Cognitive Approach to Music Drama Analysis: multimodal metaphors of love and death in Monteverdi’s lamento



Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description In our analysis we focus on the conflict between love and death, a typical motif expressed in lamento, one of the compositional parts of operas (Ossi 1996). Based on basic human situation of grief, lamento as a genre is considered rooted in this core dramatic situation and has become part and parcel of operas and music drama as genres of music theatre (Carter 2007). We analyse Claudio Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, a fragment of one of the first operas, as an example of both the genre of lamento itself and as a type of operatic situation within the lost opera L’Arianna. Based on the approach to opera as “the art of dying” (Hutcheon & Hutcheon 2004) we focus on the conceptualisation of love and death expressed in the conflicting situations composed both musically and dramatically in lamento style. Special attention is given to the question how the combination of two opposing themes creates conflict and form/influence the genre of opera. Our analytical approach to lamento is based on the Conceptual Metaphor and Blending Theories as approached within the field of cognitive analysis of music (see especially Zbikowski 2017a and 2017b or Pérez-Sobrino 2018) and the conception of deliberate metaphor in connection to attention and embodied simulation as introduced by Valentina Cuccio and Gerard Steen (2018, 2019). When analysing performance practice, we also draw on Barbara Dancygier's multimodal approach to theatre (2016).
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