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Ouvertures mélopoétiques

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Jean-Louis Cupers

Définitions et points de vue sur la recherche mélopoétique

5. Music and Literature: a Chinese Puzzle?

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  • 1 « Musik und Poesie, die zwei Künste, von denen Kant sagt, sie nähmen den obersten Rang ein unter al (...)

La musique et la poésie, les deux arts dont Kant assure qu’ils prennent la première place parmi tous les arts, sont considérées de façon assez généralisée comme étant des arts frères en vertu de leurs multiples et évidentes relations mutuelles. Plus essentiellement et plus profondément, Lessing perçoit le lien entre les deux en arrivant à la conclusion, dans un de ses traités, « que la nature semble les avoir conçus non pas tellement pour leur liaison mutuelle que pour n’être bien plutôt un seul et même art1 ».
Théodore Wiehmeyer, Musikalische Rhythmik und Metrik (Magdeburg, 1917), p. 1.

  • 2 Grover Smith (ed.), Letters of Aldous Huxley, London, Chatto & Windus, 1969, p. 637.

Vous me faites trop d’honneur en m’appelant le parrain du Rake. Je ne suis au plus que l’entremetteur qui a combiné heureusement la rencontre de ces deux éminentes lesbiennes, Musique et Poésie, dont le collage, depuis trente siècles, est si notoire.
Aldous Huxley, Lettre en français à Stravinsky, 18 juillet 19512.

  • 3 The word is Walter Bernhart’s in Suzanne M. Lodato, Suzanne Aspden and Walter Bernhart (ed.), Essay (...)

1Despite the difficulties inherent in any approach to a writer’s relationship with music and/or a musician’s relationship with literature, melopoetics as the mutual illumination of the two arts has become a thriving business. As has been noted by Steven P. Scher, the “mastermind3” behind the scenes, in his Critical Inquiries:

  • 4 Steven P. Scher, Music and Text: Critical Inquiries, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p (...)

While it is true that “extended comparative studies of musical and literary works are still rare [and] good ones are downright scarce”, […] substantial progress has been made in the last few years by musically sophisticated literary critics who have written on the multifarious relations between music and text4.

  • 5 Raymond Monelle, Linguistics and Semiotics of Music, Chur, Harwood Academic Publishers, 1992, p. XI (...)

2The newly founded International Association for Word and Music Studies (Graz, Austria, 1997) bears testimony to a growing attention on the part of the academic world. Yet there is no disguising that the number of traps lying in wait for both the prospective and the seasoned researcher attracted by this elusive territory makes it illusory to try and aim at a rough and ready approach. There is simply no short cut to the field: « If you try to explain the many sides of this study to the casual enquirer, he has usually lost interest long before you get through the half of it5 ».

*

3To Friedrich Schiller’s query about the art of music Carl Friedrich Zelter (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s music teacher) had answered on 20 February 1798 with a paradox that was both ingenuous and cunning:

  • 6 « Sie könnten mich wohl fragen, was ich unter musikalisch verstehe und so will ich Ihnen nun gleich (...)

Vous pourriez très bien me demander ce que j’entends par « musical » et dès lors je suis tout prêt à vous dire tout uniment que je ne le sais pas très bien moi-même et que je sais d’autres musiciens qu’ils ne le savent pas davantage, et même que la majorité d’entre eux sont tellement dans l’ignorance du fait qu’ils ne savent pas qu’ils ne le savent pas […]. Nous autres musiciens n’avons pas d’idée claire de ce que nous appelons musical6.

4Indeed, the avowed paradox tells us of the void at the heart of musical aesthetics. Charles Lalo’s parody in one of his ultimate contributions to the field has not lost any of its pungency:

  • 7 Charles Lalo, « L’esthétique musicale », in N. Dufourcq (dir.), La musique. Des origines à nos jour (...)

En adaptant à la musique un mot célèbre que Locke et Leibniz ont écrit pour la sensation et l’intelligence, on pourrait dire qu’il n’y a rien dans la musique qui n’ait été d’abord dans le langage, le rythme, la magie et la religion, si ce n’est la musique même7.

5Or, transposed into the terminology of Christoph Bernhard, the xviith century theorist and composer: « Nihil in harmonia quod non fuerit in oratione nisi harmonia ipsa » (There never was anything in music that was not in language except music itself).

