Naomi Weiss' new book THE MUSIC OF TRAGEDY

January 17, 2018
The Music of Tragedy

Congratulations to Professor Naomi Weiss on the publication of her new book, The Music of Tragedy: Performance and Imagination in Euripidean Theater. It is published by the University of California Press, and is available from the publisher and on

The Music of Tragedy offers a new approach to the study of classical Greek theater by examining the use of musical language, imagery, and performance in the late work of Euripides. Naomi Weiss demonstrates that Euripides’ allusions to music-making are not just metatheatrical flourishes or gestures towards musical and religious practices external to the drama but closely interwoven with the dramatic plot. Situating Euripides’ experimentation with the dramaturgical effects of mousike within a broader cultural context, she shows how much of his novelty lies in his reinvention of traditional lyric styles and motifs for the tragic stage. If we wish to understand better the trajectories of this most important ancient art form, The Music of Tragedy argues, we must pay closer attention to the role played by both music and text.