The concept of musical voice has been a subject of controversy in recent decades, as the primacy of the composer's place in the creation of the work has been called into question. The essays in Word, Image, and Song: Essays on Musical Voices take the notion of musical voice as a starting point, and apply it in varying ways to diverse repertoires and music-historical circumstances, ranging from the operas and cantatas of Handel to the autograph albums of nineteenth-century collector Charlotte de Rothschild. Rather than attributing interpretive control to the composer, performer, or audience alone, these essays present a range of interpretive strategies with respect to the various voices that one might hear and understand as emerging from a musical work: the composer's voice, the performer's voice, the patron's voice, the collector's voice, and the social or receptive voice.
Contributors: Bathia Churgin, Rebecca Cypess, Roger Freitas, Philip Gossett, Ellen T. Harris, Joseph Kerman, Nathan Link, Daniel R. Melamed, Giovanni Morelli, Kristina Muxfeldt, Ruth Smith, Ruth A. Solie.
Rebecca Cypess is Assistant Professor of Music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Beth L. Glixon is instructor in musicology at the University of Kentucky School of Music. Nathan Link is NEH Associate Professor of Music at Centre College.