Local and Global Strategies in Composition

  • Guerino Mazzola
Part of the Computational Music Science book series (CMS)


This chapter sketches the compositional process between paradigmatic selection and syntagmatic combination within the musical sign system. Apart from these semiotic perspectives, the process is characterized by a “dialectic” interrelation of local and global criteria. These features—well known from the general structure theory of global compositions—reappear in the special light of poiesis: The construction of a composition resembles the step-by-step completion of a puzzle of logical units, distributed in syntagmatic time, and selected to optimize association to already placed units. This activity is remunerative and fed back by a successive accumulation of poetical semantics.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guerino Mazzola
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MusicUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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