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Peculiar AttunementsHow Affect Theory Turned Musical$
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Roger Mathew Grant

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823288069

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823288069.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 07 December 2021

Eighteenth-Century Opera and the Mimetic Affektenlehre

Eighteenth-Century Opera and the Mimetic Affektenlehre

Chapter:
(p.29) 1 Eighteenth-Century Opera and the Mimetic Affektenlehre
Source:
Peculiar Attunements
Author(s):

Roger Mathew Grant

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823288069.003.0002

This chapter opens in the late seventeenth century, describing the stabilization of musical conventions that took place in the opera theatre. It examines the aesthetics of early serious opera—an often-tragic spectacle that united poetry with stage action and music to create an integrated series of mimetic representations for its audiences. Music’s affective power was clearly felt in this medium, though theorists around the turn of the century could only approximate its method of operation. Their efforts formed the mimetic Affektenlehre: a set of taxonomic music theory documents that attempted to codify the technical basis of opera’s multimedia representations in musical terms. The chapter concludes by demonstrating how theorists quickly realized that their efforts could never fully capture this system, nor would their account of it ever completely agree.

Keywords:   affect, Lully, mimesis, mimetic Affektenlehre, opera, Rameau, representation, Rousseau

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