Music and translation

Table of contents

The translation of musical texts – or music-linked translation, in Harai Golomb's terms (2005: 121–162) – has only recently started to receive attention from translation researchers. One reason for this may be the methodological challenges that its study entails, for it redraws traditional boundaries such as those between ‘translation’, ‘adaptation’ or ‘rewriting’, it questions essential concepts such as ‘authorship’ or ‘source-text’ and it clearly calls for a multidisciplinary approach (Susam-Sarajeva 2008: 188–9). Two monographic publications have now joined the small group of articles so far devoted to Music and Translation: Gorlée 2005 and Susam-Sarajeva 2008, which show that the translation of musical texts goes well beyond opera, taking multiple forms – from the (literal) translations of CD inserts or printed libretti to sung translation, the rewriting of song lyrics, surtitling, subtitling or dubbing. This entry will present an overview of the field, focusing mainly on the translation of opera in its various forms – as it has attracted most attention –, and that of songs and musicals.

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Desblache, Lucile
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