This network brings together academics from across a number of disciplines to explore the interaction of music and words in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century European song tradition. Refusing to see song as a simple form of direct translation from one artistic language to another, it instead interprets song as a complex series of dynamic interactions between literature, music and – perhaps most crucially – embodied performance. It explores the role played by song in shaping the literary canon, but also in how poets have drawn on musical metaphors and techniques to comment on their own creative practice. Equally, it considers how song in performance can represent a site where not only music and poetry meet, but where various cultural traditions are conveyed across national and linguistic borders in acts of performance and reception. The network will also work with practitioners, primarily through its collaboration with the Oxford Lieder Festival, but also with undergraduate performers across the university.
Conveners: Alex Lloyd, Laura Tunbridge, Philip Bullock