Page 2 - free Music essays and term papers on Music
Charles Avison Author of An essay on musical expression
Kristeva defines the phenotext as that which denotes "language that serves to communicate, which linguistics describes in terms of 'competence' or 'performance.'" And further: "The phenotext is a structure. . . it obeys rules of communication and presupposes a subject of enunciation and an addressee." Thus, Barthes' extension concerning the phenotext of music, or the "pheno-song," is marked by a preoccupation with the accepted rules of singing, the codification of certain styles, the prowess of technique, etc., "-in short, everything in the performance which is in the service of communication, representation, expression, everything which it is customary to talk about. . ."
Download Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Conc
Although coming loosely from a more operatic sensibility than Fischer-Dieskau's art song background, singers like Groban and Bocelli share with Fischer-Dieskau those key qualities that Barthes attributes to pheno-song: the "perfection" of singing in terms of technical and formal delivery, including diction and breaths, but also the "inordinate" expressivity, the drama of the diction, the "shudders of passion."  But it becomes clear that, for Barthes, something is missing in this style of singing, something that, in a way, seems to neglect what Barthes would consider certain aspects of music-here, singing in particular-that make music what it is, so to speak. Such aspects, we can initially say, seem to roughly demonstrate, in one sense, the material/corporeal/bodily affect of music, which we have already seen with the notion of pulsion, and in another sense, the idea of a kind of liminal aesthetic reception-a reception between the nonlinguistic and linguistic, between signification and meaning, which, again, Barthes calls gesture-for which music seems to be particularly well-suited. Enter the geno-text.