From Vivaldi to Coca-Cola commercial: Conceptual representation of winter in selected musical pieces
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The traditional approach within music theory views music as an autonomous language governed by its own grammar, a self-referential category studied in terms of texture and content. However, at the same time, itneglects the conceptual dimension of a musical piece. The cognitive approach to music (Zbikowski 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009), which relies heavily on conceptual metaphor theory (1980), seeks to fill this gap: it perceives musicas a metaphorical mode of expression and marks a shift from text-centered, formalistic accounts to listener-cen-tered analyses. As Zbikowski notes, “the structure of music is a reflection of the cognitive capacities of humanbeings” (Zbikowski 2005: 447). Employing selected cognitive terms, this paper argues that musical pieces, as exhibiting observable formalregularities, may exemplify certain concepts. It examines how the concept of winter has been rendered in sixselected works separated in time, yet united by the common motif. In conclusion, the paper argues that theperceived differences in winter representation modes demonstrate that the broad conceptual model of winter inmusic comprises of a multitude of related micrometaphors, such as staccato is falling snow or bells are Christmas. Such micrometaphors are creatively re-used in the Coca-Cola Christmas commercial.
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