Music in Narrative, Narrative as Music

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


In my presentation I will outline four projects in which I take a variety of approaches to the relationship between narrative and music.
The first is a consideration of Jane Austen’s Emma from the point of view of subjective attitudes to musicianship.
The second applies much the same kind of literary scholarship that that I applied to Austen to two novels by British/Irish novelist Iris Murdoch, both set in Ireland and written during the 1960s.
In the third example, beginning with explicit musical references in J.M. Coetzee’s novel Age of Iron, I look for musical resonances both in his prose and in the form and structure of that novel.
In the fourth project I return to Austen, for the first time bringing together the apparently disparate strands of music and writing in her creative practice by comparing the musical and lyrical rhetoric of the ballad ‘Colin and Lucy’ with the narrative rhetoric of the Sense and Sensibility.
Period11 Sept 2020
Held atInstitute of Engineering and Management, India
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Jane Austen
  • Iris Murdoch
  • J.M. Coetzee
  • music
  • narrative