A Theory of Musical Narrative

A Theory of Musical Narrative

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Byron Almen proposes an original synthesis of approaches to musical narrative from literary criticism, semiotics, historiography, musicology, and music theory, resulting in a significant critical reorientation of the field. This volume includes an extensive survey of traditional approaches to musical narrative illustrated by a wide variety of musical examples that highlight the range and applicability of the theoretical apparatus. Almen provides a careful delineation of the essential elements and preconditions of musical narrative organization, an eclectic analytical model applicable to a wide range of musical styles and repertoires, a classification scheme of narrative types and subtypes reflecting conceptually distinct narrative strategies, a wide array of interpretive categories, and a sensitivity to the dependence of narrative interpretation on the cultural milieu of the work, its various audiences, and the analyst. A Theory of Musical Narrative provides both an excellent introduction to an increasingly important conceptual domain and a complex reassessment of its possibilities and characteristics.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 15.24mm | 408.23g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 44 Line drawings, black and white
  • 0253030099
  • 9780253030092

Review quote

A Theory of Musical Narrative is an impressive and thought-provoking study which includes many fascinating ideas and insights as well as a comprehensive critique of previous literature. * Music Analysis * [N]atural, elegant, and convincing . . . a must for all music theory collections. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers and faculty. * Choice *show more

About Byron Almen

Byron Almen is Associate Professor of Music Theory at The University of Texas at Austin. He is editor (with Edward Pearsall) of Approaches to Meaning in Music and author (with Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne) of Tonal Harmony.show more

Table of contents

ContentsPrefaceAcknowledgmentsPart 1. A Theory of Musical Narrative 1. An Introduction to Narrative Analysis: Chopin's Prelude in G Major, Op. 28, No. 3 2. Perspectives and Critiques 3. A Theory of Musical Narrative: Conceptual Considerations 4. A Theory of Musical Narrative: Analytical Considerations 5. Narrative and TopicPart 2. Archetypal Narratives and Phases 6. Romance Narratives and Micznik's Degrees of Narrativity 7. Tragic Narratives: An Extended Analysis of Schubert, Piano Sonata in B Major, D. 960, First Movement 8. Ironic Narratives: Subtypes and Phases 9. Comic Narratives and Discursive Strategies 10. Summary and ConclusionGlossaryNotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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