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Chapter 26 - Genre

from Part III - Performance and Composition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2021

Joanne Cormac
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
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Summary

Genre is a fluid, performative concept, which involves the audience’s expectations as much as a set of preconceived rules and gestures to which a composer must comply in order to have produced a work that is in a recognisable genre. As Jeffrey Kallberg has written, genre is a ‘social phenomenon shared by composers and listeners alike’.1 It is how a generic term is used, within which contexts and traditions, and how it is perceived by composers and audiences, that gives genre meaning. Indeed, genre is ‘a communicative concept’. A ‘generic contract’ is developed between composer and listener, in which the composer uses some of the key characteristics associated with a genre and the listener agrees to interpret these conventions in a way ‘conditioned by the genre’.2 The knowledge that a listener is about to hear a symphony creates a number of expectations about the number and type of instruments involved, for example, how those instruments might be handled, the length of the work and number of movements, the types of forms used, even the setting in which the work should be performed and where in the world it may have been composed. Genre can inform the way the listener interprets associated norms and any deviations from those norms.

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Liszt in Context , pp. 238 - 246
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Genre
  • Edited by Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Liszt in Context
  • Online publication: 23 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108378253.030
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  • Genre
  • Edited by Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Liszt in Context
  • Online publication: 23 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108378253.030
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Genre
  • Edited by Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Liszt in Context
  • Online publication: 23 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108378253.030
Available formats
×