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.
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-delÃ d'une musique informelle': nostalgia, obsolescence, and the avant-garde; Index.
Lawrence Kramer is Professor of English and Music at Fordham University, New York, USA, and is an active composer.
'...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