Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Voice as Something MoreEssays toward Materiality$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martha Feldman and Judith T. Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226656397

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226656427.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

There Is No Such Thing as the Composer’s Voice

There Is No Such Thing as the Composer’s Voice

Chapter:
(p.227) 11 There Is No Such Thing as the Composer’s Voice
Source:
The Voice as Something More
Author(s):

Seth Brodsky

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226656427.003.0012

This chapter revisits a venerable trope in music studies—“the composer’s voice” as coined by Edward T. Cone in 1974—from the perspective of a “long modernism” that stretches back to the early 19th century. The chapter unfolds as a series of scenes and digression, exploring “vocal moments” in four string quartets by Helmut Lachenmann, Luigi Nono, Alban Berg, and Ludwig van Beethoven. It engages its themes on three distinct registers. On a conceptual register, it postulates the composer’s voice as a fantasmatic web of sound, sense, time, and event whose conjuring power renders a structural absence—the singing composer—into an ineluctable presence. On a second, more historical register, the chapter proposes that this scenario is inseparable from a long musical modernism beginning with late Beethoven, if not in the works themselves, then with their increasingly complex reception and gradual transfor­mation into an ethics of musical composition. On a third, “generic” register, the chapter claims that this composer’s voice is fundamentally theat­rical, even operatic. But this “operaticness” is paradoxical: it stages the impossibility of making something manifest. It is a the­ater of truancy, an endeavor not simply to make nonappearance appear, but to make it sing.

Keywords:   composer’s voice, string quartet, modernsim, Helmut Lachenmann, Luigi Nono, Alban Berg, Ludwig van Beethoven, operaticness, fantasy

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.