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Q&A

'differential' vs 'different' : as adjectives, not nouns.

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Are the textbooks below using 'differential' correctly? Why not just write 'different'?

The structure of differential identity is such that in order for there to be a limit at all, one difference along the set of equivalent differences must break the series. This single, decisive difference becomes the threshold after which other equivalent differences belong in some other series of equivalent differences. Laclau terms these series a "chain of equivalences. For him, this process for delimiting difference that might signify how a bounded entity is formed from within a system that logically allows for no closure means that the limit is internal to the system—internal to the sys- tem but not its negation, as we find in the dialectic model. The system of differential identity makes the limit impossible: to break the chain of equiv- alences is to interrupt the structure of differential identity. But because of this, the limit becomes in fact necessary.34 Otherwise, there will be nothing but an endless dispersion disallowing not just systems of signification (in a way what concerns us when thinking about the music-and-language and/ or music-and-speech divide) but also the construction of actual social for- mations where differential relations are all there might be.

Keith Chapin, Speaking of Music Addressing the Sonorous (2013), p 222.

      The second obstacle, of a more aesthetic order, lay in the very nature of the phenomena described by Helmholtz. Thus, for differential sounds, for example, he comes to the conclusion that: 'The series [of differential sounds] are interrupted as soon as the last order fails to produce any new notes. As a general rule, this leads to the generation of the complete harmonic series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. right down to the generating fundamentals.'22 If one attempts to make these phenomena audible by means of instrumental writing, nothing but an increase in the density of the same chord in the bass register would be obtained. Varése, a composer fascinated by older composers such as Debussy, Busoni and Richard Strauss, and at a time when the latter was considered, even more than Schoenberg, to be the modern composer par excellence, probably saw no gain in such a thickening of triadic structures. It must therefore be asked whether Varése's knowledge of Helmholtz served to provide a screen on to which he projected a somewhat negative image. Would he not rather, in pursuing his aim of writing resolutely modern, and therefore atonal, music, have attempted to apply certain fundamental ideas of Helmholtz to a foreign context? The absence of the indispensable means of production led him to imagine a form of concrete metaphoric composition; namely, an instrumental transcription of acoustic phenomena, considered in a rigorous, stylistic light. The principles of distortion which follow open up a network of stylistic conditions and compositional choices.

Max Paddison, Irène Deliège, Contemporary Music Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives (2013), p 126.

      Move 3: consider the shifting between alternately subdivided melodic spans in "domi- nant" or "subdominant"/plagal coloring, each with a qualitatively different experiential feel (for example, in contrasting implications between melodic divisions (A: A-E-A) or (A: E—A—E, etc.). These differential presentations of vocal and instrumental melodic spans, for example, alternate between melodic spans bounded by the tonic scale degree (e.g., A: A—E—A) and those that figure "plagal" or "whole-tone" ambiguities or substi- tutes, for example, as bounded by scale degree A5 (e.g., A: E—A—E). This shifting also involves morphing orientations in relation to scale degrees ^l, ^5, and ^4 (e.g., A: D—A— E), refiguring scale degree ^1 in relation to its relational potential equidistant as lower or upper fifth relation to scale degrees ^5 and ^4 (e.g., A: D—A—E), in plagal orientation (A: A—D—A), or in a whole-tone environment (A: F—Eb-C#—B—A—G-F).

The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (2015), p 385.

      Although I will draw on the dominant paradigms in psychology and psychiatry throughout this book, I do so with caution because of the inherent limitations in their methods and theorizing about our subjective experiences and psychological states. For example, the prevailing emphasis on diagnostic categories for psychological condi- tions has both advantages and disadvantages, and these will be covered in more detail in our discussion of the diagnostic classification systems currently in use, and how music performance anxiety may usefully be classified within this system. Most people would agree that it is essential to correctly differentiate psychoses from other psychological disorders. Since the major form of treatment for the various psychotic illnesses is pharmacotherapy and since different drugs produce differential effects on different conditions, few would argue that careful diagnosis should precede prescription of medication. However, for other psychological ills, the argument with respect to the use of a classificatory system is not so clear, and this is reflected in recent developments to achieve a synthesis in psychological therapies for a range of emo-tional disorders (Barlow, 2008a). Before we embark on a detailed discussion of this issue, we will review some of the philosophies and methods underpinning psychology that have influenced theory and therapy, in order to explicate the concepts and models on which I rely in this book to further our understanding of music performance anxiety.

Dianna Kenny, The Psychology of Music Performance Anxiety (2011), p 2.

Performance anxiety had not been classified in any DSM up to and including DSM-IV (1994). In the DSM-IV-TR (2000), performance anxiety is briefly discussed in a section on differential diagnosis in social phobia:

Performance anxiety, stage fright, and shyness in social situations that involve unfamiliar people are common and should not be diagnosed as Social Phobia unless the anxiety or avoidance leads to clinically significant impairment or marked distress (2000, 300.323).

It is somewhat disturbing that even the DSM does not attempt to differentiate between performance anxiety, stage fright, and shyness in social situations. The statement above, however, implies that social phobia is the more debilitating condition; as such, a definition is only warranted if the anxiety or avoidance that is characteristic of the diagnosis of all four conditions results in impairment or distress.

Ibid, p 49.

Panel-B indicates that when all values for deficiency severity were summated Into an overall total score, the trips that were significantly more efficient — and hence safer — were when drivers listened to ExpMus. Finally, Panel-C shows that the differential effects of music on event severity were statistically significant. Namely, the alternative experimental background significantly decreased the severity of driving deficiencies as rated by highly experienced expert observers.

Warren Brodsky, Driving with Music Cognitive-behavioural Implications (2015), p 291.

Alternative Modes of Theorizing

Drawing from the conceptualization of polyrhythm as the manifestation of a differential consciousness I will now build a discourse that explores alternative modes of theorization created and manifested in participatory music practices, such as fandango. In addition to being the manifestation of differential consciousness, polyrhythmic social and musical intentions operate as a vehicle to access differential consciousness. Thus, differential consciousness is linked to whatever is not expressible through words. It is accessed through poetic modes of expression: gestures, music, images, sounds, words that plummet or rise through signification to find some void—some no place—to claim their due. This mode of consciousness both inspires and depends on differential social movement and the methodology of the oppressed and its differential technologies, yet it functions outside speech, outside academic criticism, in spite of all attempts to pursue and identify its place and origin (Sandoval, 140).

K. Meira Goldberg, Antoni Pizà, Transatlantic Malagueñas and Zapateados in Music, Song and Dance (2019), p 421.

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