There is widespread agreement that musicology has undergone a paradigm shift. This swing can be attributed to two not always separable causes: the wider repertoires now studied and the impact of theory on research in the humanities and social sciences. This analysis attends to both currents, examining and explaining the theoretical issues raised by various musics. Topics discussed include: Joseph Kerman's call for a shift from fact-finding to critical interpretation; Adorno's and Dahlhaus's scrutiny of the bourgeois tradition; the impact of post-structuralism on musicology; the semiotics of music; how gender is constructed in music; the relevance of psychoanalytical theory to musical understanding; classic critiques of the culture industry; how identity and image are negotiated in song; debates in ethnomusicology; and modernity in music. The author's overall aim is to show the forces at work in contemporary musicology, to demonstrate that traditions are socially constructed, and to suggest that established beliefs can be transformed in a theoretically flexible environment.
Although David Bowie has famously characterized himself as a "leper messiah," a more appropriate moniker might be "rock god": someone whose influence has crossed numerous sub-genres of popular and classical music and can at times seem ubiquitous. By looking at key moments in his career (1972, 1977-79, 1980-83, and 1995-97) through several lenses-theories of sub-culture, gender/sexuality studies, theories of sound, post-colonial theory, and performance studies Waldrep examines Bowie's work in terms not only of his auditory output but his many reinterpretations of it via music videos, concert tours, television appearances, and occasional movie roles. Future Nostalgia looks at all aspects of Bowie's career in an attempt to trace Bowie's contribution to the performative paradigms that constitute contemporary rock music.
In The Discourse of Musicology, Giles Hooper considers a number of issues central to recent debates about the nature and direction of contemporary musicology. The first part of the book seeks to situate and critically rethink the alleged 'postmodern' turn in musical scholarship. Then, in attempting to overcome some of the problems typically associated with postmodern theory, Hooper draws on the work of Jürgen Habermas in order to interpret musicology as a form of institutionalized discourse and to propose a normative framework for the kind of knowledge in which it can legitimately issue. The second part of the book focuses on the concepts of 'mediation' and the 'music itself' and engages with the work of influential critical theorist, Theodor Adorno, and the contemporary musicologist, Lawrence Kramer. Finally Hooper compares and contrasts a number of different approaches to Mahler's Ninth Symphony. The author's underlying aim throughout is to question whether, and how, it is possible to develop a mode of musicological enquiry that is both epistemologically robust and at the same time capable of answering the demand that it demonstrate its social, political and ethical relevance.
Max Weber as a sociologist of music? Scrutinising an array of nineteenth-century discourses on the concept of 'development' in music, Ana Petrov focuses on Max Weber's theory of rationalisation in music, which led him to see 'rationalised' music as the most 'developed', the most 'complex' and the 'best' music that the whole of civilisation had ever achieved. Weber was convinced that his analysis could prove that the 'peak' of the rationalisation process was to be found in the 'great' masterpieces of German composers, starting with Johann Sebastian Bach and finishing with Richard Wagner. Petrov argues that Weber's allegedly 'neutral' concepts were far from 'innocent' and 'ideology-free', but rather outcomes of his social and intellectual background. She explores the implications of Weber's concept of rationalisation in music, discussing correlations between the theories of evolution and rationalisation and the paradigm of cultural imperialism, which can be recognised in Weber's promulgation of the superiority of Western music traditions.
How was music depicted in and mediated through Romantic and Victorian poetry? This is the central question that this specially commissioned volume of essays sets out to explore in order to understand better music's place and its significance in nineteenth-century British culture. Analysing how music took part in and commented on a wide range of scientific, literary, and cultural discourses, the book expands our knowledge of how music was central to the nineteenth-century imagination. Like its companion volume, The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction (Ashgate, 2004) edited by Sophie Fuller and Nicky Losseff, this book provides a meeting place for literary studies and musicology, with contributions by scholars situated in each field. Areas investigated in these essays include the Romantic interest in national musical traditions; the figure of the Eolian harp in the poetry of Coleridge and Shelley; the recurring theme of music in Blake's verse; settings of Tennyson by Parry and Elgar that demonstrate how literary representations of musical ideas are refigured in music; George Eliot's use of music in her poetry to explore literary and philosophical themes; music in the verse of Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti; the personification of lyric (Sappho) in a song cycle by Granville and Helen Bantock; and music and sexual identity in the poetry of Wilde, Symons, Michael Field, Beardsley, Gray and Davidson.
