"Much music was written for the two most important dances of the 18th and 19th centuries, the minuet and the waltz. In Decorum of the Minuet, Delirium of the Waltz, Eric McKee argues that to better understand the musical structures and expressive meanings of this dance music, one must be aware of the social contexts and bodily rhythms of the social dances upon which it is based. McKee approaches dance music as a component of a multimedia art form that involves the interaction of physical motion, music, architecture, and dress. Moreover, the activity of attending a ball involves a dynamic network of modalities--sight, sound, bodily awareness, touch, and smell, which can be experienced from the perspectives of a dancer, a spectator, or a musician. McKee considers dance music within a larger system of signifiers and points-of-view that opens new avenues of interpretation"--[Publisher description]
We'll Meet Again illuminates music's central role in the design and reception of Stanley Kubrick's films. It brings together archival evidence and close analysis to trace the ways music serves as starting point and inspiration throughout Kubrick's working process.
Topics are musical signs that rely on associations with different genres, styles, and types of music making. The concept of topics was introduced by Leonard Ratner in the 1980s to account for cross-references between eighteenth-century styles and genres. While music theorists and critics were busy classifying styles and genres, defining their affects and proper contexts for their usage, composers started crossing the boundaries between them and using stylistic conventions as means of communication with the audience. Such topical mixtures received negative evaluations from North-German critics but became the hallmark of South-German music, which engulfed the Viennese classicism. Topic theory allows music scholars to gain access to meaning and expression of this music. The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory consolidates this field of research by clarifying its basic concepts and exploring its historical foundations. The volume grounds the concept of topics in eighteenth-century music theory, aesthetics, and criticism. Documenting historical reality of individual topics on the basis of eighteenth-century sources, it relates topical analysis to other methods of music analysis conducted from the perspectives of composers, performers, and listeners. With a focus on eighteenth-century musical repertoire, The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory lays the foundation under further investigation of topics in music of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
Berlioz frequently explored other worlds in his writings, from the imagined exotic enchantments of New Zealand to the rings of Saturn where Beethoven's spirit was said to reside. The settings for his musical works are more conservative, and his adventurousness has instead been located in his mastery of the orchestra, as both orchestrator and conductor. Inge van Rij's book takes a new approach to Berlioz's treatment of the orchestra by exploring the relationship between these two forms of control – the orchestra as abstract sound, and the orchestra as collective labour and instrumental technology. Van Rij reveals that the negotiation between worlds characteristic of Berlioz's writings also plays out in his music: orchestral technology may be concealed or ostentatiously displayed; musical instruments might be industrialised or exoticised; and the orchestral musicians themselves move between being a society of distinctive individuals and being a machine played by Berlioz himself.