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Statutory interpretation

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

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Conducting The Constitution: Justice Scalia, Textualism, And The Eroica Symphony, Ian Gallacher Jan 2006

Conducting The Constitution: Justice Scalia, Textualism, And The Eroica Symphony, Ian Gallacher

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

The goal of this article is a very modest one: to use one piece of music, the first movement of Beethoven's Eroica symphony, to consider how legal scholars, using the doctrinal principles they have developed to interpret the Constitution, would interpret the piece as conductors. This article makes no pretense of offering a new genre of legal hermeneutics; there is no suggestion here that a "law and musicology" movement will provide a comprehensive analytical framework which we can use to solve problems of Constitutional interpretation. Rather, this article suggests that musical interpretative "doctrines"--if so loose a collection of practices merits …