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Tim Shaw

distant); an influx of professionals; territorial behaviour to reinforce social status; and collective interests dependent on forums, networks and allegiances. If we are to view the gentry not just as a construct of the historian but as an active social impulse, then music, as a cultural practice or even a commodity in fifteenth-century England, is an undeniably attractive area for study. As an index of

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England
A figurative dance suite
David Cooper

100 8 A dance to the music of Herrmann: a figurative dance suite David Cooper M Prelude y earliest encounter with the music of Bernard Herrmann was in the early 1970s, as a teenager growing up in Belfast who was interested in contemporary music and always on the lookout for the scores of new pieces I could afford to buy. I  discovered by sheer chance the music for Bernard Herrmann’s Echoes for string quartet in Tughan-​Crane’s music shop, a somewhat surprising piece for them to have in stock. It was some time later that I found a coupling of the work on LP

in Partners in suspense
Charles Barr

24 2 Hitchcock, music and the mathematics of editing Charles Barr ‘Construction to me, it’s like music.’ (Hitchcock, 1995: 298) ‘Every piece of film that you put in the picture should have a purpose. It’s like notes of music. They must make their point.’ (Hitchcock, 1995: 290) I am no kind of music expert, and am not equipped to write about music as such, in the manner of other contributors to this volume such as Jack Sullivan, author of a definitive chapter on ‘Hitchcock and Music’ in the recent collection A Companion to Alfred Hitchcock (2011). Instead

in Partners in suspense
Sidney Gottlieb

50 4 The therapeutic power of music in Hitchcock’s films Sidney Gottlieb V ertigo (1958) contains not only some of the most memorable music in a Hitchcock film but one of his most grim pronouncements about the limited power of music. After the apparent death of Madeleine before his eyes, Scottie is institutionalised, comatose, beyond hope and help. Midge’s rueful comment perfectly sums up his desperate condition –​which is indeed aesthetic as well as psychological and metaphysical –​as, to coin a phrase, Amadeus absconditus. Mozart isn’t going to be nearly

in Partners in suspense
An aesthetic controversy during the establishment of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the radiophonic poem Private Dreams and Public Nightmares
Tatiana Eichenberger

Public Nightmares , which would air the following Monday. McWhinnie was aware of the risk of bringing out something so novel, and he smoothly anticipated critical voices among the public and press. In a four-minute introduction broadcast immediately before the piece, McWhinnie highlighted its experimental nature, explained how the new sounds were produced, and stated why, in his opinion, the use of such sounds would be the future of radiophonic art. ‘In fact, we’ve decided not to use the word music at all’, McWhinnie stated shortly after describing how these new

in Tuning in to the neo-avant-garde
The Experience of Dislocated Listening
Rashida K. Braggs

“It is only in his music [. . .] that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which otherwise has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear,” so wrote James Baldwin in “Many Thousands Gone.” Throughout his career, James Baldwin returned to this incomprehension of African-American experience. He continually privileged music in his literature, crafting his own literary blues to address it. Baldwin’s blues resonated even more powerfully and painfully for its emotional and geographical dislocation. In this article, Rashida K. Braggs argues that it was the combination of music, word, and migration that prompted Baldwin’s own deeper understanding. Exploring her term dislocated listening, Braggs investigates how listening to music while willfully dislocated from one’s cultural home prompts a deeper understanding of African-American experience. The distance disconcerts, leaving one more vulnerable, while music impels the reader, audience, and even Baldwin to identify with some harsh realities of African-American experience. Baldwin evokes the experience of dislocated listening in his life and in “Sonny’s Blues.” Braggs also creates an experience of dislocated listening through her video performance of Baldwin’s words, thus attempting to draw the reader as well into a more attuned understanding of African-American experience.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Listening over James Baldwin’s Shoulder
Ed Pavlić

