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Among the most original and provocative musicological writers of his generation, James Hepokoski has elaborated new paradigms of inquiry for both music history and music theory. Advocating fundamental shifts of methodological reorientation within the quest for potential musical meanings, his work spans both disciplines and offers substantial challenges for each. At its core is the conviction that a close study of musical genres, procedures, and structures—those qualities of a composition that are specifically musical—is essential to any responsible hermeneutic enterprise. Selected from writings from 1984 to 2008, this collection of essays provides a generous introduction to the author’s most innovative and influential work on a wide variety of topics: musicological methodology, issues of staging and performance, Italian opera, program music, and exemplary studies of individual pieces.