1. Shuhei Hosokawa, "Technique/Technology of Reproduction in Music," in Eero Tarasti et al., "Basic Concepts of Studies in Musical Signification: A Report on a New International Research Project in Semiotics of Music," in Thomas A. Sebeok and Jean Umiker-Sebeok, eds., The Semiotic Web 1986 (New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1987), 538.

2. Wilson Coker, Music and Meaning: A Theoretical Introduction to Musical Aesthetics (New York: Free Press, 1972), 2.

3. Theodore Gracyk, Rhythm and Noise: An Aesthetics of Rock (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996); Albin J. Zak, III, The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

4. Eero Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994); Philip Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music: Theory, Method, and Practice," Popular Music 2 (1982): 37-67;  Tagg, Introductory Notes to the Semiotics of Music, v. 3.2 (2000)http://www.theblackbook.net/acad/tagg/teaching/analys/semiotug.pdf (16 March 2001); Jean Molino, "Musical Fact and the Semiology of Music, " trans. J. A. Underwood, Music Analysis 9/2 (July 1990): 113-156.

5. Charles S. Peirce, "Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs," in Robert E. Innis, ed., Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985), 5.

6. Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), 16.

7. Wilson Coker notes that ". . . it should be obvious that even a single fleeting sound or silence may be a sign. Indeed, even a single quality of sound--a quality of pitch, timbre, duration, or intensity--may act as a sign" (Coker, Music and Meaning, 2).

8. Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, 55.

9. Ibid., 54.

10. Ibid.

11. Philip Tagg, Introductory Notes, 25-27. See also Eco, A Theory of Semiotics, 191-217, especially 204-205.

12. See for example Terence Deacon, The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997).

13. Charles Morris, "Signs and the Act," in Robert E. Innis, ed., Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985), 178.

14. Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music," 39.

15. Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959).

16. Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, 11.

17. See for example Eco, A Theory of Semiotics, 16; see also Kofi Agawu, Playing With Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classic Music (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991), 49. Another widely-cited model of musical meaning is that of Boris Asafyev, especially his Musical Form as a Process (translation and commentary by J. R. Tull, Ph.D. Dissertation, Ohio State University, 1977).

18. Tagg, Introductory Notes.

19. Richard Middleton, Studying Popular Music (Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1990), 119. On the other hand, Peter Van der Merwe makes a complementary argument that elements of popular music were appropriated into art-music contexts; see his Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth Century Popular Music (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992).

20. Molino, "Musical Fact and the Semiology of Music." For a detailed application of Molino's theory see Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music, trans. Carolyn Abbate (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990). It should be pointed out that Nattiez advocates a more absolutist semiotic method--foregrounding verifiable structural characteristics at the expense of social convention, for example--and therefore his approach is not entirely applicable for studying popular music's more referentialist qualities, as I do here. Nevertheless, his discussion of the tripartite musical model is useful, regardless of approach, for helping the musical analyst get out of the analyst's "comfort zone" by considering all aspects of the musical fact.

21. Nattiez, Music and Discourse, 15.

22. Ibid., 72 (emphasis added).

23. Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, 291.

24. Tagg, Introductory Notes, 28.

25.  Ibid., 29.

26. Ray Coleman, The Carpenters: The Untold Story (New York: Harper Collins, 1994), 127.

27. Middleton, Studying Popular Music, 31.

28. Tagg, Introductory Notes, 25.

29. Kinetic anaphones are musical gestures connoting motion--for example, the quick anapestic rhythm of Rossini's William Tell Overture signifies the galloping horse of the Lone Ranger to millions of people. Tactile anaphones are less common, but one can for example consider the "lush string pads" of commercial synthesizer music (new-age music and film scores). See Tagg, Introductory Notes, 25.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid.

32. Theodor Adorno, Introduction to the Sociology of Music, trans. E. B. Ashton (New York: Continuum, 1989), 25-26.

33. Patricia Romanowski and Holly George-Warren, eds., The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll (New York: Fireside/Rolling Stone Press, 1995), 153.

34. Coleman, The Carpenters: The Untold Story, 39.

35. Ibid.

36. The song was first recorded by Delaney and Bonnie (Bramlett); Rita Coolidge first covered the song on Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen album, released in the fall of 1970. At the time of her appearance on the Tonight Show, Midler was still regarded as something of a novelty act. For the comparison of Midler's version to Mae West, see Coleman, The Carpenters, 105.

37. Coleman, The Carpenters, 105.

38. As Richard explained to an unidentified radio interviewer, "the union allows you to do four tunes in one session." Vickie Dalen, transcriber, "Richard and Karen Radio Interview--date unknown,"http://www.vex.net/~paulmac/carpenter/articles/unk_radio1.html (11 March 2002).

39. Richard Carpenter, telephone conversation with Daniel Levitin, 18 June 2002; quoted in Daniel Levitin, personal e-mail communication, 18 June 2002.

40. Ibid.

41. Panning describes routing a signal from one stereo channel to the other in the final mix. The effect was especially popular on electric piano tracks--the introduction to Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" (Innervisions, 1973) presents one such example.

42. Daniel Levitin, "Pop Charts: How Richard Carpenter's lush arrangements turned hit songs into pop classics," Electronic Musician 11/5 (May 1995), 28.

