Proceeding from the premise that a nineteenth-century German lyric song is a reading of its text, the author develops new resources for describing acts of reading poetry and establishes the analytical relevance of the approach using examples drawn mainly from songs by Brahms. Part I provides an account of the rules that generate phonological words and phrases in German, the principles that determine the normal placement of stress in words and phrases, and motivations for the abnormal placement of stress. Part II looks at higher-level, facultative structures in prosodic phonology: intonation units, various rhythmic aspects of intonation (pulses, pauses, and lengthening), intonation sequences, and intonation contours. The study develops new methods of textual analysis specifically for use in forming and comparing interpretations of nineteenth-century German lyric song, but the approach also has clear implications for the study of other repertories.

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