Music Theory Online


The Online Journal of the Society for Music Theory

Volume 5, Number 3  May, 1999
Copyright � 1999 Society for Music Theory


Timothy Koozin*

On Metaphor, Technology, and Schenkerian Analysis

KEYWORDS: Schenker, metaphor, multimedia, Shockwave, Macromedia, QuickTime, digital audio, MIDI, Web

ABSTRACT: Multimedia renderings for the World-Wide Web are offered as models which extend the technology commonly employed in expressing Schenkerian analysis. The study begins with a new appraisal of the role of metaphor, establishing that the qualities of imitation and participation which are embodied in the communication of metaphor are central to a Schenkerian approach. The computer renderings suggest ways computer representation might aid in the understanding of spatial metaphors which are inherent in Schenker's methodology. Essential features such as linear shape, direction, and structural levels are modeled through incorporation of sound, hypertextually linked images and texts, and real-time simulation.


Editor's Note: Timothy Koozin's article is published in the form of a Director movie.  To view it requires the Shockwave plug-in and QuickTime resources, which are easy to install if they are not already present on your computer.  For Windows machines, a MIDI-compatible sound card is required for audio.  The download sites listed below have links offering installation information and technical specifications for both Windows and Macintosh machines.

Download Shockwave

Download QuickTime

To minimize the need for scrolling, users with smaller monitors are advised to close toolbars and open the viewing window as wide as possible. With the exception of Example 4, audio examples are MIDI files played by the author and converted to QuickTime movie format. Example 4 employs a Shockwave streaming audio sound clip of a professional ensemble, used by permission of the Smithsonian Institution.  For additional information on Shockwave streaming technology, the reader is referred to David Headlam's Multimedia for Music Study on the Web: Director from Macromedia in MTO 3.5 (1997).

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Timothy Koozin
University of Houston
Moores School of Music
Houston, TX 77204-4893 

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prepared by
Eric J. Isaacson, General Editor, 01 June 1999
Updated 18 November 2002