Word and Music Studies

Essays in Honor of Steven Paul Scher and on Cultural Identity and the Musical Stage


The eighteen interdisciplinary essays in this volume were presented in 2001 in Sydney, Australia, at the Third International Conference on Word and Music Studies, which was sponsored by The International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA). The conference celebrated the sixty-fifth birthday of Steven Paul Scher, arguably the central figure in word and music studies during the last thirty-five years. The first section of this volume comprises ten articles that discuss, or are methodologically based upon, Scher’s many analyses of and critical commentaries on the field, particularly on interrelationships between words and music. The authors cover such topics as semiotics, intermediality, hermeneutics, the de-essentialization of the arts, and the works of a wide range of literary figures and composers that include Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Proust, T. S. Eliot, Goethe, Hölderlin, Mann, Britten, Schubert, Schumann, and Wagner. The second section consists of a second set of papers presented at the conference that are devoted to a different area of word and music studies: cultural identity and the musical stage. Eight scholars investigate – and often problematize – widespread assumptions regarding ‘national’ and ‘cultural’ music, language, plots, and production values in musical stage works. Topics include the National Socialists’ construction of German national identity; reception-based examinations of cultural identity and various “national” opera styles; and the means by which composers, librettists, and lyricists have attempted to establish national or cultural identity through their stage works.

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”…eine Fülle von interessantem Material […], das für weiterführende Forschungen im Bereich der Intermedialität, aber auch im praktischen Bereich, […] nutzbringend zu Rate gezogen werden kann.” in: Bulletin des Archivs für Textmusikforschung, No. 11, März 2003
Suzanne M. LODATO : Introduction
Defining the Field : In Honor of Steven Paul Scher
Walter BERNHART: Masterminding Word and Music Studies. A Tribute to Steven Paul Scher
Werner WOLF: Intermediality Revisited. Reflections on Word and Music Relations in the Context of a General Typology of Intermediality
Lawrence KRAMER: Signs Taken for Wonders. Words, Music, and Performativity
Eric PRIETO: Metaphor and Methodology in Word and Music Studies
Mary BREATNACH: Baudelaire, Wagner, Mallarmé. Romantic Aesthetics and the Word-Tone Dichotomy
Stephen BENSON: Modernism, Melocentrism and Literary History. The Case of The Waste Land
Harry E, SEELIG: “Wozu [Lieder] in dürftiger Zeit” [1958]? Britten’s Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente as a “Literary Song Cycle”
William P. DOUGHERTY: Mignon in Nineteenth-Century Song. Text, Context, and Intertext
Peter DAYAN: On the Meaning of ‘Musical’ in Proust
Hans Rudolf VAGET: Thomas Mann at the Opera
Cultural Identity and the Musical Stage
Albrecht RIETHMÜLLER: 1933 and the Fiasco of Cultural Identities in Music
Suzanne ASPDEN: Arne’s Paradox. National Opera in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Margaret KING: Opera and the Imagined Nation. Weber’s Der Freischütz, Schinkel’s Neues Schauspielhaus and the Politics of German National Identity
Albert GIER: Guillaume Tell in French Opera: from Grétry to Rossini
Ulla-Britta LAGERROTH: National Opera Bearing Evidence of Swedish National and Nordic Cultural Identity. The Case of Wilhelm Peterson-Berger’s Viking Opera Arnljot
Simon WILLIAMS: Der Rosenkavalier and the Idea of Habsburg Austria
Michael HALLIWELL: ‘A Comfortable Society’. The 1950s and Opera in Australia
Martina ELICKER: Rock Opera – Opera on the Rocks?
Notes on the Contributors