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Fermata: Dr Keith Chapin

Fermata: Dr Keith Chapin

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  • Wed 6 Apr ’11, 5:30pm


The University of Auckland Music Theatre, 6 Symonds Street, Auckland CBD Show map


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission



Staff, students and guests of the School of Music discuss topical issues in music history and criticism, as well as their latest research. Every other Wednesday, at 5.30pm, in the Music Theatre; followed by a chance to talk with event attendees at an informal reception held in the Music Theatre foyer.

Keith Chapin is Lecturer in Musicology and Programme Leader for Music Studies at the New Zealand School of Music, Wellington. He specialises in issues of critical theory, music aesthetics and music theory in the seventeenth through twentieth centuries, and in particular on issues of counterpoint. He has been editor of the journal Eighteenth-Century Music and Associate Editor of 19th-Century Music. He will take up a position at Cardiff University in August of this year.

"Musical lightning bolts: Longinus’s examples and the eighteenth-century sublime"

Although scholars such as Michela Garda, Elaine Sisman, James Webster and others have shown how the aesthetic category ‘sublimity’ influenced both the composition and reception of 18th-century music, they have emphasised rhetorical, English empiricist, and German idealist traditions and have ignored the degree to which all discussions of sublimity involve a circumscribed canon of topoi and exempla of the sublime established by the 1st-century Greek critic, Longinus. This paper will analyse pitfalls of English and German models of sublimity and argue for a reassessment of the importance that distinct models of sublime experience and behaviour had for 18th-century music composition and reception. Haydn's "Creation" and Mozart's "Magic Flute" will stand as examples.

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