She Do the <i>Ring</i> in Different Voices

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
She Do the Ring in Different Voices

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This chapter examines the old comedy of how Ring got written, as it has been viewed by Carolyn Abbate's Unsung Voices. Abbate's basic intuition is that the narratives in Ring's final form, redundancies, contradictions, and all are not static but they monitor relationships among composer, characters, and listeners—both in the house and on the stage. It is not detached from the action, but a critical part of the work's “plastic” unfolding. This play is the essential, semiotically charged process or agency of musical narration, and remains so when transferred to the instrumental medium. It follows that a narrative is not simply a tale but a telling, requiring a teller. Each of these points gives rise to long, sometimes chapter-length discussion, and theory arising out of a process of generalization. The book is thus in essence a work of musical phenomenology, a reception study, resolutely centered on esthesis rather than poiesis.

Keywords: Carolyn Abbate; Ring; Unsung Voices; Ring; musical narration; music theory

Chapter.  6862 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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