Motives for Allusion: Context and Content in Nineteenth-Century Music

Motives for Allusion: Context and Content in Nineteenth-Century Music

by Christopher Alan Reynolds
     
 

ISBN-10: 067401037X

ISBN-13: 9780674010376

Pub. Date: 04/01/2003

Publisher: Harvard

When a critic pointed out to Brahms that the finale theme in his First Symphony was remarkably similar to the Ode to Joy theme in Beethoven's Ninth, he is said to have replied: "Yes indeed, and what's really remarkable is that every jackass notices this at once." Not every musical borrowing is quite so obvious; but the listener who does perceive one is always

Overview

When a critic pointed out to Brahms that the finale theme in his First Symphony was remarkably similar to the Ode to Joy theme in Beethoven's Ninth, he is said to have replied: "Yes indeed, and what's really remarkable is that every jackass notices this at once." Not every musical borrowing is quite so obvious; but the listener who does perceive one is always left wondering: what does the similarity mean? In this illuminating book Christopher Reynolds gives us answers to that complex question.

Reynolds identifies specific borrowings or allusions in a wide range of nineteenth-century music. He shows the kinds of things composers do with borrowed musical ideas, and discusses why a composer would choose to deploy such allusions. A rich historical background for the practice emerges from his analysis. Musical borrowing touches directly on issues of central importance for nineteenth- and twentieth-century composition: notions of creativity and originality, the constraints of tradition and innovation, musical symbolism and the listener's ear. In clarifying what it can mean when one piece of music invokes or refers to another, Reynolds expands our understanding of what we hear.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674010376
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

1. Definitions

2. Transformations

3. Assimilative Allusions

4. Contrastive Allusions

5. Texting

6. Inspiration

7. Naming

8. Allusive Traditions and Audiences

9. Motives for Allusion

Abbreviations

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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