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Antithetical ArtsOn the Ancient Quarrel Between Literature and Music$
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Peter Kivy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562800.001.0001

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Persona Non Grata

Persona Non Grata

(p.101) 5 Persona Non Grata
Antithetical Arts

Peter Kivy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Literary interpreters of the absolute music canon tend to fall into two distinct groups. Those who throw caution to the winds and impute to pure instrumental music narratives in startling detail, even to the extent of naming names; and those of a more circumspect disposition, who put narrations to the music that are vague or sketchy enough to slip by without striking the average music lover as wildly implausible or ‘off the wall’. The most popular and most frequently resorted to artifice, for those narrative interpreters of the more moderate stripe, to underwrite their readings of the absolute music canon, is a shadowy figure that has become known as the musical ‘persona’. This character is the subject of this chapter.

Keywords:   musical formalism, musical persona, pleasure, charity, instrumental music narratives, absolute music canon

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