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Siglind Bruhn (ed.), Encrypted Messages in the Music of Alban Berg

Siglind Bruhn (ed.), Encrypted Messages in the Music of Alban Berg ‘To study one artistic medium in isolation from others is a study in adequacy’ announces Professor Daniel Albright, the overall editor, in his general preface to a series of ‘Border Crossing’ books that now includes volumes on, amongst other things, Samuel Beckett and the Arts, The Music of James Joyce, and Political and Religious Ideas in the Works of Arnold Schoenberg. Starting from the assumption that music has ‘very explicit signification powers’, the present volume sets out to examine the question of allusion and referentiality in music – the ‘myriad possibilities of musical signification’ (p. xvi), as Siglind Bruhn, the book’s editor puts it – using the works of Alban Berg as its focus. Such an approach to music is popular, not to say fashionable, and Berg would seem to be an ideal candidate for such treatment. In the event the title proves to be misleading, since many of the articles in the book only qualify if one is prepared to accept the most elastic definition of the words ‘encrypted messages’. The use of tonality as a symbol of escape from reality, which Erika Reiman discusses in her ‘Tonality and Unreality in Berg’s Wozzeck’, for example, hardly qualifies http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Siglind Bruhn (ed.), Encrypted Messages in the Music of Alban Berg

Music Analysis , Volume 18 (2) – Jul 1, 1999

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1999
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/1468-2249.00096
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

‘To study one artistic medium in isolation from others is a study in adequacy’ announces Professor Daniel Albright, the overall editor, in his general preface to a series of ‘Border Crossing’ books that now includes volumes on, amongst other things, Samuel Beckett and the Arts, The Music of James Joyce, and Political and Religious Ideas in the Works of Arnold Schoenberg. Starting from the assumption that music has ‘very explicit signification powers’, the present volume sets out to examine the question of allusion and referentiality in music – the ‘myriad possibilities of musical signification’ (p. xvi), as Siglind Bruhn, the book’s editor puts it – using the works of Alban Berg as its focus. Such an approach to music is popular, not to say fashionable, and Berg would seem to be an ideal candidate for such treatment. In the event the title proves to be misleading, since many of the articles in the book only qualify if one is prepared to accept the most elastic definition of the words ‘encrypted messages’. The use of tonality as a symbol of escape from reality, which Erika Reiman discusses in her ‘Tonality and Unreality in Berg’s Wozzeck’, for example, hardly qualifies

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jul 1, 1999

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