6There is a double movement at the heart of musico-literary studies. From literature to music on the one hand, from music to literature on the other! And this in turn presupposes a double asymmetrical emancipation. The emancipation of literature from music, i.e. the liberation of literature out of the undivided milieu in which it grew, was – centuries after the first emancipation – followed by another, the emancipation of music from language. Indeed, it was only at a later stage of development that music in turn disposed of that partner – language – to which it had remained inextricably linked.

7Nor is this the whole asymmetry. One cannot indeed speak of the “language of music” except… by metaphor. But language itself, the very material of literature, is always – literally, this time, though often rudimentarily – music of some sort. In other words, language in act always comprises volume, timbre, frequency, rhythm, etc. i.e. the essential components of music. Hence the Lalo parody quoted above.

8Technically there is no hiatus between language that is spoken and language that is sung. One passes insensibly from one to the other. This phenomenon, frequently overlooked, is particularly clear when one listens to language without actually understanding it: the voice keeps going up and down all the time. The only difference is that music organizes its “discourse” along more or less arbitrarily chosen, discontinuous degrees, whereas speech uses some sort of continuum.

  • 8 See chapter 3 (« Tensions et ambiguïtés »), note 17 and chapter 14 (« À la croisée des chemins »), (...)

9Naturally it is always theoretically possible to conceive of missing links. One can for instance imagine… music as language! And indeed one will not be long before discovering the existence in the Pacific of a people that actually manages to communicate by means of pure tones whistled across the crystalline waters of the ocean8

10No wonder anyone inquiring into say the partial applicability of linguistic methods to the world of music soon gives up in despair!

11At this juncture I would like to draw up some sort of summary in the form of a tabulation, which may be useful to visualize the basic organization of the field:

12where

  • literature first frees itself from music: but language, the material of literature, is always (literally) music;
  • music then frees itself from language: but music is always (metaphorically) a “kind of language”.
  • 9 Edward MacDowell, Critical and Historical Essays, London, Elkin, 1912, p. 173-174.

13Melopoetics as the comparative study of literature and music, and vice versa, thus consists of two complementary fields: musico-poetics proper, which aims at illuminating the two arts of music and literature; and the auxiliary field of musico-linguistics, which aims to throw light on music by considering it to be some sort of language, “the ‘why‘ of which no man has ever discovered9”.

  • 10 Steven P. Scher, “Melopoetics Revisited: Reflections on Theorizing Word and Music Studies”, in Walt (...)
  • 11 Robert A. Hall, “Elgar and the Intonation of British English”, Gramophone, XXXI, June 1953, p. 6. R (...)

14But musico-linguistics also aims at studying the musical aspects of language. The study of language as real yet rudimentary music and the study of music as metaphorical language thus complement each other in supplying the field with a “potentially useful fourth category”10. Exact new knowledge here is for instance the far-reaching implications of the exact part played by music in language, a study which is all the more vital as most speakers are largely unaware of it. And this fascinating study of intonation in the various languages should be complemented by the study of the exact role of language in music. Indeed, in recent years scholars have become more aware that there may be a very special relation of language to music in tone languages (after all the most numerous in the world). Also there may exist some relation between a country’s music and its… language! The suggestion about the possible existence of “a whole field for musicologists, as yet virtually untouched, in the comparison of melodic structure and linguistic intonation patterns”, is a landmark duly acknowledged in its being reprinted in the first anthology of articles in the field ever to be published, way back in the seventies11.

15From musicology to linguistics: a broad spectrum! Melopoetics stands to gain from the two though it stands to reason that the insights and/or suggestions gained through a study of the “language” of music or music as “language “, the auxiliary subfield of musico-linguistics, must be handled with care as music itself is already permeated with language. Literature from music, music from language: music and language both appear in turn as the milieu out of which the other has detached itself. The divorce came to be complete only when great instrumental music could be taken for granted. Roughly speaking this happened in the xviiith century, and it certainly was no coincidence if this was the century that saw the publication of the first great treatises (normative and dogmatic) in the field. It was no coincidence either if one had to wait until around 1800 to have Arthur Schopenhauer or Walter Pater (to mention two prominent examples) expatiating on the tendency of the literary towards the musical.

