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Afterword: Wording Notes: Musical Marginalia in the Guise of an Afterword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2013

Annegret Fauser
Affiliation:
United States
Phyllis Weliver
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of English, Saint Louis University
Katharine Ellis
Affiliation:
Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music at the University of Bristol
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Summary

This collection of essays on words and notes in the long nineteenth century is book-ended by two that frame the volume by reflecting on how text and music – printed on the same silent page – both create and veil meanings through their association within the same sonic artefact. If Peter Dayan's inquiry into Erik Satie's 1913 Chapitres tournés en tous sens tells us about modernist fragmentations of signification in a composition that challenges the earlier, more direct associations between words and notes, Susan Youens's close reading of Franz Schubert's 1825 song ‘Der Einsame’ teases out how, a century earlier, a composer could shape his reading of specific words through his choice of notes, relying on musical signifiers to carry meanings that an informed and attentive listener (or scholar) might perceive. In the context of this volume, these two case studies of word-note associations serve as prisms fracturing the seemingly straightforward issue of how words and notes might relate to each other during the long nineteenth century into a rainbow of questions that address concerns as different as reception, listening, analysis and context. And together with the other contributions here, the two essays speak to their readers on two important levels: they teach us something new and intriguing about their specific topic – I now know more about Karl Lappe and his ‘briefly fashionable’ poetry than I ever thought I wanted to – but they also open up fresh methodological perspectives by addressing (as the editors have put it so eloquently) ‘an unusually wide range of meeting points between music, creative and other textual responses to it during the long nineteenth century, and modern scholarship.’

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2013

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