Sound and Sense

Music and Musical Metaphor in the Thought and Writing of Goethe and his Age

by Josephine Tudor (Author)
©2011 Monographs XVIII, 518 Pages


This study focuses on beliefs about music current in eighteenth-century Germany. Of particular interest are the conceptual metaphors through which major writers (Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Klopstock) used music as analogy and medium for perceptions of the world in their writing. The book surveys traditional metaphors (music as harmony/disharmony, music as like/unlike language, music as structured by mathematical proportion or by rhythm) inherited from Greek and French thought and looks at ways in which these writers also assimilated and developed contemporary ideas (especially from Leibniz, the French Rationalists, Rameau and Rousseau). German writers of this epoch had a remarkably rich and varied range of ideas of music at their disposal, some of which could also be realised in multi-media genres. With the help of modern theory from several fields, the study aims to show how they deployed these resources in ways both like and unlike the practice of Romantic writers with whom they overlapped at the end of the century.


XVIII, 518
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (August)
music and musical metaphor Goethe and his age Romantic writers Schiller, Herder, Klopstock
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XVIII, 518 pp., num. coloured and b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Josephine Tudor (Author)

Jo Tudor (BA London, PhD Dunelm) focused on German literary and cultural studies from 1750 to the present, alongside early interest and studies in music and French. Until her retirement she was lecturer in the Department of German at Durham University. Her publications include articles on metaphor as a form of thought and writing in the work of Goethe and of Günter Grass and, with H. Tudor, a volume of edited and translated letters and articles from the Revisionist Debate among nineteenth-century German Socialists.


Title: Sound and Sense