16In the words of Joseph Conrad’s famous 1897 preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus”:

[T]he artistic aim when expressing itself in written words must strenuously aspire to the plasticity of sculpture, to the colour of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music – which is the art of arts.

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17In order to understand the proper relations between musico-poetics and musico-linguistics the metaphor of the family is particularly instructive because it is operative in both.

  • 12 John Hollander, The Untuning of the Sky, Princeton, Princeton. University Press, 1961, p. 3.

18We have seen that the hybrid movement discovered at the heart of the new field – from literature to music, from music to literature – presupposes a double asymmetrical liberation. But this emancipation of literature from music that goes together with the later emancipation of music from language brings about surprising degrees of complexity and/or intimacy. The metaphor of the family can do a lot to help one understand them. Indeed, although they are today in a position of “estrangement” and we have come to imagine them as “utterly different as human enterprises12” the arts of music and literature must be seen as linked from the very beginning. Calvin S. Brown, the author of the seminal book in the field, writes:

  • 13 Calvin S. Brown, Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts, Athens, University Press of Georgi (...)

From earliest antiquity music and poetry have been referred to as sister arts. We might add that the sisters were brought up together and were inseparable in youth, but as they have matured they have developed their own private concerns until now they do not visit each other long or frequently. And this is perhaps just as well, for they tend to get on each other’s nerves, and music, who was afraid to venture out alone until she got well up in years, has lately developed a very domineering attitude13.

19This imaginative metalanguage of indissoluble unions, separations, divorces and/or reconciliations is telling. Like the extension of similar structural analyses by Lévi-Strauss or Wittgenstein to the areas of art and myth its close resemblance with the role of the family model in linguistics is striking.

  • 14 See especially chapter 10 in this volume (“From Bede”), p. 177 sq.

20Corresponding to the first major category into which melopoetics is usually subdivided, Scher’s “literature and music” (a division going back to the implicit organization of Brown’s magnum opus), the model is operative in any discussion of the potentialities inherent in the very encounter of words and music in the setting of a text to music. It is worthwhile to briefly sketch this here as it will illustrate the basic problems14.

21Indeed, vocal (or “texted”) music in general has always been an apt example of the meeting of the two arts, illustrating the multifarious possible relations that exist between words and the music to which they can be set. From a mere quantitative point of view it is interesting to note that the existence side to side of musical and textual “ideas” brings about exponentially greater complexities. This enables the composer of texted music to say more than he could if he had the only resources of a text or a piece of music because both can be used simultaneously (with a capacity for the ear to perceive up to… seven simultaneous “layers” of sound!). Indeed, a Schütz motet can be analyzed both from the point of view of its text or from the point of view of its music, not to mention the relation between the two. This complexity raises specific problems, which traditional musicology could not very well cope with.

  • 15 Hans-Heinz Dräger, “The Relation of Music to Words during the German Baroque Era”, in George Schulz (...)

22As Curt Sachs, distinguished groundbreaker in comparative aesthetics, acutely observed to his pupil who had told him he “would like to write a book on the history of word - tone relationships”: “Then you would have to write the history of music15”. This is no doubt an exaggeration as there are other exciting topics, yet there is profound truth in this. Indeed the meeting of words and music in the Latin of the early Christian church contains in germ the whole history of western music!

  • 16 Solange Corbin, L’Église à la conquête de sa musique, Paris, Gallimard, 1960, p. 143-144.
  • 17 See Hans-Heinz Dräger, “The Relation of Music to Words”, p. 129. See in particular Anna Amalie Aber (...)

23But let us take the example of German baroque music to show how the metaphor is used. Way back in the xviith century Christoph Bernhard’s theoretical formulation of the options open to the composer is particularly revealing. It anticipates Solange Corbin’s later felicitous formulation, in L’Église à la conquête de sa musique, where she speaks of “les trois mariages du verbe et du son16”. Having more particularly in mind that type of polyphonic choral composition, usually without instruments, setting to music a biblical text alluded to just now, Christoph Bernhard offers his interpretation in terms of “harmonia orationis domina”, “oration ac harmonia domina”, and “oratio harmoniae domina absolutissima” (where oratio stands for “text” and harmonia for “music”). The various phrases indicate the dominance of music over words, the balance between the two or the absolute dominance of words over music. In other words, Bernhard considers in turn the predominantly musical organization, the predominantly musico-linguistic organization or the predominantly linguistic organization of the material: the three basic options open to the composer of texted music in general17.

