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The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music$
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Delia da Sousa Correa

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780748693122

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693122.001.0001

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Music and the Rise of Narrative

Music and the Rise of Narrative

Chapter:
(p.395) 34 Music and the Rise of Narrative
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music
Author(s):

Lawrence Kramer

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693122.003.0040

Instrumental works of Western ‘classical music’, especially since the turn of the nineteenth century, are now widely understood to follow narrative models – to constitute forms of musical narrative. Concert music participated in a general rise in the cognitive value and cultural influence of narrative, understood as a form of knowledge, which has persisted into the twenty-first century, sometimes in the form of a narrative nostalgia working against modernist resistance. Instrumental music supported the rise of narrative by concentrating on the general condition of narrativity instead of the content of any specific narrative. Musical narrativity frequently expressed itself in formal designs that required the construction of narratives in order to be understood – for example in the ‘scherzo’ of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony and the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth. The result helped foster narrative migration, the remediation of independent features of narrative across art forms, media, and communications technologies.

Keywords:   narrative, musical narrative, narrativity, musical narrativity, narrative migration, narrative nostalgia, Brahms, Brahms, Fourth Symphony, Beckett, Breath, remediation

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