International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 6 Number 4

July 3, 2005

The Use of Tetrads in the Analysis of Arts-Based Media

Peter Gouzouasis
Anne-Marie LaMonde
University of British Columbia

Citation: Gouzouasis, P. & LaMonde, A. M. (2005, July 3). The use of tetrads in the analysis of arts-based media. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 6(4). Retrieved [date] from

In this article, we chose the musical form of a sonata to examine tetrads, a simple four-fold structure that Marshall McLuhan coined and employed to describe various technologies. Tetrads, as cognitive models, are used to refine, focus, or discover entities in cultures and technologies, which are hidden from view in the psyche. Tetradic logic frames human artifacts and the means of doing things. The ideas that McLuhan eloquently brought to consciousness, long before technologies became the sophisticated communication tools they have become today, may be reinterpreted in a far more timely fashion. The poignancy of his views invite our immediate attention in light of the limitless extensions humans are being afforded with new technologies. McLuhan has always remained a significant and powerful voice among artists—his ideas, in effect, resonate with our artistic sensibilities.

This article is available in PDF format.

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