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Edward Said on Music: Always Comparative, Always Contrapuntal


Just as the range of Edward Said’s literary, political, and theoretical writings was expanded through references to music, so too his reviews of performances and his essays on music were deeply influenced by his passion for both literature and politics. Ever the comparatist, he sought parallels and analogies between the arts but also between art and life. Indeed, it was his love for the music of Bach and the playing of Glenn Gould that inspired his theory of “contrapuntal” analysis as a way to move beyond insularity and provincialism in criticism.