43. Carpenter, conversation with Levitin, June 18, 2002.

44. Lester Bangs, "The Carpenters and the Creeps," Rolling Stone no. 77 (4 March 1971), 23.

45. Ibid.

46. Ibid.

47. Jon Landau, "Records: Carpenters," Rolling Stone no. 85 (24 June 1971), 43.

48. Ibid.

49. Jim Curtis, Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984 (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green Popular Press, 1987), 250.

50. Ibid.

51. Daniel Levitin, "Pop Charts," 30.

52. Daniel Levitin, "Arranging Master Class: Richard Carpenter,"http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/CCRMA/Courses/192d:1997/rc_arranging.htm (6 June 2001).

53. Levitin, "Pop Charts," 28.

54. Coleman, The Carpenters: The Untold Story, 106.

55. Quoted in "Carpenters FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions,"http://www.vex.net/~paulmac/carpenter/faq.html (11 March 2002). The quote is from the Toronto Star, 12 October 1990.

56. Craig Rosen, "A&M Set Brings Carpenters Fans Out of Woodwork," Billboard 106, no. 34 (20 August 1994), 101.

57. Ibid.

58. Ibid.

59. Nattiez, Music and Discourse, 139-140.

60. Tagg, Introductory Notes.

61. Levitin, "Pop Charts," 30.

62. Zak, The Poetics of Rock, 108-112

63. Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music," 51-53

64. Here Levitin refers to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, an "adult instrumental" ensemble that enjoyed a number of chart successes--including "The Lonely Bull," "Tijuana Taxi," and "A Taste of Honey"--between 1962 and 1971. Bandleader Alpert was also a co-founder (with Jerry Moss) of A&M Records, and it was Alpert who offered the Carpenters a recording contract. Therefore, the "Tijuana Brass" elements in Richard Carpenter's arrangement may be easily regarded as a sort of tribute to this important figure in the Carpenters' early career.

65. Midler's version of "Superstar" can be heard on The Divine Miss M. (Atlantic, 1972).

66. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Principles of Orchestration, trans. Edward Agate (New York: E. F. Kalmus, 1912), 19.

67. Hector Berlioz and Richard Strauss, Treatise on Instrumentation, trans. Theodore Front (New York: Dover Publications, 1991), 164.

68. Cooke, The Language of Music, 162-63.

69. Ibid., 74. Richard Carpenter changed the major-mode plagal cadences of Midler's version to half cadences in aeolian minor.

70. Ibid.

71. Ibid., 159.

72. Ibid., 162.

73. Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, 48.

74. Ibid., 49-50.

75. Frank Pooler, "The Choral Sound of the Carpenters," Choral Journal 13/8 (April 1973), 16. By contrast, "neutral" songs, such as "Close to You," have a sustained affect without offering dramatic changes.

76. Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, 115.

77.  Levitin, "Pop Charts," 28.

78. A similar gesture dominates David Bowie's instrumental "Sense of Doubt" ("Heroes", 1977), in which a series of low chromatically-descending octaves on the piano are given the same sonic treatment.

79. Percy Bysshe Shelley, "To ----- [Music, When Soft Voices Die]," in M. H. Abrams, ed., The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 5th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987), 1786.

80. Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, 65.

81. Zak, The Poetics of Rock, 191.

82. For a clear exposition of the application of Jacques Derrida's theories of deconstruction and différance to music, see Chapter 10 of Raymond Monelle's Linguistics and Semiotics in Music (Philadelphia: Harwood Academic Press, 1992), 304-323.

83. It is unclear whether Midler had heard the Delaney and Bonnie original version of the song, or Rita Coolidge's cover--or whether in fact she had heard a recorded version at all (one cannot rule out, for example, that she may have learned the song by reading sheet music).

84. Joseph Swain, Musical Languages (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), 55.

85. Coleman, The Carpenters: The Untold Story, 106.

86. Related and more empirically based experiments in how listeners construct musical meaning include Laurel J. Trainor and Sandra E. Trehub, "The Development of Referential Meaning in Music," Music Perception 9/4 (Summer 1992), 455-470; see also Carol L. Krumhansl, "A Perceptual Analysis of Mozart's Piano Sonata K.282: Segmentation, Tension, and Musical Ideas," Music Perception 13/3 (Spring 1996), 401-432. Trainor and Trehub evaluated the ability of children (ages 3 to 6) to relate musical forms to extramusical concepts, using excerpts from Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals. An experiment with a broader focus, involving adult listeners, was conducted by Krumhansl, who measured listeners' perceptions of large-scale segmentation, tension, and the introduction of new musical ideas (which she links to Agawu's discussion of "topics" in musical discourse). Her findings in part support claims that listener competence assists in constructing musical meaning: "All these kinds of responses elicited from listeners showed precise time-locking to musical events and considerable reliability across repetitions. Only the third task, identifying new musical ideas, exhibited a temporal change in responding with increased experience with the piece; new ideas were identified somewhat more slowly the first time the task was performed" (Krumhansl, "Perceptual Analysis," 427).

87. Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music," 59-61.

88. This student response confirms one of Eugene Narmour's findings regarding the processing of musical schemata: "On the one hand, listeners continuously invoke style downward on various levels. Any single initial event causes a listener consciously to make top-down schematic calculations--about a piece's culture, genre, geographic locale, period, representative oeuvre, medium to be used, perhaps even the specific work from which it comes--and then cognitively to marshal the hierarchical syntactic schemata relevant to deciphering the expected continuation" (Eugene Narmour, The Analysis and Cognition of Melodic Complexity [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992], 9).

End of footnotes