Angelic Airs, Subversive Songs: Music as Social Discourse in the Victorian Novel
By: Alisa Clapp-Itnyre (author)Hardback
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This volume positions music as a charged site of cultural struggle, promoted concurrently as a transcendent corrective to social ills and as a subversive cause of those ills. Alisa Clapp-Itnyre examines Victorian constructions of music to advance patriotism, Christianity, culture and domestic harmony, and suggests that often these goals were undermined by political tensions in song texts or "immoral sensuality" in the "spectacle" of live music-making. The author turns her focus to the novels of Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, who present complex arrangements with those musical genres most privileged by Victorian society: folk songs, religious hymns and concert music. This book recovers the pervasive ambiguities of the Victorian musical period, ambiguities typically overlooked by both literary scholars and musicologists. To the literary critic and cultural historian, Professor Clapp-Itnyre demonstrates the necessity of further exploring the complete aesthetic climate behind some of the Victorian period's most powerful literary works.
And to the feminist scholar and the musicologist, the author reveals the complexities of music as both an oppressive cultural force and an expressive creative outlet for women.
Alisa Clapp-Itnyre is an assistant professor of English at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana, and has published articles in several journals and edited collections.
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- ID: 9780821414316
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