Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Abbate, Carolyn. "Wagner, Cinema, and Redemptive Glee." The Opera Quarterly 21 (Autumn 2006): 597-611.

The epiphanic moment in which a listener realizes that musical borrowing has taken place concerns not only the relation between two texts but also performance. For instance, in the 1939 film The Thief of Baghdad there is a brief allusion to a passage from the overture to Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer. When one recognizes such borrowing, it is dependent on a "polysemic mélange" that works together to make such recognition possible. For instance, beyond the musical resemblances, the film and the opera share a number of images, such as a ship and blood-red sails. Also, in both film and opera it seems as if music animates objects. An individual's particular viewing experience can also contribute to the experience, such as when a movie theater and an opera hall share similar acoustics. Such ludic details of performance are often overlooked but are an inseparable part of such epiphanic moments.

Works: Miklós Rózsa: Score to The Thief of Baghdad (597-609).

Sources: Richard Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer (597-609).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: John F. Anderies

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