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Wagner's Melodies : Aesthetics and Materialism in German Musical Identity,9781107014305
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Wagner's Melodies : Aesthetics and Materialism in German Musical Identity

by
ISBN13:

9781107014305

ISBN10:
1107014301
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
6/28/2013
Publisher(s):
Cambridge Univ Pr
List Price: $110.00

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Summary

Since the 1840s, critics have lambasted Wagner for lacking the ability to compose melody. But for him, melody was fundamental - 'music's only form'. This incongruity testifies the surprising difficulties during the nineteenth century of conceptualizing melody. Despite its indispensable place in opera, contemporary theorists were unable even to agree on a definition for it. In Wagner's Melodies, David Trippett re-examines Wagner's central aesthetic claims, placing the composer's ideas about melody in the context of the scientific discourse of his age: from the emergence of the natural sciences and historical linguistics to sources about music's stimulation of the body and inventions for 'automatic' composition. Interweaving a rich variety of material from the history of science, music theory, music criticism, private correspondence and court reports, Trippett uncovers a new and controversial discourse that placed melody at the apex of artistic self-consciousness and generated problems of urgent dimensions for German music aesthetics.


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