Within it lie ancient melodies: Dowland’s musical rhetoric and Britten’s songs from the Chinese

Dwyer, Benjamin (2012) Within it lie ancient melodies: Dowland’s musical rhetoric and Britten’s songs from the Chinese. The Musical Times, 153 (1919). pp. 87-102. ISSN 0027-4666

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Abstract

‘“Within it Lie Ancient Melodies” – Locating Dowland’s Musical Rhetoric in Britten’s Songs from the Chinese’, reveals evidence of Britten’s simulation of processes of musical rhetoric found in Dowland’s lute songs, thereby providing verification of a shared musical idiolect. This article focuses upon specific examples of musical rhetoric used by Dowland and replicated by Britten that give this melancholic idiolect its affective power. There is no evidence to suggest that Britten was academically aware that he was employing tools of musical rhetoric; and I do not suggest that he was attempting to consciously plagiarize Dowland. What I argue is that the considerable degree to which numerous technical features in Songs from the Chinese correlate to those found in Dowland’s songs indicates the extent to which Britten subconsciously assimilated Dowland’s language into his own.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 17048
Notes on copyright: Attached full text is an author accepted manuscript version of an article published in The Musical Times. Permission granted on 17/07/2015, by the Editor to make the accepted manuscript version available in this repository (http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/).
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Depositing User: Benjamin Dwyer
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 11:02
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 05:04
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/17048

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