Music and Narrative since 1900

Music and Narrative since 1900

Edited by Michael L. Klein and Nicholas Reyland
Distribution: United States of America
Publication date: 11/26/2012
Format: Hardback 7 b&w illus., 65 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00644-8
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This comprehensive volume offers a wide-ranging perspective on the stories that art music has told since the start of the 20th century. Contributors challenge the broadly held opinion that the loss of tonality in some music after 1900 also meant the loss of narrative in that music. To the contrary, the editors and essayists in this book demonstrate how experiments in approaching narrative in other media, such as fiction and cinema, suggested fresh possibilities for musical narrative, which composers were quick to exploit. The new conceptions of time, narrative voice, plot, and character that accompanied these experiments also had a significant impact on contemporary music. The repertoire explored in the collection ranges across a wide variety of genres and includes composers from Charles Ives and the Pet Shop Boys to Thomas Adès and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Author Bio

Michael L. Klein is Professor of Music Studies at Temple University and author of Intertextuality in Western Art Music (IUP 2004).

Nicholas Reyland is Senior Lecturer in Music, Film Studies and Media, Communications, and Culture at Keele University. He is author of Zbigniew Preisner's Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red: A Film Score Guide (2011).


“A triumphant demonstration of structuralism as a living force in contemporary music studies, this volume assembles some of the brightest and best to illuminate the narrative in music and the music in narrative. Klein & Reyland's rich and varied collection marks an important step for music theory’s narrative turn.”
 — Michael Spitzer, author of Music as Philosophy: Adorno and Beethoven's Late Style (IUP, 2006)

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Table of Contents

Part 1. Framing the Narrative
1. Musical Story
2. Negation and Negotiation: Plotting Narrative through Literature and Music from Modernism to Postmodernism
Part 2. Theorizing Modern Musical Narrative
3. Narrative Engagement with Twentieth-Century Music: Possibilities and Limits
4. Optional Extra? Contextualizing Narrative in the Critical Interpretation of Post-tonal Composition
5. Archetypes of Initiation and Static Temporality in Contemporary Opera: Works of François-Bernard Mâche, Pascal Dusapin, and Gualtiero Dazzi
6. Agency, Determinism, Focal Time Frames, and Processive Minimalist Music
7. Musical Prose and Musical Narrativity in the Fin de Siècle
8. Narrative Nostalgia: Modern Art Music off the Rails
Part 3. Interpreting Modern Musical Narrative
9. Agency Effects in the Instrumental Drama of Musgrave and Birtwistle Rupprecht
10. Narrativities in the Music of Thomas Adès: The Piano Quintet and Brahms
11. Britten's Serenade and the Politico-Moral Crises of the Wartime Conjuncture: Hermeneutic and Narrative Notes on the "Nocturne"
12. Identity, Time, and Narrative in Three Songs about AIDS by the Pet Shop Boys
13. A Story of Violence: A Guitar Improvisation as a Narrative about Embodied Listening
14. Ives and the Now
15. Narrativity, Descriptivity, and Secondary Parameters: Ecstasy Enacted in Salvatore Sciarrino's Infinito nero
16. The Tropes of Desire and Jouissance in Kaija Saariaho's L'amour de loin
17. Expressive Doubling and the Narrative of Rebirth in Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 3, op. 73
18. Afterlife of an Archetype: Prokofiev and the Art of Subversion
19. Identity Formation in Webern's Six Pieces for Large Orchestra, op. 6 \
List of Contributors

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