Resituating the Icon: David Osmond-Smith’s Contribution to Music Semiotics

Curry, B (2012) Resituating the Icon: David Osmond-Smith’s Contribution to Music Semiotics. Twentieth-Century Music, 9 (1-2). pp. 177-200. ISSN 1478-5722. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Early in his career David Osmond-Smith produced a series of articles subjecting musical phenomena to semiotic analysis. The principal tool deployed in these articles is that of the icon or iconism, a concept borrowed from the American semiotician and pragmatist philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce and exhaustively examined, re-examined and criticized by Eco. This paper explains the principles of iconic signification and their use in Osmond-Smith’s work. Central to this explanation is a consideration of Eco’s work on iconism and the somewhat perplexing point that Osmond-Smith embraced iconism despite his awareness, and, at times, apparent support, of Eco’s thorough-going critique of the concept. Lastly, the more recent growth of interest in Peircian semiotics will be invoked in order to propose ways of developing Osmond-Smith’s application of iconism to music in line with pragmatist (or pragmaticist) thought.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: music, Osmond-Smith, Eco, semiotics, iconism
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Music and Fine Art
Depositing User: Ben Curry
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2012 12:18 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 15:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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