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  • Writer's pictureSheldon Kessel

It's Been Too Long

This blog was started as a way to disseminate a bit of my musicology research to the public, and, since my last post here back in May, I've been doing a whole lot more research than writing. However, now that the new school year is fully underway, and I'm fully back into writing, it's time to resume posting to my musicology blog!

The topics I have covered here so far are part of my master's thesis at Hamline University and I will be continuing to post topics relevant to that project. My basic premise is that the ways in which musical meaning is created – the stuff that makes music important to us – is largely dependent on the genre of the music in question. Within each large grouping of genres, "the music itself" combines with the genre's culture of music-making to form meanings for the participants.

I've been thinking of these topics since my days as an undergraduate music student when I encountered major musical prejudices in both my peers and professors. It seemed unacceptable to me that people who claimed to be interested in music would dismiss entire genre families as unworthy of attention or, worse yet, as not music at all. It seemed to me that the dismissals came from an inability to accept important musical and cultural attributes that might not correspond to the prejudiced person's primary genre of interest. And so, without a common reference point, nor a framework for understanding the important attributes, the genre family would be dismissed and a musical prejudice formed.

Through my taxonomic framework of musical genre and corresponding study of musical meaning, I hope to alleviate a bit of musical prejudice by fostering understanding. Through this musical understanding perhaps I can help alleviate a bit of cultural prejudice and bring a little more peace to the world.

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