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date: 01 October 2023


The Oxford Companion to Music
Arnold WhittallArnold Whittall

Analysis is interpretation—even a kind of performance, in the sense that analysts explore the materials and meanings of compositions and attempt to communicate their findings, through speaking or writing. At one extreme, such communication counts as criticism, the analyst offering opinions about works derived in the main from attitudes and predispositions which, however well informed, are instinctive rather than consciously and deliberately worked out. At the other extreme, analysis can call on an extensive range of theories about music, and techniques for analysing musical materials and compositional procedures, which are worthy of study in their own right. Historically, these extremes have been categorized as hermeneutic and formalist respectively.... ...

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