  • 18 Cf. Anna Amalie Abert, “Wort und Ton”, in Walter Gerstenberg, Heinrich Husman and Harald Heckmann ( (...)
  • 19 The reader is referred to chapter 8, the second of the illustrative chapters, for a concrete exampl (...)

24 Anna Amalie Abert’s pertinent observation at the 1956 Musicological Congress in Hamburg about the existence of “musikbetonte” and “textbetonte Epochen18” fits into the pattern suggested in Brown’s quotation. The conflict between musical and poetic meaning is at the heart of the study of texted music. But musico-literary research also includes two other subfields, which Steven P. Scher has proposed calling “music in literature” and “literature in music”. In these the “from music to literature” of the former, whose relevance is predominantly literary, contrasts with the “from literature to music” of the latter, whose relevance is predominantly musical. This difficulty does not disappear when one addresses the doubleness of the first subfield mentioned, Scher’s “literature and music”. In it the question of the “presence” of literature in music and of music in literature, and of their possible mutual influence, is no longer the dominant concern. Whereas Scher’s second and third areas aim at ascertaining what place literature has in say programme music, or conversely at understanding literary attempts to recreate music, the first subfield is essentially hybrid. On the one hand, one part of the research, which has traditionally fallen under the heading of musicology, endeavours to illuminate those art forms in which the two arts meet: motet, opera, oratorio, cantata, lied, song, etc. But, on the other hand, it also includes more fundamental, quasi philosophical research, directed at determining the respective positions of literature and music in the general scheme of the arts. And the latter type of research, difficult though it is and fraught with pitfalls, is indeed not only unavoidable but also fruitful. It does lead, however, to speculative hypotheses which considerable complicate the debate of comparative aesthetics19.

  • 20 Think of the word “hesitation” in the well-known Valéry Tel quel quotation: « le vers: une perpétue (...)

25In the light of what has been said it is no wonder if the Hollander quotation hesitated between “sisters” or “spouses”: the very hesitation is instructive20, and the variation of the metaphor at work is worth pointing out. For one can indeed conceive the relation to have been one between parent and child rather than one between sisters or brothers.

26In Ulrich Weisstein’s companion volume to the “bible” of melopoetics, Scher’s Literatur und Musik, we read:

  • 21 « Dabei ist zu beachten, dass, obgleich auch Literatur und Musik zuweilen als Schwesterkünste bezei (...)

Il convient de réfléchir au fait que, quoique la littérature et la musique aient été, à l’occasion, considérées comme des arts frères, d’un point de vue historique ce sont la littérature et les arts plastiques qu’il convient de qualifier strictement de la sorte [… ]21.

  • 22 Herbert M. Schueller, “Literature and Music as Sister Arts: An Aspect of Aesthetic Theory in Eighte (...)

27 Already in 1947 Herbert Schueller had indeed observed that the relationship between literature and music in the xviiith century had “better be described as one between mother and daughter than between sisters”. And he went on to say: “But if music had indeed been the original and the mother, yet when it came to rational expression of the human passions, she was clearly the daughter22”.

  • 23 See for instance Raymond Monelle, Linguistics and Semiotics, op. cit., p. 53 and following.
  • 24 Ulrich Weisstein, “Librettology: The Fine Art of Coping with a Chinese Twin”, Komparatistische Heft (...)

28It does not come as a surprise then if the initial metaphor of the family, which plays such a fundamental role in musico-linguistics23, should take many forms: from sisters or brothers, via mothers and daughters, or husbands and spouses, to… Chinese twins24! Huxley’s “distinguished Lesbians” of the second epigraph is but one in a long chain of variants. In view of such complexities and wonderful variation in the degrees of estrangement, intimacy or indissolubility of the elements in presence, it does not come as a surprise either that the melopoetic field should have been claimed with varying degrees of legitimacy by linguists, musicologists, philosophers or literary scholars. Some would like to cut off or curtail here, expand there. Though somewhat subsiding at last the fight of appropriation is by no means over.

