Music and Death
Title Details

260 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

10 mus exx., 4 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Music and Death

Funeral Music, Memory and Re-Evaluating Life

Edited by Wolfgang Marx

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Music gives specific meanings to our lives, but also to how we experience death; it forms a central part of death rituals, consoles survivors, and celebrates the deceased.

Music & Death investigates different musical engagements with death. Its eleven essays examine a broad range of genres, styles and periods of Western music from the Middle Ages until the present day. This volume brings a variety of methodological approaches to bear on a broad, but non-exhaustive, range of music. These include musical rituals and intercessions on behalf of the departed. Chapters also focus on musicians' reactions to death, their ways of engaging with grief, anger and acceptance, and the public's reaction to the death of musicians.

The genres covered include requiem settings, operas and ballets, arts songs, songs by Leonard Cohen and the B-52s, and instrumental music. There are also broader reflections regarding the psychological links between creative musical practice and the overcoming of grief, music's central role in shaping a specific lifestyle (of psychobillies) and the supposed universalism of Western art music (as exemplified by Brahms).

The volume adds many new facets to the area of death studies, highlighting different aspects of "musical thanatology". It will appeal to those interested in the intersections between western music and theology, as well as scholars of anthropology and cultural studies.

CONTRIBUTORS: Matt BaileyShea, Alexandra Buckle, Peter Edwards, Richard Elliott, Nicole Grimes, Mieko Kanno, Kimberly Kattari, Wolfgang Marx, Fred E. Maus, Jillian C. Rogers, UtaSailer and Miriam Wendling.
Introduction
Wolfgang Marx

Part I. Facets of Ritual: Requiems and Other Funeral Music
1 Construction and Instruction: Medieval and Early Modern Masses for the Dead
Miriam Wendling
2 Commemorating the Elite Body in the Fifteenth Century
Alexandra Buckle
3 Types of Mercy and Non-liturgical Dramaturgy: The Musical Requiem as a Concert Piece
Wolfgang Marx

Part II. Negotiating Memory and Loss
4 'Aber auf einmal...': Death, Distance, and Intimacy in Song
Matt BaileyShea
5 Manifestations of Death in the Music of Johannes Brahms
Nicole Grimes
6 Through the Tears of Others: Staging Grief and French Identity in Interwar Musical Theatre
Jillian C. Rogers
7 Leaving the Table: Intimations of Mortality in Leonard Cohen's Late and Posthumous Work
Richard Elliott

Part III. Reflecting Death to Re-Evaluate Life
8 Death in Music and Music in Death: Reflections on Mortality and Listening in the Performances of Marino Formenti
Peter Edwards and Uta Sailer
9 The Day the Music Died: Searching for New Practices of Sharing in the Aftermath of the Death of a Composer in Western Art Music
Mieko Kanno
10 Imagining an Undead Carnival: Psychobilly Fantasies of an Idealistic Afterlife
Kimberly Kattari
11 The B-52s, Loss, and Defiance
Fred E. Maus

Bibliography
Index

WOLFGANG MARX is Associate Professor of Historical Musicology at University College Dublin. He is co-editor with Louise Duchesneau, of György Ligeti. Of Foreign Lands and Strange Sounds (Boydell Press, 2011) and with Nicole Grimes and Siobhán Donovan (eds), Rethinking Hanslick. Music, Formalism, and Expression(URP, 2013).

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Title Details

260 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

10 mus exx., 4 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press