This outstanding collection of Susan McClary's work exemplifies her contribution to a bridging of the gap between historical context, culture and musical practice. The selection includes essays which have had a major impact on the field and others which are less known and reproduced here from hard-to-find sources. The volume is divided into four parts: Interpretation and Polemics, Gender and Sexuality, Popular Music, and Early Music. Each of the essays treats music as cultural text and has a strong interdisciplinary appeal. Together with the autobiographical introduction they will prove essential reading for anyone interested in the life and times of a renegade musicologist.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: the life and times of a renegade musicologist; Bibliography; Part I Interpretation and Polemics: Pitches, expression, ideology: an exercise in mediation; The blasphemy of talking politics during Bach Year; Narrative agendas in 'absolute' music: identity and difference in Brahms's 3rd symphony; Terminal prestige: the case of avant-garde music composition. Part II Gender and Sexuality: A material girl in Bluebeard's castle; Stuctures of identity and difference in Bizet's Carmen; Constructions of subjectivity in Schubert's music. Part III Popular Music: 'Same as it ever was': youth culture and music; Living to tell: Madonna's resurrection of the fleshly; Thinking blues. Part IV Early Music: The cultural work of the madrigal; Cycles of Repetition: Chacona, Ciaccona, Chaconne, and the Chaconne; Index.
Susan McClary specializes in the cultural criticism of music, both the European canon and contemporary popular genres. Her recent publications explore the many ways in which subjectivities”cultural notions of selfhood, of how emotions feel, and so on”have been construed in music from the sixteenth-century onward.