Repetition is a powerful means of articulating design and meaning in music. In contrast to simple repetition, musical analogy posits a functional repetition or similarity in otherwise dissimilar patterns. In music, analogy occurs both in a restrictive sense as rhetorical device and in a broader sense as an ongoing organizational and perceptual process. In this paper, I explore these uses of analogy in music and their ramifications for structural parallels between musical dimensions or between music and other artistic mediums. In its rhetorical treatment, analogy changes the temporal framework of musical events and serves an articulative purpose; in its broader treatment, analogy recurs and deepens through successive application. Examples explore how the variable relationships between local and broader mappings, or between degrees of thematic and rhythmic similarity, shape the analogy. A second stage of interpretation inquires into analogy's expressive function and meaning, the consequence of relating different frameworks. This meaning lies in the interconnection of frameworks, not in relationships generated solely by or within a particular framework.
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Research Article| October 01 1990
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Marianne Kielian-Gilbert; Interpreting Musical Analogy: From Rhetorical Device to Perceptual Process. Music Perception 1 October 1990; 8 (1): 63–94. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285486
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