Musical Ekphrasis


Composers Responding to Poetry and Painting

Siglind Bruhn


688 pp.

39 illustrations

SKU: 9378-1-20-1-16-1-10-2-16-14-3-1-12-6-11-1-1-1-5 Categories: ,


With increasing frequency, composers of instrumental music claim to be specifically inspired by a poem or painting, a drama or sculpture, transforming the essence of this art work’s features and message into their own medium the musical language.

How does the knowledge of such a transformation from one medium into the other inform our understanding of the musical work? In this ground-breaking study Siglind Bruhn makes a case for a musical genre hitherto hidden under the term program music. She defines her subject matter in relation to the term ekphrasis, which is used by literary scholars for poems responding to works of visual art. Bruhn develops a clear methodology and a precise set of criteria, which she employs to situate musical ekphrasis within the aesthetics discourse.


Siglind Bruhn:


A musicologist, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on compositions of the 20th century. Prior to coming to the United States, she taught for ten years in Germany and at the University of Hong Kong. Since 1993 she has been a full-time researcher at the University of MichiganпїЅs Institute for the Humanities (one of six пїЅLife Research AssociatesпїЅ); in the fall of 2004, she was appointed chercheur permanent at the Institut dпїЅEsthпїЅtique des Arts Contemporains at UniversitпїЅ de Paris 1пїЅLa Sorbonne. She has been an elected member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2001.