Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Visual images abound in music theory and analysis. From scores to voice-leading sketches, spectrographs to transformational networks, and through all kinds of other graphics, theorists use images to present and persuade. As music-theoretic discourse becomes increasingly multimodal, the differences between words and images as modes of expression, as well as the nature of the conceptual work that each does in a particular case, become critical concerns. Informed by work in science and technology studies, cartography, information visualization, and visual studies, this chapter establishes a concept of mode and considers some of the various affordances and exigencies of visual images and verbal text. It then draws a conceptual distinction between two functions of visual images in music theoretic-discourse: visualization (to render information that is invisible in visual form; “to show”) and representation (to convey a specific analytic interpretation of what is shown; “to tell”), each illustrated by a series of examples.

Keywords: analytic interpretation, graphic, iconicity, image, multimodal text, representation, visual argument, visualization

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.