The Music of America

Günter Leypoldt

in Cultural Authority in the Age of Whitman

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635740
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651658 | DOI:
The Music of America

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This chapter discusses American music, starting with the vague image of the poet as an Orphic singer. The next sections look at the ambiguities of the romantic metaphysics of music and the transcendentalist concepts of music. The chapter presents symphonic music as a language of the sublime, and addresses the question of the conventional distinctions between the ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ forms. It identifies the features of American transcendentalist music discourse from its European influences, and then differentiates democratic and aristocratic music.

Keywords: American music; Orphic singer; romantic metaphysics; transcendentalist concepts; symphonic music; music discourse; European influences; democratic music; aristocratic music

Chapter.  11566 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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