Philosophy of Modern Music

Philosophy of Modern Music

by Theodor Adorno


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A leading philosopher of the Frankfurt School, German composer Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) wrote this treatise on music theory during WWII while in exile in the US. In it, he analyzes the work of two composers he saw as polar opposites—Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky. This volume represents the first English translation of the classic 1948 text. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826401380
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1985
Edition description: REVISED
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 55.00(w) x 82.50(h) x 7.50(d)

Table of Contents

Translators' Introductionvii
Choice of Subject Matter3
New Conformism5
False Musical Consciousness7
Modern Music Unprotected16
The Antinomy of Modern Music18
Growing Indifferentism20
On Method24
Schoenberg and Progress29
Disturbance of the Work29
Inherent Tendency of Musical Material32
Schoenberg's Criticism of Illusion and Play37
Dialectics of Loneliness41
Loneliness as Style46
Expressionism as Objectivity48
Total Organization of the Elements of Music51
Total Development54
The Concept of Twelve-Tone Technique60
Musical Domination of Nature64
Loss of Freedom67
Twelve-Tone Melos and Rhythm71
Differentiation and Coarsening77
Instrumental Timbre87
Twelve-Tone Counterpoint90
Function of Counterpoint94
The Composers104
Avant-Garde and Theory112
Renunciation of Material117
Cognitive Character124
Attitude Towards Society129
Stravinsky and Restoration
Sacrifice and the Absence of Intention138
Hand Organ as a Primeval Phenomenon143
Sacre and African Sculpture145
Technical Elements in Sacre148
Identification with the Collective157
Archaism, Modernism, Infantilism160
Permanent Regression and Musical Form165
The Psychotic Aspect167
Alienation as Objectivity171
Fetishism of the Means172
Music about Music181
Denaturation and Simplification185
Dissociation of Time187
Music--A Pseudomorphism of Painting191
Theory of Ballet Music193
Modes of Listening197
The Deception of Objectivism201
The Final Trick203
Experiments in Expansion209
Schoenberg and Stravinsky212

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