Fiddle Music and the Constitution of Musical Affect on (and away from) the Gaspé Coast: Interpreting Musical Affordance, Motion, and Emotion through Turino's Peircian Framework

Glenn Patterson


Combining ethnography with theories of musical “affordance” (DeNora 2004), semiotic affectivity (Turino 1999), and phenomenological senses of place (Casey 1996), this paper explores how the joint sonic structures of a local Gaspesian fiddle style and certain mass-mediated fiddle styles have fused into a deeply affective cultural resource for many of the older English-speaking residents of Douglastown, Quebec despite ongoing demographic decline and outmigration. I suggest that experiences of musical affect and focused modes of listener engagement are rooted in the affordance of the sounds themselves, which have engendered patterns of cultural “work” (DeNora 1999) that have imbued these sounds with a profound indexicality (Turino 1999; 2008; 2014).

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