Critical Musicology and the Responsibility of Response: Selected Essays, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Critical Musicology and the Responsibility of Response

Selected Essays, 1st Edition

By Lawrence Kramer


346 pages

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Hardback: 9780754626640
pub: 2006-12-28

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Why does music move us? Lawrence Kramer suggests we should ask this old question in a different way: what is responsible for our response to music, and to what is our response responsible? The essays in this outstanding collection explore this question amongst many others, and by finding cultural meaning in music they exemplify the critical turn in musicology. Sixteen essays have been selected, most of them previously published, from the late 1980s to the present day. These are prefaced by an excellent introduction which traces the intellectual development of critical musicology and discusses the part these essays have had to play in that movement.


'…it is both stimulating and handy to have so many of Lawrence Kramer’s essays (some are book chapters) within the covers of one book…' Music and Letters 'it is clear to me that Kramer remains a force to be reckoned with, a provocative but responsible thinker, a modest maverick one might say, and a deft wordsmith.' British Journal of Aesthetics

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Selected bibliography; Tropes and windows: an outline of musical hermaneutics (1990); Decadence and desire: the 'Wilhelm Meister' songs of Wolf and Schubert; Dangerous Liaisons: the literary text in musical criticism; Music criticism and the postmodern turn: in contrary motion with Gary Tomlinson; Charging the Canons; The strange case of Beethoven's 'Coriolan' : romantic aesthetics, modern subjectivity, and the cult of Shakespeare; The harem threshold: Turkish music and Greek love in Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy'; Primitive encounters: Beethoven's 'Tempest' sonata, musical meaning, and enlightenment anthropology; Tolstoy's Beethoven, Beethoven's Tolstoy: the Kreutzer sonata; Like falling leaves: the erotics of mourning in four drum taps settings; Chopin at the funeral: episodes in the history of modern death; Recognizing Schubert: musical subjectivity, cultural change and Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady; Haydn's chaos, Schenker's order; or, musical meaning and musical analysis: can they mix? ; ); Speaking melody, melodic speech; 'Longindying Call': of music, modernity, and the Sirens 'Au-delà d'une musique informelle': nostalgia, obsolescence, and the avant-garde; Index.

About the Author

Lawrence Kramer is Professor of English and Music at Fordham University, New York, USA, and is an active composer.

About the Series

Ashgate Contemporary Thinkers on Critical Musicology Series

Ashgate Contemporary Thinkers on Critical Musicology Series

The titles in this series bring together a selection of previously published and some unpublished essays by leading authorities in the field of critical musicology. The essays are chosen from a wide range of publications and so make key works available in a more accessible form. The authors have all made a selection of their own work in one volume with an introduction which discusses the essays chosen and puts them into context. A full bibliography points the reader to other publications which might not be included in the volume for reasons of space. The previously published essays are published using the facsimile method of reproduction to retain their original pagination, so that students and scholars can easily reference the essays in their original form.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General