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Musical Portraits – The Composition of Identity in Contemporary and Experimental Music - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Musical Portraits: The Composition of Identity in Contemporary and Experimental Music

Joshua S. Walden


This book explores the wide-ranging but underexamined genre of musical portraiture. It focuses in particular on contemporary and experimental music created between 1945 and the present day, an era in which conceptions of identity have changed alongside increasing innovation in musical composition as well as in the uses of abstraction, mixed media, and other novel techniques in the field of visual portraiture. In the absence of physical likeness, an element typical of portraiture that cannot be depicted in sound, composers have experimented with methods of constructing other attributes of ident ... More

Keywords: musical portraiture, Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass, György Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Robert Wilson, visual arts, representation, identity, self

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190653507
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190653507.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joshua S. Walden, author
Musicology Faculty, Peabody Conservatory of Music