Adorno on Music by Robert W. Witkin

By Robert W. Witkin

Publish 12 months note: First released February nineteenth 1998
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More than 1/2 the printed works of Theodor Adorno have been dedicated to his reviews in tune. As his attractiveness has grown lately, although, Adorno’s paintings on tune has remained a missed region as a result of its musicological complexity.

This is the 1st distinctive account of Adorno’s texts on song from a sociological viewpoint. In transparent, non-technical language, Robert Witkin publications the reader during the complexities of Adorno’s argument in regards to the hyperlinks among track and morality and among musical works and social constitution. Separate chapters deal with his remedy of Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Berg, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and eventually jazz. all through, Witkin develops a sociology of the paintings during which Adorno’s writings on song will be understood. It used to be via those works greater than any others that Adorno tested the ideal of the humanities to be stated as an ethical and important strength within the improvement of a latest society. via getting better them for non-musicologists, Witkin provides immeasurably to our appreciation of this enormous of twentieth-century concept.

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Social and cultural relations were seen as manifesting, in all their various forms, what another German aesthetician, Erwin Panofsky, referred to as a distinctive 'mind-world relationship' (E. Panofsky 1972). It was, natural, therefore, for Adorno to move freely, in his critical thought, between society, philosophy and music, since all three were seen as aspects of the same phenomena. A particularly apt example of this type of claim of cultural unity is to be found in Panofsky's exploration of the parallels between the architecture of Gothic cathedrals and Scholasticism in the religion and philosophy of the late Middle Ages (E.

However, the fact that an ideology has some basis in practical life does not make it any less an ideology; nor does it mean that, as ideology, it does not involve a considerable degree of distortion in its representation of reality. These questions of the truth or falsity of ideology depend upon the historical context. In the making of a bourgeois society, the elements of bourgeois ideology constituted a set of formative ideals, of practical help in 34 SOCIETY IN SONATA-FORM constructing society.

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. The point has been 30 SOCIETY IN SONATA-FORM succinctly made by Rose Subotnik in her pioneering study of Adorno's work on Beethoven: 'The musical individual which may be identified variously with the tone , the motif, the theme, or the part for the concert instrument, is able to develop from within itself and to organise the totality of the musical work from the inner dynamics of the participating elements' (quoting Adorno) ..

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