Repression and intimations of death: Freud's uncanny and compositional fragments in three twentieth-century pieces
Rex, Jared Andrew
MetadataShow full item record
The study of musical meaning has become an increasingly important topic of discourse among music theorists over the past thirty years; however, the study of twentieth-century musical semiotics has remained underexplored. Moreover, the link between musical fragment forms and the semiotic code of the uncanny has never been elucidated in the writings of music theorists. Sigmund Freud's essay Das Unheimlich explores the psychological uncanny, which splits the ego into a double that represses one's awareness of mortality; this concept provides a fertile starting point for exploring twentieth-century musical semiotics. This paper synthesizes these areas of study through an overview of the writings in the field and through analyses of three twentieth-century compositions. These include Claude Debussy's Voiles, Bela Bartók's Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra, and "Es Blendete uns die Mondnacht" from Gyorgy Kurtag's Kafka Fragments.