During the past two decades, there has emerged a growing need to reconsider the objects, axioms and perspectives of writing music history. A certain suspicion towards Francois Lyotard’s grand narratives, as a sign of what he diagnosed as our ’postmodern condition’, has become more or less an established and unquestioned point of departure among historians. This suspicion, at its most extreme, has led to a radical conclusion of the ’end of history’ in the work of postmodern scholars such as Jean Baudrillard and Francis Fukuyama. The contributors to Critical Music Historiography take a step back and argue that the radical view of the ’impossibility of history’, as well as the unavoidable ideology of any history, are counter-productive points of departure for historical scholarship. It is argued that metanarratives in history are still possible and welcome, even if their limitations are acknowledged. Foucault, Lyotard and others should be taken into account but systematized viewpoints and methods for a more critical and multi-faceted re-evaluation of the past through research are needed. As to the metanarratives of music history, they must avoid the pitfalls of evolutionism, hagiography, and teleology, all hallmarks of traditional historiography. In this volume the contributors put these methods and principles into practice. The chapters tackle under-researched and non-conventional domains of music history as well as rethinking older historiographical concepts such as orientalism and nationalism, and consequently introduce new concepts such as occidentalism and transnationalism. The volume is a challenging collection of work that stakes out a unique territory for itself among the growing body of work on critical music history.
More than a century after Guido Adler's appointment to the first chair in musicology at the University of Vienna, Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History provides a first look at the discipline in this earliest period, and at the ideological dilemmas and methodological anxieties that characterized it upon its institutionalization. Author Kevin Karnes contends that some of the most vital questions surrounding musicology's disciplinary identities today-the relationship between musicology and criticism, the role of the subject in analysis and the narration of history, and the responsibilities of the scholar to the listening public-originate in these conflicted and largely forgotten beginnings. Karnes lays bare the nature of music study in the late nineteenth century through insightful readings of long-overlooked contributions by three of musicology's foremost pioneers-Adler, Eduard Hanslick, and Heinrich Schenker. Shaped as much by the skeptical pronouncements of the likes of Nietzsche and Wagner as it was by progressivist ideologies of scientific positivism, the new discipline comprised an array of oft-contested and intensely personal visions of music study, its value, and its future. Karnes introduces readers to a Hanslick who rejected the call of positivist scholarship and dedicated himself to penning an avowedly subjective history of Viennese musical life. He argues that Schenker's analytical experiments had roots in a Wagner-inspired search for a critical alternative to Adler's style-obsessed scholarship. And he illuminates Adler's determined response to Nietzsche's warnings about the vitality of artistic and cultural life in an increasingly scientific age. Through sophisticated and meticulous presentation, Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History demonstrates that the new discipline of musicology was inextricably tied in with the cultural discourse of its time.
In other disciplines within the arts and humanities, 'men's studies' is a well-established field. Musicology has only recently begun to address music's engagement with masculinity and as a result has sometimes thereby failed to recognise its own discursive misogyny. This book does not seek to cover the field comprehensively but, rather, to explore in detail some of the ways in which musical practices do the cultural work of masculinity.
Imaginative analytical and critical work on British music of the early twentieth century has been hindered by perceptions of the repertory as insular in its references and backward in its style and syntax, escaping the modernity that surrounded its composers. Recent research has begun to break down these perceptions and has found intriguing links between British music and modernism. This book brings together contributions from scholars working in analysis, hermeneutics, reception history, critical theory and the history of ideas. Three overall themes emerge from its chapters: accounts of British reactions to Continental modernism and the forms they took; links between music and the visual arts; and analysis and interpretation of compositions in the light of recent theoretical work on form, tonality and pitch organization
This book explores how people may use music in ways that are helpful for them, especially in relation to a sense of wellbeing, belonging and participation. The central premise for the study is that help is not a decontextualized effect that music produces. The book contributes to the current discourse on music, culture and society and it is developed in dialogue with related areas of study, such as music sociology, ethnomusicology, community psychology and health promotion. Where Music Helps describes the emerging movement that has been labelled Community Music Therapy, and it presents ethnographically informed case studies of eight music projects (localized in England, Israel, Norway, and South Africa). The various chapters of the book portray "music's help" in action within a broad range of contexts; with individuals, groups and communities – all of whom have been challenged by illness or disability, social and cultural disadvantage or injustice. Music and musicing has helped these people find their voice (literally and metaphorically); to be welcomed and to welcome, to be accepted and to accept, to be together in different and better ways, to project alternative messages about themselves or their community and to connect with others beyond their immediate environment. The overriding theme that is explored is how music comes to afford things in concert with its environments, which may suggest a way of accounting for the role of music in music therapy without reducing music to a secondary role in relation to the "therapeutic," that is, being "just" a symbol of psychological states, a stimulus, or a text reflecting socio-cultural content.