Literature: An Equal Music

A 1999 novel by Vikram Seth, An Equal Music follows the story of an English violinist, Michael, who is a member of a string quartet. Ten years ago as a student in Vienna, he and a pianist called Julia fell in love, but adverse circumstances and a misunderstanding separated them.

Now he meets her again, although she is married with a son, and is also suffering hearing loss. This meeting sparks a journey which proves tumultuous, both regarding their musical careers and their love for each other.

Together with violinist Philippe Honoré, Seth produced a CD of all the music mentioned or featured in the novel, including Franz Schubert's Trout Quintet and Vaughan-Williams' The Lark Ascending.

The novel includes examples of the following tropes: