Music of the Sirens

Music of the Sirens

Edited by Linda Phyllis Austern and Inna Naroditskaya
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/29/2006
Format: paper 440 pages, 38 b&w illus., 2 maps
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21846-9
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Whether referred to as mermaid, usalka, mami wata, or by some other name, and whether considered an imaginary being or merely a person with extraordinary abilities, the siren is the remarkable creature that has inspired music and its representations from ancient Greece to present-day Africa and Latin America. This book, co-edited by a historical musicologist and an ethnomusicologist, brings together leading scholars and some talented newcomers in classics, music, media studies, literature, and cultural studies to consider the siren and her multifaceted relationships to music across human time and geography.

Author Bio

Linda Phyllis Austern is Associate Professor of Musicology in the School of Music, Northwestern University.

Inna Naroditskaya is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the School of Music, Northwestern University.


". . . This is a thorough review of a fascinating, although somewhat esoteric, topic. . . . Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty." —Choice

". . . The editors are to be applauded for bringing together in such a coherent fashion in one volume essays exploring such widely divergent empirical material as classical Greek texts, nineteenth century Russian operas, contemporary ethnography in highland Bolivia, and album covers by Mariah Carey." —Thomas Solomon, University of Bergen, Journal of Folklore Research , 1/19/09

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Singing Each to Each Inna Naroditskaya and Linda Phyllis Austern
1. Sirens in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Leofranc Holford-Strevens
2. "Teach Me to Heare Mermaides Singinge": Embodiments of (Acoustic) Pleasure and Danger in the Modern West Linda Phyllis Austern
3. Devils, Daydreams, and Desire: Siren Traditions and Musical Creation in the Central-Southern Andes Henry Stobart
4. "Sweet aluring harmony": Heavenly and Earthly Sirens in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Literary and Visual Culture Elena Laura Calogero
5. The Sirens, the Epicurean Boat, and the Poetry of Praise Stephen M. Buhler
6. "Longindyingcall": Of Music, Modernity, and the Sirens Lawrence Kramer
7. Russian Rusalkas and Nationalism: Water, Power, and Women Inna Naroditskaya
8. Rheinsirenen: Loreley and Other Rhine Maidens Annegret Fauser
9. The Mermaid of the Meyhane: The Legend of a Greek Singer in a Turkish Tavern John Morgan O'Connell
10. Siren Serenades: Music for Mami Wata and Other Water Spirits in Africa Henry John Drewal with Charles Gore and Michelle Kisliuk
11. The Navel, the Corporate, the Contradictory: Pop Sirens at the Twenty-first Century Thomasin LaMay and Robin Armstrong
12. The Cocktail Siren in David Lynch's Blue Velvet Jeongwon Joe
List of Contributors