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29To summarize: in the last twenty years or so melopoetics has literally “exploded”, becoming an almost fashionable field of research. In the words of Steven P. Scher:

  • 25 Steven P. Scher, “Melopoetics Revisited”, art. cit., p. 11.

these are exciting times for anyone working in this area of interart inquiry. Having long been involved in the tricky business of teaching and writing about the diverse manifestations and interpretive intricacies of word – music convergence, I can safely say that the rate and quality of progress in this area of comparatistic research has exceeded all expectations: the field has never been more alive and kicking. Calvin S. Brown, the true pioneer in our field, would be gratified indeed25.

  • 26 See the preceding chapter (« Entre Combarieu et Souriau »), note 3 (in the chapter will be found a (...)

30In the ten years separating Music and Text: Critical Inquiries from the Essays in Honor of Steven Paul Scher the trend has been accelerating at a rapid pace. The latter Word and Music volume contains a useful series of methodological guidelines for future studies in the field26, which are worth quoting in full:

311. Metaphoricity.

32Accept and embrace the inherently metaphorical status of all attempts to apply terms from one art to objects in another.

33 2. Cognitive dissonance.

34Promote “surprise” and “cognitive dissonance”, not “appropriateness” or “adequacy”, as the primary criteria of value when studying word-music analogies.

353. Deep structures.

36Emphasize the search for deep structures and underlying principles, not the description of direct one-to-one correspondences between the arts.

374. De-essentializing the arts.

38Think of these analogies as tools helpful in reconfiguring and deepening our understanding of the arts and their various roles. Resist the temptation to force them to fit established definitions, however widely accepted.

395. Focus on significance and implications.

  • 27 Eric Prieto, “Metaphor and Methodology in Word and Music Studies”, in Susanne M. Lodato, S. Aspden (...)

40Analysis should always be guided by broader cultural questions of meaning and value. The central question for word and music studies is: why do these analogies matter27?

  • 28 See the end of chapter 2 (« De la sélection des objets musico-littéraires »), p. 41 sq.
  • 29 Calvin S. Brown, “The Writing and Reading of Language and Music: Thoughts on Some Paralels between (...)
  • 30 See Jean-Louis Cupers, « Métaphores de l’écho et de l’ombre: Regards sur l’évolution des études mus (...)

41An indispensable proviso should be added. While practitioners in the field should always strive towards near equal competence in both arts there should also be another specific prerequisite at the back of all worthwhile musico-literary studies, i.e. the necessary realization that words and music have from the start been – literally, not metaphorically – referred to each other. Cosmologically connected they have also been inextricably mixed up throughout their history28. In other words, degrees of metaphoricity may vary widely but for practical purposes the very processes of reading a text and reading a score can be shown to be quasi-identical29. Consequently in the applicability of terms of one art to the other, music to literature and literature to music, it is in actual fact the very extension and deviance of the variation itself that counts most30.

  • 31 Hayden White, “Form, Reference, and Ideology in Musical Discourse”, in Steven P. Scher, op. cit., p (...)

42Hayden White usefully reminds us of this delicate predicament in his expert comment at the close of Music and Text: in “any effort to explicate a relationship of similarity and difference between musical and literary expression”, he suggests, it should be borne in mind that culturally we are living indeed in a time when literature has been “striving toward the condition of music” while music has been “striving toward the condition of language”. From which follows the double task of considering afresh “the musical aspect of verbal expression, on the one hand, and of the extent to which a semantic content, similar to that figured forth in literary expression, might be said to inhere in musical form, on the other31”.

  • 32 Mary Gaither, “Literature and thee Arts”, in Newton P. Stallknecht and Horst Frenz (ed.), Comparati (...)

43“Not an invention of the critics”: the musico-literary field is an actual fact acknowledged by the artists themselves32. The relevance of literature to the arts, of the arts to literature, more specifically the pregnancy of the mystery at the heart of the realm of sounds makes for inexhaustible topics. In his 1970-1990 sequel to Brown’s 1950-1970 Forschungsbericht Francis Claudon wrote:

  • 33 Francis Claudon, “Musico-Literary Research in the Last Two Decades (1970-1990). A Sequel”, in Jean- (...)

