Worthen Speaks at Florida International University

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

This news story

April 24, 2019


Douglas Worthen recently presented Applied Semiotics: Utilizing the Many Channels of Musical Communication at Florida International University’s library on Thursday, April 11. The lecture, which was both live-streamed across the web and also archived for viewers, is described below:

Classical Music may have divested itself of meaningful discourse by viewing the musical score as the sole communicative channel worthy of serious analytical consideration. Semiotic analysis provides a useful tool for including intrinsic and extrinsic interpretive channels that have previously been outside the purview of traditional music theory. By first acknowledging the importance of shared sociocultural, symbolic and intrinsic vocabularies among composers, performers, and audiences, the case for incorporating these channels of communication is evident. After a brief introduction to the basic elements of semiotic inquiry, the author will present two examples of the way in which his semiotic mapping has helped performers build more meaningful interpretations.