Questions tagged [music]

For questions about the non-lyrical parts of music (e.g. instrumentals) and how they relate to the literary aspects of music.

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4 votes
2 answers

Did Jascha Heifetz really have a connection to Odessa, as suggested in Babel's 'The Awakening'?

Babel's "The Awakening" is set in Odessa circa 1910 or so, and begins with all the parents dreaming of their children being discovered as musical prodigies: And sure enough, over the last ...
4 votes
1 answer

Dinosaur story for children

I'm hoping to identify a short dinosaur picturebook for children that would have been available by around 1994 (but was probably written earlier than that). The audiotape read-along version included ...
2 votes
0 answers

What's the significance of the Duke Ellington concert in Kerouac's On The Road?

Minor spoilers for On the Road follow. At the end of On the Road the narrator, Sal Paradise, is due to attend a Duke Ellington concert with his friend Remi Boncoeur. However, the situation is peculiar....
6 votes
5 answers

Can music be considered literature?

This is based off of a recent meta debate. Although something being literature - or not being literature - does not automatically make something on or off topic, this is an interesting question that ...
5 votes
2 answers

Is Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall" supposed to be uplifting or mournful?

I've become interested in Bob Dylan's song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", which I find perplexing and hard to make sense of. Looking at the lyrics, it seems that there is quite a bit of ambiguity as to ...
4 votes
1 answer

Who classified Rabindranath Tagore's lyrics into the six standard categories?

The standard edition of Rabindranath Tagore's song lyrics, গীতবিতান / giitabitaan, "A Canopy of Songs", classifies the lyrics under six headings: পূজা / puujaa, "Worship" স্বদেশ / ...
4 votes
1 answer

Looking for an essay comparing Beethoven to Hamlet

I read an essay in school--I think a survey course on British literature--that compared the music of Beethoven to the soliloquies of Hamlet; the essay said that Beethoven's music is "spoken" privately,...
4 votes
1 answer

Numbering of Petrarch's sonnets

I have a question regarding the numbering of the Petrarch's sonnets. The Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt transcribed for piano three of the Sonnets: 47, 104, 123. We can be sure of which ...
4 votes
0 answers

What is the relationship between Tagore's poems and his song lyrics?

Rabindranath Tagore composed and wrote the lyrics for approximately 2,200 songs, collectively known as Rabindra Sangeet, "Rabindra music". These songs remain immensely popular in India and ...
4 votes
3 answers

In Peter and the Wolf, why is Peter represented by a String quartet?

Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf is a combination of a children's story and a musical composition. A narrator narrates the story while an orchestra plays the corresponding music. According to ...
5 votes
2 answers

Bright or brightly?

A little known fact is that William Blake was a talented musician who would sing his poems. Unfortunately no sheet music of his poems exist, meaning the actual melodies he specifically used are ...
1 vote
0 answers

How can prose be musical?

Prof. Brooks Landon, U. Iowa, Ph.D. U. Texas at Austin. Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses) (2013). p. 142         ...
5 votes
0 answers

'meter' vs. 'rhythm': How do their meanings in poetry differ from those in music?

'meter' and 'rhythm' are termed in poetry and music. So what are their parallels? Their differences? Source: Listening to Music (2013 7 ed, but ∃ 8 ed) by Yale Prof. Craig Wright: [p. 463] meter: ...
8 votes
1 answer

Are Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence actually songs? Or is the word song a metaphor?

William Blake's Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence have the word "song" in their title. Why is that? Are they actually songs? Or is the word "song" a metaphor for something else.
3 votes
1 answer

Why did Calaf offer Turandot the deal?

In Puccini's Turandot, after Calaf successfully answers her riddles, Turandot begs her father not to make her marry him. (That's pretty rich given that the opera implies that she had at least 26 ...