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Title:Susanne K. Langer's Epistemology of Mind as an Interpretive Resource for Music Education
Author(s):Helfer, Jason Aaron
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Grashel, John
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Music
Abstract:Within music education, the work of Susanne K. Langer has often been used to construct or support the idea of music as aesthetic. This study examines the contrary claim that Susanne Langer's work is primarily epistemic rather than aesthetic. This claim is developed and supported through the examination of Langer's corpus from 1922--1962. Throughout her career, Langer presented and developed five conceptual structures: abstraction, intuition (insight), imagination, metaphorical thought, and propositional thought. Each of these ideas, with the eventual inclusion of memory, constructed the Langerian model of mind. Because of the natural human ability to interpret, based upon the conceptual structures, and the tension between an individual interpretant, culture, and the interpretant's previous experiences, an almost infinite number of meanings are formed. Additionally, the act, which contains an initiation, development, and consummation, is the form through which each meaning-making instance is constructed. In this study, Langer's development of the conceptual structures and the act, which includes feeling, the "felt as" instances, and the psychical limen, are traced in chapters three, four, and five. In chapter six, the act form is examined within the musical acts of composition, performance, improvisation, description, and critique. For each musical act a scenario is presented and a series of suppositions are constructed for consideration. Furthermore, chapter one introduces the study and provides essential definitions and limitations; chapter two critically examines previous literature; and chapter seven summarizes the study and presents questions for additional research.
Issue Date:2003
Description:390 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3101858
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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