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540

Musical Ekphrasis

Composers Responding to Poetry and Painting

Siglind Bruhn
2000

688 pp.

39 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1576470367

Hardback $46.00


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With increasing frequency, composers of instrumental music claim to be specifically inspired by a poem or painting, a drama or sculpture, transforming the essence of this art work's features and message into their own medium the musical language.

How does the knowledge of such a transformation from one medium into the other inform our understanding of the musical work? In this ground-breaking study Siglind Bruhn makes a case for a musical genre hitherto hidden under the term program music. She defines her subject matter in relation to the term ekphrasis, which is used by literary scholars for poems responding to works of visual art. Bruhn develops a clear methodology and a precise set of criteria, which she employs to situate musical ekphrasis within the aesthetics discourse.

Siglind Bruhn:

A musicologist, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on compositions of the 20th century. Prior to coming to the United States, she taught for ten years in Germany and at the University of Hong Kong. Since 1993 she has been a full-time researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities (one of six “Life Research Associates”); in the fall of 2004, she was appointed chercheur permanent at the Institut d’Esthétique des Arts Contemporains at Université de Paris 1–La Sorbonne. She has been an elected member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2001.

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