The Routledge Handbook of Music Signification  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Music Signification

ISBN 9781032172798
Published December 13, 2021 by Routledge
428 Pages 76 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Music Signification captures the richness and complexity of the field, presenting 30 essays by recognized international experts that reflect current interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches to the subject.

Examinations of music signification have been an essential component in thinking about music for millennia, but it is only in the last few decades that music signification has been established as an independent area of study. During this time, the field has grown exponentially, incorporating a vast array of methodologies that seek to ground how music means and to explore what it may mean. Research in music signification typically embraces concepts and practices imported from semiotics, literary criticism, linguistics, the visual arts, philosophy, sociology, history, and psychology, among others. By bringing together such approaches in transparent groupings that reflect the various contexts in which music is created and experienced, and by encouraging critical dialogues, this volume provides an authoritative survey of the discipline and a significant advance in inquiries into music signification.

This book addresses a wide array of readers, from scholars who specialize in this and related areas, to the general reader who is curious to learn more about the ways in which music makes sense.

Table of Contents

Esti Sheinberg and William P. Dougherty

  1. Music Signification and Philosophy

    1. "Musik ist das nicht": On Romantic Incomprehensibility in Chopin
      Jamie Liddle
    2. From Semio-ethics to a Semiotics of Speech in Music and Musicology: Theoretical (and Utopian) Projections
      Christine Esclapez
    3. Music and Reality
      Ben Curry
    4. From Ursatz to Urzemic: Avenues for Theories and Analyses of Music Signification
      Eero Tarasti

  1. Music Signification and Semiotics
    1. The Musical Signifier
      Lawrence Kramer
    2. Barthes’s The Grain of the Voice Revisited
      Anne Kauppala
    3. Britten and Stravinsky’s Neoclassical Opera: Signs, Signification, and Subjectivity
      Nicholas P. McKay
    4. Fundamental Concepts for the Semiotic Interpretation of Musical Meaning: A Personal Journey
      Robert Hatten

  2. Music Signification and Topic Theory

    1. Patterns and Topics as Elements of Signification in Late Eighteenth-Century Music
      Lauri Suurpää
    2. "Mad Day" and the "March of Bacchus": Figaro in Mahler’s Third Symphony
      Lóránt Péteri
    3. Topics and Stylistic Register in Russian Opera, 1775–1800
      Johanna Frymoyer
    4. She Spins and She Sighs: The Spinning-Wheel Topic and the Lamentation of the Romantic Female
      Chia-Yi Wu
    5. Charles Griffes’s Xanadu: A Musical Garden of Opposites
      Taylor A. Greer

  1. Music Signification and Narrative

    1. Music Narrative: Theory, Context, Subjectivity
      Byron Almén
    2. Motivic Linkage and Actantial Pairing in Britten’s Operas
      Michael Baker
    3. The Narrative Rhetoric of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
      Anatole Leikin
    4. From Music Signification to Musical Narrativity: Concepts and Analyses
      Márta Grabócz

  1. Music Signification and Society

    1. Musical Vernaculars and their Signifying Transformations
      Marina Ritzarev
    2. Multimodal Reinforcement and Worlds of Sense: A Political Approach to Musical Emotions
      Oscar Hernández-Salgar
    3. Reading Meaning In and Out of Music from Theresienstadt: The Case of Pavel Haas
      Martin Curda
    4. FKA twigs and Popular Music Signification: The Challenge of Fluid Clarity
      William Echard
    5. Lost Innocence: Signifying East, Signifying West
      Edward Campbell

  1. Music Signification and Emotion, Cognition and Embodiment

    1. Four Flavors of Pre-Modern Emotion
      Michael Spitzer
    2. Music as Experience: Musical Sense-making between Step-by-Step Processing and Synoptic Overview
      Mark Reybrouck
    3. Melody as Representation
      David Lidov

  1. Music Signification and Education

    1. Musical Semiosis as a Process of Learning and Growth
      Juha Ojala
    2. A Pragmatic Map of Music Signification for Music Analysis Courses
      Joan Grimalt

  1. Music Signification and Intermediality

    1. The Operatic Principle: Negotiating Contradictory Demands of Signification
      Bálint Veres
    2. Pianto as a Topical Signifier of Grief in Contemporary Operas by John Adams, Thomas Adès, and Kaija Saariaho
      Yayoi Uno Everett
    3. Musical Ekphrasis: The Evolution of the Concept and the Breadth of its Application
      Siglind Bruhn
    4. Bibliography

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Esti Sheinberg published articles on music signification; Irony, Satire, Parody and the Grotesque in the Music of Shostakovich (Ashgate, 2000); edited Music Semiotics: A Network of Significations—in Honour and Memory of Raymond Monelle (Ashgate, 2012), and Anatoly Milka’s Rethinking J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (Ashgate-Routledge, 2016).

William P. Dougherty, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Drake University, has published articles on music semiotics and on the semiotics of the art song. In particular, he has explored settings of the Mignon Lieder from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre.