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Varieties of Musical Irony: From Mozart to Mahler

Varieties of Musical Irony: From Mozart to Mahler

By Michael Cherlin 

"What I prize most of all in scholarly writing on music is the author's ability to make me hear and understand compositions and concepts I thought I already knew in new ways. Irony is a slippery, many-sided subject, but Michael Cherlin deftly disentangles and then categorizes its numerous manifestations both in language and in music: irony at the hinge of change, irony in contrapuntal juxtaposition, ironies of irruption or interruption, and much more."—Susan Youens, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Irony, one of the most basic, pervasive, and variegated of rhetorical tropes, is as fundamental to musical thought as it is to poetry, prose, and spoken language. In this wide-ranging study of musical irony, Michael Cherlin draws upon the rich history of irony as developed by rhetoricians, philosophers, literary scholars, poets, and novelists. With occasional reflections on film music and other contemporary works, the principal focus of the book is classical music, both instrumental and vocal, ranging from Mozart to Mahler. The result is a surprising array of approaches toward the making and interpretation of irony in music. Including nearly ninety musical examples, the book is clearly structured and engagingly written. This interdisciplinary volume will appeal to those interested in the relationship between music and literature as well as to scholars of musical composition, technique, and style.

282 pages
Cambridge University Press, 2017
7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
ISBN 9781316506516
Music, Literature, Essay 

$29.99 $29.99