Listening With Imagination : Is Music Representational? Essay

1018 Words Feb 14th, 2016 null Page
In “Listening with Imagination: Is Music Representational?” Kendall Walton asks the question: “If music can be nudged so easily into obvious representationality, can we be confident that without the nudge it is not representational at all?”1 The answer that Walton gives, and one that parallels the question of the combination of music and video, is that music is expressive. The expressiveness of music makes it susceptible to “...being made explicitly representational.”2 Although Walton does not specific talk about video as a mode in which music is expressed, this does seem to point towards an “extramusical” meaning being represented through the video.3 Another example of where the combination of music and video can better explain the problem of cultural appropriation is ZZ Top 's, “My Head 's in Mississippi.” In “Race, Ethnicity, Expressive Authenticity: Can White People Sing the Blues?” Rudinow presents the cultural appropriation problem, inherent in this song, through the proprietary argument of ownership. As Rudinow explains, “ZZ Top has obviously imitated or “borrowed from” elements of John Lee Hooker 's distinctive style in several of their original composition.”4 The proprietary argument can be understood by listening and comparing John Lee Hooker 's 1948 recording of “Boogie Chillun,” with ZZ Top 's “La Grange,” and “My Head 's in Mississippi. However, a deeper appreciation of the cultural appropriation argument can be witnessed by watching the video of ZZ Top…

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