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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Haydn’s instrumental music is often marked by peculiarities—events that feature harmonic deflections, gasping pauses, metrically dissonant accents, and the like—for which the customary methods of structural and stylistic analysis can promise only limited explanation. The evolving language of Disability Studies in music offers a vantage point for contemplating such idiosyncrasies, most notably those that suggest musical equivalents of impairment and recovery. A disability-related perspective may serve as a guide in the search for appropriate metaphors: words and images that can help breathe life into our interaction with a given work as listeners and performers. As witnessed in certain passages from Haydn’s string quartets and a symphony, a reading that shows the music to embody disabling conditions and their remediation helps us connect with emotions and experiences that may resonate with the lives of the composer and his contemporaries as well as with our own.

Keywords: Joseph Haydn, minor mode, motivic process, recuperation, string quartet, thematic transformation

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