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Out of TimeMusic and the Making of Modernity$
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Julian Johnson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190233273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190233273.001.0001

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Placing the Self

Placing the Self

(p.201) Chapter 6 Placing the Self
Out of Time

Julian Johnson

Oxford University Press

From the Italian madrigal to German Expressionism, music stages publicly the enactment of private interiority, linking Renaissance self-fashioning to modern notions of subjectivity. The cultivation of hypersubjectivity links the stylus phantasticus of Frescobaldi to the keyboard music of C. P. E. Bach and Chopin, and the interiority of Schumann to the music of Ferneyhough. The public performance of private identity runs through the history of opera, song, and instrumental music (the concerto is a paradigmatic form). But this exaggeration of the individual is also manifest as deformation. In the figure of the clown, music explores the masks of the alienated individual (from commedia dell’arte figures in Couperin to Debussy, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky). In extreme form, music maps a homelessness that borders on the erasure of the subject (the wanderer of Schubert’s Winterreise recurs in song cycles from Mahler to Kurtág and operas from Wozzeck to Peter Grimes).

Keywords:   homelessness, wanderer, masks, commedia dell’arte, hypersubjectivity, stylus phantasticus, concerto, identity, self-fashioning

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