By Robert W. Witkin
Publish 12 months note: First released February nineteenth 1998
More than half the printed works of Theodor Adorno have been dedicated to his experiences in tune. As his recognition has grown in recent times, besides the fact that, Adorno’s paintings on track has remained a overlooked zone as a result of its musicological complexity.
This is the 1st particular account of Adorno’s texts on track from a sociological point of view. In transparent, non-technical language, Robert Witkin courses the reader throughout the complexities of Adorno’s argument concerning the hyperlinks among tune and morality and among musical works and social constitution. Separate chapters handle his remedy of Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Berg, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and at last jazz. all through, Witkin develops a sociology of the artwork in which Adorno’s writings on song could be understood. It used to be via those works greater than any others that Adorno verified the correct of the humanities to be said as an ethical and significant strength within the improvement of a contemporary society. via improving them for non-musicologists, Witkin provides immeasurably to our appreciation of this massive of twentieth-century proposal.
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Extra info for Adorno on Music
Moreover, this development of the subject appears to proceed organically our of the subject's relations and encounters in the 'text ' and yet to lead, with a certain inevitability, to the conclusion to which it is oriented as its fulfilment ; that is, to the completion of its development as its project. A 'bourgeois' composer, as the god-creator of texts , whether narrative or musical, can so arrange things that the total structure of the composition appears to develop spontaneously from the basic elements or parts of the composition in their local relations - their juxtapositions, couplings, variations, 'blendings' and 'collidings' with one another within the text - as though this totality was somehow contained in or presupposed by these elements from the outset.
Existentialism and phenomenology. These , too , seek to absolurise the subject, which then ceases to be a relational structure constituted through interaction with others and becomes, instead, an 'initself', its claim to 'aut hent ic being' resting upon the extent to which it is autochthonous and entirely and sovereignly at its own disposal, free of all determination by others. This Nominalist disintegration culminates, for him, in the advance of various twentieth-century philosophies, most noticeably existentialist and phenomenological philosophies such as those of Husserl, Heidegger and Kierkegaard .
That is, in truly bourgeois societies, the very construction of society itself is the construction of a 'second nature' which is the ground of all the projects of individual producers and merchants. Ideal-typically, this second nature must be constructed through negotiation and co-operation among free individuals. Bourgeois societies tend to 'democratic' political structures and the development of 'universalist' systems of law. It was the individualism and cultivation of personality emerging in the political cultures of the Italian Renaissance cities that so impressed Burkhardt (].