Words and Notes encourages a new wave of scholarship inspired by the ways writers and musicians of the long nineteenth century themselves approached the relationship between music and words. Contributors to the volume engage in two dialogues: with nineteenth-century conceptions of word-music relations, and with each other. Criss-crossing disciplinary boundaries, the authors of the book's eleven essays address new questions relating to listening, imagining and performing music, the act of critique, and music's links with philosophy and aesthetics. The many points of intersection are elucidated in an editorial introduction and via a reflective afterword. Fiction and poetry, musicography, philosophy, music theory, science and music analysis all feature, as do traditions within English, French and German studies.
Wide-ranging material foregrounds musical memory, soundscape and evocation; performer dilemmas over the words in Satie's piano music; the musicality of fictional and non-fictional prose; text-setting and the rights of poet vs. composer; the rich novelistic and critical testimony of audience inattention at the opera; German philosophy's potential contribution to musical listening; and Hoffmann's send-ups of the serious music-lover. Throughout, music - its composition, performance and consumption - emerges as a profoundly physical and social force, even when it is presented as the opposite.
PHYLLIS WELIVER is Associate Professor of English, Saint Louis University.
KATHARINE ELLIS is Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music at the University of Bristol.
Contributors: Helen Abbott, Noelle Chao, Delia da Sousa Correa, Peter Dayan, Katharine Ellis, David Evans, Annegret Fauser, Jon-Tomas Godin, Cormac Newark, Matthew Riley, Emma Sutton, Shafquat Towheed, Susan Youens, Phyllis Weliver