Dans ces conditions, rien d’étonnant si l’on éprouve l’impression d’une tâche toujours recommencée, ou inépuisable. Qu’on me comprenne bien : il existe de fort bons livres. Pour ne prendre que quelques références, parmi les plus récentes, je dirai : Wolfgang Osthoff, musicologue, a bien réussi, à mon sens, Stefan George und « les deux musiques » : Tönende und vertonte Dichtung im Einklang und Widerstreit (Stuttgart, Steiner, 1989) ; la compétence de Jean-Louis Cupers, angliciste, n’est pas en cause dans Aldous Huxley et la musique. À la manière de Jean-Sébastien (Bruxelles, Publications des Facultés Universitaires St-Louis, 1985) ; y aurait-il garantie plus « officielle » que celle des Presses de l’Université de Géorgie pour Robert K. Wallace dans Emily Brontë and Beethoven : Romantic Equilibrium in Fiction and Music (Athens, University of Georgia Press, 1986), comme pour l’autre volet : Jane Austen and Mozart : Classical Equilibrium in Fiction and Music (ibid., 1984) ; pourtant je doute qu’il n’y ait plus jamais aucune thèse, aucun livre sur ces sujets précis. D’autres se sentiront également « appelés33 ».

  • 34 See the Jean-Jacques Nattiez epigraph to chapter 4 (« Entre Combarieu et Souriau ») and all it enta (...)
  • 35 Hayden White, “Form, Reference, and Ideology” [see note 31], p. 319.

44In a nutshell: melopoetics can only succeed if it manages to work both ways, illuminating literature through music, illuminating music through literature. Like all genuine interdisciplinary endeavour it is on the imperious condition of a mutual benefit ensuing from the encounter that such research and effort will succeed in enforcing its viability. This is indeed the final conclusion of Steven P. Scher’s Critical Inquiries. To music literary study brings insight into the nature of discourse. And if music can be shown to be some sort of discourse34: “then literary theory [will] have as much to learn from musicology as music criticism has to learn from literary studies35”.

45 But it may be that the imbalance will always be with us. The asymmetry will remain. Perhaps the ultimate difficulty is that music can do without language but language cannot do without music. Cicero knew already that there is in any word some obscure music.

  • 36 Calvin S. Brown, “Literature and Music: A Developing Field of Study”, National Forum, LX, 1980, p.  (...)

46“I believe, wrote the pioneer in one of his later texts, that the future lies with the combiners rather than the fragmenters36”. And he added: “If the proper study of mankind is man, studies of this sort are both significant and important”.

  • 37 See the end of chapter 7, (« Présence de la musique chez Dickens et Daudet »), p. 111 sq.
  • 38 From a summer 1823 letter to Carl Friedrich Zelter (“die ganze Fülle der schönsten Offenbarung Gott (...)

47Analytically the number of “musical” elements on the dissecting table is decidedly small: volume, frequency, duration, timbre. Their exact extent and their number can be discussed. In coming close to realizing their tantalizing proximity in the art of music and the art of words Goethe, Zelter’s friend, felt he was probing into the heart of things37. In the course of time, and possibly through the miracle of his encounter with Mendelssohn, the prince of poets came to be convinced that music is God’s most beauteous epiphany (“die schönste Offenbarung Gottes”)38. The proximity of words to music, of music to words is eventually the ultimate justification of the musico-literary or musico-poetic field. However fraught with difficulties melopoetics fully deserves investigating.

Notes

1 « Musik und Poesie, die zwei Künste, von denen Kant sagt, sie nähmen den obersten Rang ein unter allen Künsten, werden wegen ihren vielfachen und augenfälligen Beziehungen zueinander allgemein als Schwesterkünste betrachtet. Inniger noch und tiefer erfasst Lessing das Verhältnis zwischen diesen beiden Künsten, wenn er in einer seiner Abhandlungen zu den Schluss gelangt, “dass die Natur sie nicht sowohl zur Verbindung, als vielmehr zu einer und eben derselben Kunst bestimmt zu haben scheine ». The Lessing quotation comes from H. Blümner’s edition of Laokoon, Berlin, Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1880, p. 434.

2 Grover Smith (ed.), Letters of Aldous Huxley, London, Chatto & Windus, 1969, p. 637.

3 The word is Walter Bernhart’s in Suzanne M. Lodato, Suzanne Aspden and Walter Bernhart (ed.), Essays in Honor of Steven Paul Scher, Amsterdam, Rodopi, coll. « Word and Music Studies », n° 4, 2002, p. 3.

