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Introduction: The Meaning of Musical Time

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Chapter Summary

The sounds emanating from the earphones of the millions of iPods and other audio devices that are so much a part of contemporary life are even more overwhelmingly dominated by groove music. Musical groove began as a Western phenomenon, but, like many other aspects of Western culture in the era of globalisation, has now spread to other parts of the world. Groove emerges in Western popular music around the turn of the twentieth century, and represents a distinct departure in the organisation of musical time. The demarcation between form and content may be relatively straightforward in the case of figurative painting, but is notoriously difficult to determine in music. Susan McClary's discussion of the establishment of Western tonality as a convention focuses on 'analogs' as the primary way by which meaning can be teased out of apparently neutral or 'purely musical' material.

Keywords: figurative painting; groove music; musical time; Susan McClary; Western tonality



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