musical experience, while maintaining an intelligent level of discourse:Semantics is the study of meaning in language, and Bernstein's third lecture, "musical semantics", accordingly, is Bernstein's first attempt to explain meaning in music. Although Bernstein defines musical semantics as "meaning, both musical and extramusical" this lecture focuses exclusively on the "musical" version of meaning.

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English / 143 min / 1976

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