4 Steven P. Scher, Music and Text: Critical Inquiries, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. XIV.

5 Raymond Monelle, Linguistics and Semiotics of Music, Chur, Harwood Academic Publishers, 1992, p. XIII.

6 « Sie könnten mich wohl fragen, was ich unter musikalisch verstehe und so will ich Ihnen nun gleich sagen, dass ich es selbst nicht recht weiss; dass ich aber von andern Musikern weiss, dass sie es auch nicht wissen; und dass die meisten unter ihnen so unwissend sind nicht zu wissen, dass sie es nicht wissen […]. Wir Musiker [haben] gar keinen bestimmten Begriff für das was wir musikalisch nennen ». Quoted by Steven P. Scher, “Beethoven and the Word: Literary Affinity or Artistic Necessity?”, Jahrbuch des Wiener Goethe-Vereins, LXXXIV-LXXXV, 1980-81, p. 128 (I have counted that Scher quotes this amusing passage no less than three times, but maybe I have missed one!).

7 Charles Lalo, « L’esthétique musicale », in N. Dufourcq (dir.), La musique. Des origines à nos jours, Paris, Larousse, 1946, p. 482.

8 See chapter 3 (« Tensions et ambiguïtés »), note 17 and chapter 14 (« À la croisée des chemins »), note 8, in this volume.

9 Edward MacDowell, Critical and Historical Essays, London, Elkin, 1912, p. 173-174.

10 Steven P. Scher, “Melopoetics Revisited: Reflections on Theorizing Word and Music Studies”, in Walter Bernhardt, Steven P. Scher and Werner Wolf (ed.), Defining the Field, Amsterdam, Rodopi, coll. “Word and Music Studies”, n° 1, p. 18.

11 Robert A. Hall, “Elgar and the Intonation of British English”, Gramophone, XXXI, June 1953, p. 6. Reprinted in Dwight Bolinger (ed.), Intonation, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1972, p. 285. A recent example of a study in tone languages is Kii-Ming Lo, “Some Functions of Music in Chinese Classical Literature”, in Walter Bernhardt, Steven P. Scher and Werner Wolf, op.cit. [see note 10], p. 221-235. From his 1945 article in American Speech to his 1989 Intonation and Its Uses: Melody in Grammar and Discourse Dwight Bolinger’s career in the field of intonation runs parallel to that of Calvin S. Brown in the field of musico-poetics!

12 John Hollander, The Untuning of the Sky, Princeton, Princeton. University Press, 1961, p. 3.

13 Calvin S. Brown, Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts, Athens, University Press of Georgia, 1948; 2nd ed. Hanover, 1987, p. 44-45. See Raymond Monelle, Linguistics and Semiotics, p. 54-56 or p. 112-113. Also Esti Sheinberg (dir.), Music Semiotics. A Network of Significations, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012, passim.

14 See especially chapter 10 in this volume (“From Bede”), p. 177 sq.

15 Hans-Heinz Dräger, “The Relation of Music to Words during the German Baroque Era”, in George Schulz-Behrend (ed.), The German Baroque: Literature, Music, Art, Austin/London, University of Texas Press, 1972, p. 125.

16 Solange Corbin, L’Église à la conquête de sa musique, Paris, Gallimard, 1960, p. 143-144.

17 See Hans-Heinz Dräger, “The Relation of Music to Words”, p. 129. See in particular Anna Amalie Abert, Die stilistischen Voraussetzungen der Cantiones Sacrae von Heinrich Schütz, Wolfenbüttel, Kallmeyer, 1935.

18 Cf. Anna Amalie Abert, “Wort und Ton”, in Walter Gerstenberg, Heinrich Husman and Harald Heckmann (ed.), Bericht über den internationalen musikwissenschaftlichen Kongress Hamburg 1956, Kassel, Bärenreiter, 1957, p. 43-46.

19 The reader is referred to chapter 8, the second of the illustrative chapters, for a concrete example of the organization of the field as outlined here (“Approches musicales de Charles Dickens”).

20 Think of the word “hesitation” in the well-known Valéry Tel quel quotation: « le vers: une perpétuelle hésitation entre le son et le sens ». See end of chapter 9 (“Correspondance”...), p. 151 sq.