Black music played a crucial role in the work and life of James Baldwin. What Baldwin heard in the music guided his sense of political reality and human possibility, his invention of character, his shifting analytical point of view, and his decisions about what to do, when, and how to do it during his life in private and career in public. The music, therefore, also offers his critics and his readers important insight and guidance in their own experience and interpretation of his work. This brief essay accounts for some of the most basic connections between Baldwin and black music; it serves here as an introduction to a list of songs, some of which offered Baldwin important guidance and some of which offer his readers access to deeper meanings in his work. A playlist of songs, curated by Ed Pavlić and Justin A. Joyce, is available on YouTube at

James Baldwin Review
D.Quentin Miller

The acceleration of interest in Baldwin’s work and impact since 2010 shows no signs of diminishing. This resurgence has much to do with Baldwin—the richness and passionate intensity of his vision—and also something to do with the dedicated scholars who have pursued a variety of publication platforms to generate further interest in his work. The reach of Baldwin studies has grown outside the academy as well: Black Lives Matter demonstrations routinely feature quotations from Baldwin; Twitter includes a “Son of Baldwin” site; and Raoul Peck’s 2016 documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, has received considerable critical and popular interest. The years 2010–13 were a key period in moving past the tired old formula—that praised his early career and denigrated the works he wrote after 1963—into the new formula—positing Baldwin as a misunderstood visionary, a wide-reaching artist, and a social critic whose value we are only now beginning to appreciate. I would highlight four additional prominent trends that emerged between 2010 and 2013: a consideration of Baldwin in the contexts of film, drama, and music; understandings of Baldwin globally; Baldwin’s criticism of American institutions; and analyses of Baldwin’s work in conversation with other authors.

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head
Jenny M. James

This article considers James Baldwin’s last published novel, Just Above My Head (1979), as the culmination of his exploration of kinship, reflecting on the ways distance and loss characterize African-American familial relations. By analyzing Baldwin’s representation of Hall Montana’s relationship to, and mourning of, his younger brother Arthur, this article argues that JAMH revises the terms of the black family to imagine an alternative, errant kinship that is adoptive, migratory, and sustained through songs of joy and grief. My approach to the novel’s portrayal of kinship is indebted to Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation (1990), in which he defines “errantry” as a fundamental characteristic of diaspora that resists the claustrophobic, filial violence and territorial dispossession that are slavery’s legacies. Baldwin represents errant kinship in JAMH through his inclusion of music and formal experimentation. Departing from previous scholarship that reads JAMH as emblematic of the author’s artistic decline, I interpret the novel’s numerous syntactic and figurative experiments as offering new formal insight into his portrait of brotherly love. Baldwin’s integration of two distinctive leitmotifs, blood and song, is therefore read as a formal gesture toward a more capacious and migratory kinship.

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin and Ray Charles in “The Hallelujah Chorus”
Ed Pavlić

Based on a recent, archival discovery of the script, “But Amen is the Price” is the first substantive writing about James Baldwin’s collaboration with Ray Charles, Cicely Tyson, and others in a performance of musical and dramatic pieces. Titled by Baldwin, “The Hallelujah Chorus” was performed in two shows at Carnegie Hall in New York City on 1 July 1973. The essay explores how the script and presentation of the material, at least in Baldwin’s mind, represented a call for people to more fully involve themselves in their own and in each other’s lives. In lyrical interludes and dramatic excerpts from his classic work, “Sonny’s Blues,” Baldwin addressed divisions between neighbors, brothers, and strangers, as well as people’s dissociations from themselves in contemporary American life. In solo and ensemble songs, both instrumental and vocal, Ray Charles’s music evinced an alternative to the tradition of Americans’ evasion of each other. Charles’s sound meant to signify the history and possibility of people’s attainment of presence in intimate, social, and political venues of experience. After situating the performance in Baldwin’s personal life and public worldview at the time and detailing the structure and content of the performance itself, “But Amen is the Price” discusses the largely negative critical response as a symptom faced by much of Baldwin’s other work during the era, responses that attempted to guard “aesthetics” generally—be they literary, dramatic, or musical—as class-blind, race-neutral, and apolitical. The essay presents “The Hallelujah Chorus” as a key moment in Baldwin’s search for a musical/literary form, a way to address, as he put it, “the person and the people,” in open contention with the social and political pressures of the time.

James Baldwin Review