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Article
Author(s)

LEUNG Tai-wai David

Affiliation(s)

Independant Scholar, Hong Kong China

ABSTRACT

Throughout Western music history, pre-existing material has long been the aesthetic core of a new composition. Yet there has never been such an epoch as our time in which using pre-existing material, melodic quotation in particular, features so extensively in works of many of the composers. The aim of this paper is to investigate how the use of quoted tunes in a musical piece operates in an interwoven complex where time and space are of the essence. A quote is able to oscillate perpetually between one’s mental worlds of the memorable past and the imaginative present when it is highlighted enough to be recognizable from its surrounding context. Upon interpreting the use of quotation in various contexts, the aesthetic object, I argue, is the shift from original to quoted music, and vice versa. And listeners can respond aesthetically to the quotation itself even without knowledge of its provenance and textual or referential content.

KEYWORDS

aesthetics, collage, emotional response, flashback, imaginary world, memory, metaphor, musical borrowing, melodic quotation, quoted tune, real world, stream-of-consciousness, temporal level

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