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  • Song as Event: On Intermediality and the Auditory

    Erik Wallrup

    Chapter from the book: Petersson, S et al. 2018. The Power of the In-Between: Intermediality as a Tool for Aesthetic Analysis and Critical Reflection.


    The background of intermedial studies related to language and tone or sound, reaching all the way back to the comparative literature of the 1950s, can be discerned still today in the tendency to focus upon matters of signification and treating music as a medium of communication (indeed as a semiotic system). Through a critique of the typologies or models of intermedial relations afforded by Werner Wolf and Lars Elleström, followed by a discussion on an auditory model presented by Calvin Scott, this article suggests that song should be understood as an event, a both linguistic and musical event that takes place in time and in sound, where the semiotic character of music cannot be taken at face value. With the fourteenth song from Arnold Schoenberg’s 15 Gedichte aus Das Buch der hängenden Gärten von Stefan George op. 15 and its George poem as touchstones, the different typologies and models are scrutinized, ending with the suggestion that a promising intermedial investigation would be the elucidation of the differences and similarities between the world of the song and the world of the poem. In the earlier case, this world is primary to the ensuing sign relations as well as the relation between the basic media that are parts the qualified medium song.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wallrup, E. 2018. Song as Event: On Intermediality and the Auditory. In: Petersson, S et al (eds.), The Power of the In-Between. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/baq.n

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Sept. 27, 2018


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