The music of Shostakovich has been at the centre of interest of both the general public and dedicated scholars throughout the last twenty years. Most of the relevant literature, however, is of a biographical nature. The focus of this book is musical irony. It offers new methodologies for the semiotic analysis of music, and inspects the ironical messages in Shostakovich‘s music independently of political and biographical bias. Its approach to music is interdisciplinary, comparing musical devices with the artistic principles and literary analyses of satire, irony, parody and the grotesque. Each one of these is firstly inspected and defined as a separate subject, independent of music. The results of these inspections are subsequently applied to music, firstly music in general and then more specifically to the music of Shostakovich. The composer‘s cultural and historical milieux are taken into account and, where relevant, inspected and analysed separately before their application to the music.

part I|29 pages


chapter |27 pages


part II|35 pages


chapter Two|9 pages

Incongruities as indicators of irony

part III|71 pages


chapter Three|8 pages

The structure of satire

chapter Four|5 pages

The structure of musical satire

chapter Five|56 pages

Satirizing techniques

part IV|66 pages


chapter Six|8 pages

Definitions of parody

chapter Seven|4 pages

The structure of parody

chapter Eight|34 pages

Historical background

chapter Nine|18 pages

Techniques of parody

part V|105 pages

The Grotesque

chapter Eleven|19 pages

The satirical grotesque

part VI|9 pages

Existential Irony

chapter Thirteen|7 pages

Compound messages