The Musical Matrix Reloaded

The Musical Matrix Reloaded

Contemporary Perspectives and Alternative Worlds in the Music of Beethoven and Schubert

Barbara Barry


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The Musical Matrix Reloaded proposes a striking new scenario for the music of Beethoven and Schubert in the contemporary world. It draws on the theory of Multiple Worlds in physics, and on sci-fi and movies, as powerful contemporary models of alternative realities to explain radical features of interpolation, dislocation, and ultimately of return.

Confronting familiar assumptions about Beethoven’s and Schubert’s music as long-range consonance, the book proposes instead that musical action is predicated on an underlying disruptive energy, Nietzsche’s Dionysian disruptive background re-interpreted in the contemporary world. When it breaks through the musical surface, it dislocates continuity and re-routes tonal narrative into new, unforeseen directions. These unforeseen paths enable us to glimpse in Beethoven’s and Schubert’s music the beautiful, and often haunting, reality of another world.


Barbara Barry:

Barbara R. Barry holds two degrees in piano from Trinity College of Music, London, and three in musicology and theory from the University of London, with PhD ‘magna cum laude’. She was on the music faculty at the University of London Goldsmiths’ College and the Radcliffe Seminars at Harvard, and was Chair of Music History at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Barbara Barry is the author of five previous books and many articles.