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Why Classical Music Still Matters$
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Lawrence Kramer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520250826

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250826.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Fate of Melody and the Dream of Return

The Fate of Melody and the Dream of Return

(p.35) Chapter Two The Fate of Melody and the Dream of Return
Why Classical Music Still Matters

Lawrence Kramer

University of California Press

This chapter illustrates the fate of melody. No matter what kind of music one favors, the enjoyment of melody is likely to feel utterly natural. To enjoy a melody, one needs to hear it more than once. A melody that vanished forever after one hearing would remove itself from the sphere of pleasure to the sphere of regret or indifference. It might not make sense to call such a thing a melody at all. Melody lives by defeating the necessity by which music must vanish in the act of being made. Melody arises as something that lingers and lives as something whose fate is to be restored. One reason for this is the original identification of melody with the expressive force of the human voice. Instrumental melody is derived from vocal melody, and it never wholly forgets its origins.

Keywords:   melody, music, original, melancholy, enjoyment

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