Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings

Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings

  • Publish Date: 2007-07-23
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Julie Sanders

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This is a study of the rich and diverse range of musical responses to Shakespeare that have taken place from the seventeenth century onwards. Written from a literary perspective, the book explores the many genres and contexts in which Shakespeare and his work have enjoyed a musical afterlife discussing opera, ballet, and classical symphony alongside musicals and film soundtracks, as well as folk music and hip-hop traditions.

Taking as its starting point ideas of creativity and improvisation stemming from early modern baroque practices and the more recent example of twentieth-century jazz adaptation, this volume explores the many ways in which Shakespeares plays and poems have been re-worked by musical composers. It also places these cultural productions in their own historical moment and context.

Adaptation studies is a fast emerging field of scholarship and as a contribution to this field, Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings:

  • develops theories and practices from adaptation studies to think about musical responses to Shakespeare across the centuries

  • brings together in an exciting intellectual encounter ideas and methodologies deriving from literary criticism, theatre history, film studies, and musicology

  • explores music in its widest context, looking at classical symphonies including the work of Berlioz and Elgar and operas by Verdi and Britten as well as Broadway musicals, film scores by Shostakovich, Walton, and contemporary performers, and the jazz adaptations of Duke Ellington and others.

This is a timely study that will appeal to a wide readership from lovers of Shakespeare and classical music through to students of film and historians of the theatre.

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