By Robert W. Witkin
Publish 12 months note: First released February nineteenth 1998
More than 1/2 the broadcast works of Theodor Adorno have been dedicated to his reports in song. As his popularity has grown lately, notwithstanding, Adorno’s paintings on song has remained a overlooked zone as a result of its musicological complexity.
This is the 1st specific account of Adorno’s texts on tune from a sociological viewpoint. In transparent, non-technical language, Robert Witkin courses the reader throughout the complexities of Adorno’s argument concerning the hyperlinks among song and morality and among musical works and social constitution. Separate chapters tackle his remedy of Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Berg, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and at last jazz. all through, Witkin develops a sociology of the artwork during which Adorno’s writings on song should be understood. It used to be via those works greater than any others that Adorno confirmed definitely the right of the humanities to be stated as an ethical and important strength within the improvement of a contemporary society. through convalescing them for non-musicologists, Witkin provides immeasurably to our appreciation of this sizeable of twentieth-century inspiration.
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Additional info for Adorno on Music
Panofsky does not seek to argue that Gothic cathedrals inscribed scholastic arguments or content. His attention is focused upon the modus operandi or structural relations in both architecture and the Scholastic summa. It is the thoroughgoing systernaticiry - the complex articulation of individual elements governed by the whole - which Panofsky sees as characterising both Scholasticism and Gothic architecture. A man imbued with the Scholastic habit would look upon the mode of architectural presentation, just as he looked upon the mode of literary presentation, from the point of view of manijestatio.
T. Adorno 1973: 127-8) Adorno reserves some of his most trenchant critic ism for those whom he sees as the purveyors of what he terms the 'jargon of authenticity'. He tackles it in some of its most advanced intellectual formulations, for example the philosophies of Kierkegaard and of Heidegger. While these intellectual constructions may seem light years away from the problems of jazz or the 'variety act', they are clearly connected in Adorno's analysis. They, too, are oriented to the reduction of th e individual to an abstract or pure subjectiv it y, to a complete disjunction of subject and object.
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. For Adorno, it is in Beethoven's development of the sonata-allegri in his middle-period compositions - which include the great symphonies - that the very pinnacle of the bourgeois effort to reconcile individual freedom and collective constraint is achieved in the medium of art.