Musemes in affect. Philip Tagg’s model of music analysis

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Stefania Zielonka


The paper is an attempt to synthesize the most important aspects of a model of popular and film music analysis proposed by British musicologist Philip Tagg. Tagg, using the category of musemes – universal meaning units, isolated from the musical structure of the composition on the basis of criteria established for every given case – examines selected pieces using multi-level semiotic analysis. In his model Tagg takes into account both the importance of the broadly understood cultural context and the intertextuality of the piece. He also emphasizes the role of affect in musical communication, which is necessary to fully understand the meaning of a musical work.


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Zielonka, S. (2020). Musemes in affect. Philip Tagg’s model of music analysis. Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology, (20), 97-105.
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Stefania Zielonka, Oskar Kolberg Institute, Poznań

Stefania Zielonka – a graduate of the Institute of Musicology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 2015, she defended her BA thesis Contemporary religious song – its essence, role and functioning, and Inspirations – style – musical language in 2017 – MA thesis Choral works of Randall Thompson, Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre. Inspirations-style-musical language. Currently she is a research fellow at the Oskar Kolberg Institute in Poznań. Her scientific interests include contemporary vocal music and music editing, as well as selected issues in the field of methodology of the discipline and psychology of music.


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