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Child Composers in the Old ConservatoriesHow Orphans Became Elite Musicians$
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Robert O. Gjerdingen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190653590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190653590.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 June 2021

Affordance and the Musical Habitus

Affordance and the Musical Habitus

(p.207) 15 Affordance and the Musical Habitus
Child Composers in the Old Conservatories

Robert O. Gjerdingen

Oxford University Press

In the terminology of design, an “affordance” is what we perceive an object as inviting us to do. Thus a doorknob invites us to turn it, a button on a computer screen invites us to click on it, and so forth. For the students in the old conservatories, specific patterns in basses and melodies invited specific completions in four voices. Using four contestants in the harmony contest of 1877 as a sample, we can judge the perceived strength of the affordances of the given melody by noticing how similar are the contestants’ responses. If three or four of the contestants realized a short passage of the given melody in the same way, it probably means that their educations and experiences had led them to hear that passage in the same way and with a very similar meaning.

Keywords:   Affordance, Habitus, Émile Durand, Welleke Wendrich, Lisa B. Jørgenson, Siegfried Dehn, Florintin Piffaretti, Lucien Hillemacher, Léon Lemoine, Georges Falkenberg

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