There are two kinds of thing called the wolf: one is acoustic and music adjacent; the other is biomaterial. Together, they are an instance of what Donna Haraway called “figures”: that is, “material-semiotic nodes or knots in which diverse bodies and meanings co-shape one another.” This essay begins by observing these wolves in London, ca. 1806, where both conjured anxious musings on the human relationship to nature. From there, the perspective widens geographically and historically, to situate the figure of the wolf within a wider history of repressed animalia in Western art music.
Ellen Lockhart is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Toronto. Her book Animation, Plasticity and Music in Italy, 1770–1830, was published by the University of California Press in 2017, and she is co-editor of the Cambridge Opera Journal.
Ellen Lockhart; Lupus tonalis. Representations 8 May 2020; 150 (1): 120–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2020.150.1.120
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