What is music? And what is literature?
Edinburgh University has the world’s first, and to date only, Professor of Word and Music Studies: Professor Peter Dayan.
He will be delighted to answer queries from anyone interested in working in the field. He is based in the French section, but is privileged to work with colleagues from many other departments and universities, in the true interdisciplinary spirit of Word and Music Studies.
What is music? And what is literature? Over the past twenty years, a new research field has grown to maturity with quite extraordinary rapidity and vigour, based on the realisation that these two questions are best asked together. Musicology, and more generally our conscious understanding of music, depends on words in ways that are never innocent. Meanwhile, our view of the value of literature always seems to acquire its sharpest focus through the collaborations, analogies, metaphors, attractions, repulsions, and compositions that link words to music. The International Association for Word and Music Studies has provided a framework for debate on these topics since its foundation in 1997. Its membership, outlook, and impact are indeed international; and some of its strongest links in the UK are with Edinburgh, which hosted its Sixth Biennial Conference, during the Edinburgh Festival, in August 2007.
This article was published on Mar 1, 2013