Character Voices and Notation in “Sirens”
The attached file (available as an Excel document or a Portable Document) is a spreadsheet displaying the appearance of characters the “Sirens” episode and any corresponding musical notations that describe those appearances. The key below explains the spreadsheet’s organization. The text is based on the Gabler edition. The study leaves out the overture and thus begins at line 64 of the Gabler text.
The above screenshot shows, among other things, two areas highlighted in blue an one in green. These areas are explained in more detail below:
Blue Areas (Columns and Rows):
The column structure is based on the paragraph and line numbers in the text of the “Sirens” episode of Ulysses. The numbers 23 through 28 in the above sample represent the 23rd through 28th paragraphs in the body of the chapter (the overture is not included in the numbering). Beneath the number 23 is the number 95. This refers to the Gabler edition line number in the chapter. In some cases multiple lines appear under one paragraph, as with lines 100 and 101 beneath paragraph 27.
The row structure is based on the various characters in “Sirens.” Each character comprises two consecutive rows in the spreadsheet. The text pictured above shows three of the characters listed in the first column, followed by a column designated “C” (for Character) and “N” (for Notation). Each character’s name is listed in his or her top row throughout the spreadsheet when he or she appears. The character’s bottom row shows notation (usually referring to dynamics) that help describe the nature of his or her appearance.
For example, in some cases, a character might refer to another character who is not there. In this case, the absent character is marked with “pp” (pianissimo). At other times, a character is described as speaking loudly or making a great deal of noise. In these cases, the character’s appearance is marked with ff (fortissimo).
Green Area (Content):
The screenshot above shows the first three characters (or sets of characters) referenced in the chapter and lines 87 through 101 (in paragraphs 18 through 27). When a character appears in the chapter, the box at the intersection of the corresponding allusion and line number displays the name and any significant notation that corresponds to that appearance.
For example, the box at the intersection of “Busboy” and lines 89 through 101 displays the character’s name and “f” (forte). This entry indicates that the busboy enters the scene, loudly, at line 89 and leaves at the end of line 101.