Neo-mythologism in Music: From Scriabin and Schoenberg to Schnittke and Crumb

Front Cover
Pendragon Press, 2007 - Music - 299 pages
2 Reviews
Frontcover -- Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Foreword -- I Neo-Mythologism: a Hermeneutic Construct and a Historic Trend -- Defining the Term: "Neo-Mythologism" as Assertion of Myth's Artistic Validity -- The Diachronic Perspective -- Remythification in Literature -- Early-Twentieth-Century Approaches to Myth in Music -- Creative Mythology During the Age of Disintegration -- Late-Twentieth-Century Approaches to Myth in Music -- The Role of Jungian Psychoanalysis in Neo-Mythologism -- Forerunners of Neo-Mythologism Prior to the Twentieth Century -- Wagner -- Scriabin -- The Synchronic Perspective -- Mythologems -- The Operational Modes and Archetypes of (Neo-)Mythic Thought -- II The Prime Structuring "Molds"of Myth and Music -- Binary Opposition -- Hindemith's Oppositive Thinking: Is Mediation Possible on Earth? -- Schoenberg, the Mediator of Opposites -- Other Instances of the Binary Opposition at Work -- The Idea of Symmetry and Mythological Twins -- The Odd and Even from Stravinsky to Reich -- Mythic Repetitiveness and Musical Ostinato -- The Mythologem of the World Tree as the Model for a Musical Score -- The Meaning of Ostinato in Minimalism: Steve Reich's The Desert Music -- "The Quest for the Invariant": Variability and Combinatoriality -- III Towards the Universality of Myth -- "Wie ein Naturlaut": Reaching Beyond Culture -- Crumb's "Evocation of Nature": Drones -- Imagining the Pre-Cultural: Babbitt's Philomel -- The Composer as "Archaeologist of Culture" -- The Mythic "World Body" and the Idea of Global Communication -- From Universal Nature to Universal Culture -- Polystylistics in its Mythological Function: Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms -- The Tower of Babel -- IV In Search of the Lost Union: Word-Myth-Music -- Assonance and Alliteration -- Babbling, the Language of Magic -- Mythic Power of Names in Stockhausen's Licht
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I read this book while working on a master's degree in music composition. Most of my studies had been oriented towards practice and technical (music) theory, rather than cultural theory, so this book served as a great introduction for me to structuralist anthropological thought, particularly that of Claude Levi-Strauss. I think the most salient revelation in this book was that all composers integrate their world model, essentially their personal mythology, into their music, to varying extremes. This personal mythology need not be some kind of religious, spiritual orientation; indeed, a love of science and the rational is just as much a world model as religion, and can be (un)consciously incorporated into works of art. It seems completely obvious now, but at the time it helped to make sense of some of the numerological games that composers liked to play, and indeed it helped make sense of my own compositional predilections.  

Contents

a Hermeneutic Construct and a Historic Trend
1
The Synchronic Perspective
18
The Prime Structuring Moldsof Myth and Music
27
Mythic Repetitiveness and Musical Ostinato
51
Variability and Combinatoriality
64
Towards the Universality of Myth
77
The Composer as Archaeologist of Culture
83
Stravinskys
90
Return of Number Symbolism
185
Numerology in Musical Fabric and in Piece Grouping
187
The Mythologem of a Circle
201
The Circle in Archaic Myths and Jungs Theory
207
The Circle in the Poetic Text ofAncient Voices of Children
213
Historical Precedents?
221
Stockhausens Curvilinear Thought
230
The Cyclic Time of David Demnitz
236

The Tower of Babel
108
Assonance and Alliteration
117
Mythic Power of Names in Stockhausens Licht
125
Denisovs Requiem
132
Cosmogony and Eschatology
152
the Initiation Rite of Modernism
168
The Musical Mythification of Technology and Science
178
The Reception of Crumbs Music
243
Schnittkes Mythological Outlook
249
The Devil and the Perception of Schnittkes Early Style
256
Postlude
262
The English translation of the texts by Garcia Lorca
273
List of Illustrations
287
Copyright

Common terms and phrases