In this discussion, Professor Tomlinson examined how the deep, extraordinary history of musicking offers several heuristic opportunities of extra-musical reach. It traces the emergence of a semiosis, unique in some regards, that builds complex, systematic organization onto non-symbolic signification. In doing so, it suggests an approach to the human/non-human limit that minimizes language and consequently turns away from human exceptionalism to emphasize our participation in a broader animal community. This in turn opens a vista looking out from characteristic human capacities onto the broadest reaches of sign-making, information, and animateness.
- Gary Tomlinson John Jay Whitney Professor of Music and the Humanities Yale University