Abstract Beginning with a personal account of my early experiences of Chopin's B-Minor Prelude and A-Minor Waltz, I argue that “musical meaning” arises neither simply from the music itself nor simply from a listener's or performer's self projections into the music. Instead it arises intersubjectively, from a relationship that subsumes a musical self and a musical other within the virtual (i.e., imaginary or fictional) environment that fully engaged musical experience engenders. Such an intersubjective exchange is likely to be especially acute in the compositional process itself, as the composer creates through music an “other” in dialogue with his or her self. The actual relationship between this other and the composer's own character and experience is rarely possible to ascertain with any degree of certainty: the music is better understood as self-creation than as self-representation. But paradoxically, pieces that are somehow atypical for their composer sometimes epitomize that composer's musical character most strongly and can suggest autobiographical motivation more specifically than many of the composer's other works. Such is the case with Chopin's relatively few solo pieces that suggest vocal duets, whether straightforwardly, as in the C#-Minor Étude, op. 25, no. 7, or through marked contrast with a solo voice, as in the two op. 27 Nocturnes. In each of these pieces, Chopin explores a problematic relationship between two “others,” one of them unattainable or elusive. If one of them mirrors Chopin's musical self, perhaps the other, the more remote, can be understood as a musical image of the self that Chopin needed to develop in order to negotiate the “real world.”
19th-Century Music publishes articles on all aspects of music having to do with the "long" nineteenth century. The period of coverage has no definite boundaries; it can extend well backward into the eighteenth century and well forward into the twentieth. The journal is open to studies of any musical or cultural development that affected nineteenth-century music and any such developments that nineteenth-century music subsequently affected. The topics are as diverse as the long century itself. They include music of any type or origin and include, but are not limited to, issues of composition, performance, social and cultural context, hermeneutics, aesthetics, music theory, analysis, documentation, gender, sexuality, history, and historiography.
Founded in 1893, University of California Press, Journals and Digital Publishing Division, disseminates scholarship of enduring value. One of the largest, most distinguished, and innovative of the university presses today, its collection of print and online journals spans topics in the humanities and social sciences, with concentrations in sociology, musicology, history, religion, cultural and area studies, ornithology, law, and literature. In addition to publishing its own journals, the division also provides traditional and digital publishing services to many client scholarly societies and associations.