Reflections on Art: A Source Book of Writings by Artists, Critics, and Philosophers

By Susanne K. Langer | Go to book overview

Music and Myth in Their Mutual Relation

MAX KRAUSSOLD

MUSICAL-DRAMATIC LITERATURE constitutes a special kind on the stage and does not compete with the modern drama, which requires discerning and supplementary reflection. The portrayal of real life with its psychological and social problems, its milieu and other details, its "individual causality" ( Othello, Macbeth), should be left to the drama. Likewise, the great mass of historical material, objectively presented in accordance with its period features and cultural characteristics, belongs to the drama. Operatic, or musical-dramatic work on the other hand requires a special kind of thought and subject matter. What it demands is not some "great" theme, say of heroic nature or the like, not simply "grandeur" of plot, loftiness of situations in general. Nor can the "great idea," of which so much is said in connection with the musical drama, be exhaustively treated in a gratifying, single theme, such as the redemption motif. The vital nerve center of the musicaldramatic work is embodiment, representation of the unreal, comprehensible portrayal of higher and especially inner experience. The work of the musical-dramatic poet is to embody this experience in a

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1
Abridged by the author from a longer essay on "The Realm of Musical- Dramatic Thought and its Originality."

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Reflections on Art: A Source Book of Writings by Artists, Critics, and Philosophers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Beauty as Feeling 3
  • Art and Feeling 10
  • Beauty and Significance 37
  • The Paradox of Aesthetic Meaning 62
  • On the Problem of Artistic Form 71
  • The Aesthetic Problem of Distance 79
  • The Nature of Dramatic Illusion 91
  • Music and Silence. 103
  • Time in the Plastic Arts 122
  • Bergsonism and Music 142
  • Music and Duration 152
  • Notes on the Superposition of Temporal Modes in the Works of Art 161
  • The Concept of "Tonal Body" 174
  • The Essence of Rhythm 186
  • Morphological Poetics 202
  • A Boston Criticism of Whitman 229
  • Modern Ballet 234
  • Art and Craftsmanship 240
  • The Eye Is A Part of the Mind 243
  • On the Problem of Musical Hearing 262
  • The Image in the Rock 298
  • Problems of A Song-Writer 301
  • The Histrionic Experience 311
  • Sketch for A Pychology of the Moving Pictures 317
  • Music and Myth in Their Mutual Relation 328
  • Modern Architecture: Toward A Redefinition of Style 342
  • Index 357
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