• Song Revisited: Poetry, Music, Meaning

    Lawrence Kramer (see profile)
    American Musicological Society, Music and Sound
    Music, Romanticism in music, Musicology, Voice, Opera
    Item Type:
    lied, Song, words and music, Musical romanticism, Voice, Voice and opera, Western classical music
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    In 1984 I published a chapter on the art song, simply entitled “Song,” in my first book, Music and Poetry: The Nineteenth Century and After (University of California Press). The chapter aimed to replace the traditional understanding of song as a harmonious fusion of words and music. The chapter has had a fortunate reception, but as time has run on I have found myself, like many other authors, wondering what the same chapter would sound like if I had written it “today.” The publication in 2017 of a collection of my writings, Song Acts: Writings on Words and Music (Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers) gave me the opportunity to give that idle question a real answer. The revised text, under the title “Song Reconsidered: Words and Music, Music and Poetry,” can be found for easy perusal on the digital depository of Fordham University, where I teach. For reference and citation, please consult the Brill volume, http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/books/9789004342132, which also contains a general preface outlining the reasons for the changes in this and several other chapters. The individual chapters of the volume are available for download. The present short supplement adds a few ideas for which the revised chapter had no room. The first and last entries are theoretical reflections; those in between provide further comments on a pair of famous Lieder by Schubert ("Erlkönig" and "Gretchen am Spinnrade") that receive close scrutiny in the chapter.
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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