21 « Dabei ist zu beachten, dass, obgleich auch Literatur und Musik zuweilen als Schwesterkünste bezeichnet wurden, historisch gesehen Literatur und bildende Kunt als eigentliche “sister arts” zu gelten haben ». Ulrich Weisstein (ed.), Literatur und bildende Kunst: Ein Handbuch zur Theorie und Praxis eines komparatistischen Grenzgebietes, Berlin, Schmidt, 1992, p. 9. Cf. Steven P. Scher (ed.), Literatur und Musik: Ein Handbuch zur Theorie und Praxis eines komparatistischen Grenzgebietes, Berlin, Schmidt, 1984.

22 Herbert M. Schueller, “Literature and Music as Sister Arts: An Aspect of Aesthetic Theory in Eighteenth-Century Britain”, in Scher (ed.), op. cit., p. 70 (originally published in the Philological Quarterly, XXVI, 1947, p. 193-205.)

23 See for instance Raymond Monelle, Linguistics and Semiotics, op. cit., p. 53 and following.

24 Ulrich Weisstein, “Librettology: The Fine Art of Coping with a Chinese Twin”, Komparatistische Hefte, V/VI, 1982, p. 23-42.

25 Steven P. Scher, “Melopoetics Revisited”, art. cit., p. 11.

26 See the preceding chapter (« Entre Combarieu et Souriau »), note 3 (in the chapter will be found a translation of the guidelines). See also chapter 15 (p. 257 sq.) for Scher’s reference to them.

27 Eric Prieto, “Metaphor and Methodology in Word and Music Studies”, in Susanne M. Lodato, S. Aspden and Walter Bernhart (ed.), op. cit., p. 51.

28 See the end of chapter 2 (« De la sélection des objets musico-littéraires »), p. 41 sq.

29 Calvin S. Brown, “The Writing and Reading of Language and Music: Thoughts on Some Paralels between Two Artistic Media”, Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, XXXIII, 1984, p. 7-18. Reprinted in Jean-Louis Cupers & Ulrich Weisstein (ed.), Musico-Poetics in Perspective: Calvin S. Brown in Memoriam, Amsterdam, Rodopi, coll. “Word and Music Studies”, n° 2, p. 259-279.

30 See Jean-Louis Cupers, « Métaphores de l’écho et de l’ombre: Regards sur l’évolution des études musico-littéraires », op. cit., p. 45-71.

31 Hayden White, “Form, Reference, and Ideology in Musical Discourse”, in Steven P. Scher, op. cit., p. 289.

32 Mary Gaither, “Literature and thee Arts”, in Newton P. Stallknecht and Horst Frenz (ed.), Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective, Carbondale, Southern Illinois University, rev.ed., 1961, 1971, p. 200.

33 Francis Claudon, “Musico-Literary Research in the Last Two Decades (1970-1990). A Sequel”, in Jean-Louis Cupers and Ulrich Weisstein (ed.), op. cit., p. 34-35 (original and unabridged French text).

34 See the Jean-Jacques Nattiez epigraph to chapter 4 (« Entre Combarieu et Souriau ») and all it entails. Cf. Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Fondements d’une sémiologie de la musique, Paris, Union Générale d’Éditions, 1975, p. 412: « C’est donc la musique elle-même qui, tout au long de l’examen des diverses approches sémiolinguistiques, nous a permis de garder confiance dans le caractère scientifique de cette entreprise ». And he continue: « […] la sémiologie musicale contraint ses praticiens à une ascèse: elle exige de longs découpages, d’ennuyeux décomptes, de fastidieuses vérifications ».

35 Hayden White, “Form, Reference, and Ideology” [see note 31], p. 319.

36 Calvin S. Brown, “Literature and Music: A Developing Field of Study”, National Forum, LX, 1980, p. 28-29 (reprinted in Jean-Louis Cupers and Ulrich Weisstein (ed.), Musico-Poetics in Perspective, p. 256).

37 See the end of chapter 7, (« Présence de la musique chez Dickens et Daudet »), p. 111 sq.

38 From a summer 1823 letter to Carl Friedrich Zelter (“die ganze Fülle der schönsten Offenbarung Gottes in mich aufzunehmen”). Quoted by Romain Rolland in his Goethe et Beethoven, Paris, Éditions du Sablier, 1930, p. 129. Cf. Peter Boerner, “Goethe korrespondiert mit Carl Friedrich Zelter”, Jahrbuch des freien deutschen Hochstifts, 1989, p. 127-146. See Jeremy S. Begbie, Theology, Music and Time, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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