The Pleasure of Modernist Music: Listening, Meaning, Intention, Ideology

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"The debate over modernist music has continued for almost a century. The composers discussed in these pages - including Bela Bartok, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bernard Herrmann, Steve Reich, and many others - were modernists in that they shared a basic, individualist impulse to redeisgn music." "This is the first book to stake out a principled middle ground between two standard polemical positions about modernist music: the one attacking it as elitist, overly intellectual, and often incomprehensible; the other defending it as a music-evolutionary stage deemed "necessary" but also beyond the reach of words." With an emphasis on recent contexts and debates - including film music, sexuality, metaphor, and ideas of a listening grammar - the contributors trace the meanings that such works and composers hold for listeners of different kinds.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580461436
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/16/2004
  • Series: Eastman Studies in Music , #29
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 1.06 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Intention and meaning in modernist music 23
2 The end of the mannerist century 46
3 A fine analysis 54
4 In memory of a receding dialectic : the political relevance of autonomy and formalism in modernist musical aesthetics 68
5 Twentieth-century tonality, or, breaking up is hard to do 103
6 "Tone-color, movement, changing harmonic planes" : cognition, constraints and conceptual blends in modernist music 121
7 Sexual and musical categories 153
8 Listening to schizophrenia : the Wozzeck case 176
9 The musician writes : for the eyes of the deaf? 197
10 "Are you sure you can't hear it?" : some informal reflections on simple information and listening 223
11 A fine madness 253
12 "One man's signal is another man's noise" : personal encounters with post-tonal music 259
13 The "modernization" of rock & roll, 1965-75 277
14 Refiguring the modernist program for hearing : Steve Reich and George Rochberg 325
15 Modernism goes to the movies 345
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