Knüpftechnik: coding narrative in the music of Brahms and the experimental fiction of Robbe-Grillet

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Steven C. Rahn (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Adam Ricci

Abstract: Linkage technique, or Knüpftechnik, describes a musical event where the beginning of a new phrase or formal section takes as its initial idea the conclusion of the immediately preceding one. I argue that the transformation of a concluding gesture into one of initiation offers analysts the opportunity for further research in musical narrative. Drawing from Robert Hatten's theory of musical meaning, I analyze two works by Brahms and construct an expressive interpretation around moments of linkage. In order to fully demonstrate the expressive ramifications of linkage as a transitional narrative device, I turn to an analogue in literary prose. Alain Robbe-Grillet's experimental fiction, a representative example of the nouveau roman, often features visual motifs that link disparate temporal locations in a narrative--similar to the graphic match cut technique found in the cinema. To demonstrate the unique expressive consequences of linkage technique in Robbe-Grillet's work, I provide analyses of selected passages from his 1955 novel Le Voyeur. The effects of confusion and disorientation created by Robbe-Grillet's prose add an expressive dimension to linkage events in Brahms's music that cause temporal disruption.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Brahms, Linkage, Narrative, Robbe-Grillet, Temporality
Narrative in music
Narration (Rhetoric)
Discourse analysis, Narrative
Brahms, Johannes, $d 1833-1897 $x Criticism and interpretation
Robbe-Grillet, Alain, $d 1922-2008. $t Voyeur $x Criticism, Textual

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