Dissertation Abstracts

Phenomenological and Sociological Research for Musical Communication

Author: Noriko Teramae, noriko2016vienna@outlook.jp
Department: Human relations
University: Keio University, Japan
Supervisor: Prof. Hideo Hama
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: Japanese

Keywords: rhythm and beat , time and space , Alfred Schutz , Max Weber
Areas of Research: Communication, Knowledge and Culture , Theory , Conceptual and Terminological Analysis


This dissertation explores processes of modern musical communication from phenomenological, historical and sociological perspectives. In this paper, musical communication is defined as interaction among composers, players, and listeners through music. In a concert hall, players in an orchestra can start playing simultaneously once the conductor’s baton is raised, even a symphony begins with a sign of rest. Their bodies including listeners also accompany the music. The question is how the musical communication has been historically possible. In introduction, I present this paper’s theme in the context of Alfred Schutz’s Making Music Together and Max Weber’s Sociology of Music and with reference to rhythm and beat, unique phases of time in music. In section 1, The Principle of Musical Communication, I investigate simultaneous musical communication in we-relationships, that is in face to-face, referencing phenomenological sociology and Husserl’s phenomenology. I also investigate rhythm, which is one of the principles of music, and tuning-in relationships between bodies in musical processes. In section 2, Quasi-simultaneous Musical Communication, I investigate a rationalization of notation of western classical music, related to transformations of consciousness of social time. Although the former astonishingly lead to the latter, both were attempts to connect people by absolute time, in other words, universal time even if separated by immensities of time and space. In section 3, Rationalization of Instruments and Temperaments-- Two Phases of Rationalizations, I clarify processes of rationalizations of music, contrasting inventions of the piano and flute along with rationalizations of temperaments. These rationalizations have been done in accordance with performing space. In section 4, The Transformation of Space for Performing Music, I clarify the processes of completing modern musical communication based on the afore-mentioned investigations. Modern musical communication is completed at the concert hall under various modern conditions, for example, rationalized instruments that have an imposing voice for playing a symphony written in modern notation in a large space, and they are tuned with equal temperament. In section 5, Contemporary Musical Communication----from a Technique of Modern Notation Aiming for Permanent Preservation to Technologies for Recoding and Reproduction of Music, I investigate contemporary musical communication after modern musical communication, which is characterized by the use of electronic technology in composing, listening to and communicating music. That quasi-simultaneity which occurs in cyber space represents contemporary musical communication. Quasi-simultaneous musical communication in cyber space is now dominant around the world. In the last section, Historical Sociology of Musical Communication, I conclude that musical communication is constituted not only simultaneously between others in current we-relationships, but also quasi-simultaneously between others not in we-relationships.