People chat about music every day, but they also treat it as a limit, as the boundary of what is sayable. By addressing different perspectives and traditions that form and inform the speaking of music in Western culture-musical, literary, philosophical, semiotic, political-this volume offers a unique snapshot of today's scholarship on speech about music. The range of considerations and material is wide. Among others, they include the words used to interpret musical works (such as those of Beethoven), the words used to channel musical practices (whether Bach's, Rousseau's, or Hispanic political protesters'), and the words used to represent music (whether in a dialogue by Plato, in a story by Balzac, or in an Italian popular song). The contributors consider the ways that music may slide by words, as in the performance of an Akpafu dirge or in Messiaen, and the ways that music may serve as an embodied figure, as in the writings of Diderot or in the sound and body art of Henri Chopin. The book concludes with an essay by Jean-Luc Nancy.
Keith Chapin is Lecturer in Music at Cardiff University. He has taught at Fordham University (New York) and at the New Zealand School of Music (Wellington). He specializes in issues of critical theory, music aesthetics, and music theory in the seventeenth through twentieth centuries and in particular on issues of counterpoint. He has been Coeditor of Eighteenth- Century Music and Associate Editor of 19th-Century Music and sits on the editorial boards of these journals. He was coeditor (with Lawrence Kramer) of Musical Meaning and Human Values (2009). Recent articles have appeared in Music & Letters, 19th-Century Music, and the International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music Andrew H. Clark is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Fordham University. He is the author of Diderot's Part (2008). He works and writes on literature, aesthetics, and science in the early modern period.