Publication details [#632]

Byros, Vasili. 2012. Unearthing the Past: Theory and Archaeology in Robert Gjerdingen's Music in the Galant Style. Music Analysis 31 (1) : 112–124. 13 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Wiley-Blackwell, on behalf of the Society for Music Analysis


This article reviews Robert O. Gjerdingen's Music in the Galant Style. Byros briefly discusses the 'filo' (thread) metaphor, as it emerges from Chapter 27 of Gjerdingen's work ("Il Filo: A Poco Adagio by Joseph Haydn"). The title derives from Leopold Mozart's well-known definition of good technical composition as the practice of placing things in a suitable order ('il filo'). Gjerdingen revisits the concept as a metaphor for good composition, but also for listening, arguing that 'il filo' may also refer to a cognitive thread of mental schemata that guide the listener in his/her relationship with a musical work. Byros observes that the 'filo' metaphor opens up new possibilities for research into the influence of schemata on the listener's tonal and form-functional orientations.