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Words and Music$
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J. G. Williamson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236191

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314445

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Pyramids, Symbols, and Butterflies: ‘Nacht’ from Pierrot Lunaire

Pyramids, Symbols, and Butterflies: ‘Nacht’ from Pierrot Lunaire

(p.125) 5 Pyramids, Symbols, and Butterflies: ‘Nacht’ from Pierrot Lunaire
Words and Music

John Williamson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines a ‘vocal’ work which is situated within a ‘cycle’ but does not contain any singing voice: ‘Nacht’ from Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Kofi Agawu and Suzanne M. Lodato proposed four models for the analysis of song: assimilation, incorporation, pyramid and tripartite. The chapter considers what the Agawu-Lodato scheme might indicate about ‘Nacht’ as melodrama. It tends towards the model in which the explication of musico-literary relationships and cultural factors is preceded by a consideration of the music. Finally, it looks at words and music in Schoenberg by discussing the essay ‘The Relationship to the Text’ (1912).

Keywords:   Nacht, Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire, Kofi Agawu, Suzanne M. Lodato, words, music, melodrama, pyramid, tripartite

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