AbstractThe article investigates aspects of globality with respect to music theory and especially mathematical and computer-aided music theory. The local/global dichotomy is applied (a) to the discipline such from a cultural semiotic point of view, (b) to the strategies of scientific knowledge management dogmatics, modeling and hermeneutics, and (c) to the music-theoretical discourse subjects. A detailed discussion is dedicated to the study of Guerino Mazzola’s proposal for a mathematical denotator system for music-theoretical objects which is finally applied to Daniel Harrison’s dual network of harmonic concepts.
The KlangArt ’99 Global Village – Global Brain – Global Music was devoted to the global nature of musical culture and presented approaches to interdisciplinary music research. Hence, on a metalevel, it is worth studying the global nature of music research. Interdiscplinary collaboration leads to a complex interplay of research interests. Although the dynamics of research interests in a scientific community work on their own and are certainly not fully controlled by institutions and individuals, it is nevertheless useful to reflect upon these processes. We will argue in favour of the idea that globality of music-theoretical knowledge in some respect mirrors the globality of its object domain. However, global knowledge is not the same as knowledge about globality. In contemporary physics one observes a strong desire for Grand Unified Theories turning the main accepted working theories1
of the principal interactions into one.
It is not clear wether it is legitimate and of great benefit to compare physics with musicology. What are the accepted local working music theories to be unified? Is there a desire to do so? These questions are not only directed towards epistemology, but to a high degree towards the mechanisms of scientific culture. Therefore we refer to a semiotically motivated tripartition of culture and discuss it with respect to the local/global dichotomy, because these are constituents that may be suitably associated with the KlangArt topic. The basic semiotic anatomy and mechanisms of culture are based on the interaction of three domains, namely social, material and mental culture (cf. ).