Illuminations: a proposed taxonomy for death-inspired works in Western art music
Lodge, M. (2017). Illuminations: a proposed taxonomy for death-inspired works in Western art music. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses: Special Issue: Writing Death and Dying, (45), 1–12.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11501
Throughout the history of Western art music, death has been a major stimulus for composers, and it continues to be so for contemporary musicians. Composer responses to death have been predominantly associated with emotions of grief, sadness and loss. An examination of responses in the Western art music repertoire of the past five hundred years, however, reveals that there is a diversity of composer reactions, from mourning through prophetic imaginings to resignation, and extending to spiritual affirmation or theological affirmation of an afterlife. Informed by surveying a number of composers’ diverse responses, this article outlines differences found in order to propose a taxonomy of varying creative musical approaches to death.
Australasian Association of Writing Progams
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