Studies in Music with Text

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Hailed by the New Grove Dictionary of Music (2nd edition) as "the most original and far-ranging theorist of his generation," David Lewin (1933-2003) explored for over four decades how composers in the German tradition set poetry and drama to music. He conceived Studies in Music with Text as a unified collection, reproducing papers on music by Mozart, Schubert, Wagner, Schoenberg, and Babbitt, many of which have become classics in the fields of music theory and historical musicology. He also included new analytical essays on Mozart, Wagner, and Schubert, and provided fresh readings of selected songs by Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms.
The analyses collected here focus on how the music, from its small details to its large formal schemes, engages the poetic and dramatic dynamics of the works at hand, and how music and text enact each other reciprocally. A recurrent topic is the theatricality of texted music for the concert as well as operatic stage, and Lewin's perspectives offer many interpretive insights and conceptual perspectives for the musical performer. A methodological eclectic, Lewin cultivated a magisterial command of historical theories and thought deeply about how those theories could inform contemporary understanding. Analytical models by Zarlino, Schenker, Riemann, Rameau, and Babbitt are brought into play, and the range of poetic and dramatic questions that emerge are explored, concerning inter alia psychological and social identity, the relation of psychological inner worlds to phenomenal reality, and the narrowly biographical and broadly historical conditions of artistic creation. As it illuminates the richness and profundity of the language/music partnership, Studies in Music with Text offers incisive thinking about the scope--and limitations--of descriptive and analytical discourse about music.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195182088
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/5/2006
  • Pages: 422
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lewin taught composition at UC Berkeley and at SUNY Stony Brook, and later taught music theory at Yale and Harvard Universities. His music-theoretic writings include many articles and two previous books: Generalized Musical Intervals and Transformations (1987), and Musical Form and Transformation (1993). He was the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of Chicago and from the New England Conservatory of Music for his work in music theory.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Mozart
1 Figaro's mistakes 5
2 Musical analysis as state direction 19
3 Crudel! : perche finora ... 31
Postscript : a methodological note 47
Pt. II Schubert
4 Music theory, phenomenology, and modes of perception 53
5 Auf dem Flusse : image and background in a Schubert song 109
6 Ihr Bild 135
Pt. III The Schumanns
7 Clara Schumann's setting of "lch stand" 153
8 R. Schumann's Anfangs wollt' : a study in Phrygian and modern minor 161
9 Auf einer Burg 169
Pt. IV Wagner
10 Amfortas's prayer to Titurel and the role of D in Parsifal : the tonal spacs of the drama and the enharmonic C[actual symbol not reproducible]/B 183
11 Some notes on analyzing Wagner : The ring and Parsifal 201
12 Tristan : well-made play and theater of passion; the teleology of functional tonality and the self-propagation of transformational atonality 213
Pt. V Brahms
13 Die Schwestern 233
Pt. VI Schoenberg
14 Women's voices and the fundamental bass 267
15 Toward the analysis of a Schoenberg song (op. 15, no. XI) 283
16 A way into Schoenberg's opus 15, number VII 321
17 Vocal meter in Schoenberg's atonal music, with a note on a serial Hauptstimme 345
18 Moses und Aron : some general remarks and analytic notes for act I, scene 1 367
Pt. VII Babbitt
19 Some problems and resources of music theory 385
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