Pub. Date:
Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction / Edition 1

Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction / Edition 1


View All Available Formats & Editions
Current price is , Original price is $28.95. You
Select a Purchase Option
  • purchase options
  • purchase options


Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction / Edition 1

At the beginning of his career in the 1920s, Adorno sketched a planto write a major work on the theory of musical reproduction, a taskhe returned to time and again throughout his career but nevercompleted. The choice of the word reproduction as opposed tointerpretation indicates a primary supposition: that there is aclearly defined musical text whose precision exceeds what isvisible on the page, and that the performer has the responsibilityto reproduce it as accurately as possible, beyond simply playingwhat is written. This task, according to Adorno, requires adetailed understanding of all musical parameters in theirhistorical context, and his reflections upon this task lead to afundamental study of the nature of notation and musical sense.

In the various notes and texts brought together in Towards aTheory of Musical Reproduction, one finds Adorno constantlycircling around an irresolvable paradox: interpretation can onlyfail the work, yet only through it can musics true essence becaptured. While he at times seems more definite in hispronouncement of a musical scores absolute value just as a book isread silently, not aloud his discourse repeatedly displays hisinability to cling to that belief. It is this quality ofuncertainty in his reflections that truly indicates the scope ofthe discourse and its continuing relevance to musical thought andpractice today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780745631998
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/28/2007
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Theodor W. Adorno is the progenitor of critical theory, a central figure in aesthetics, and the century's foremost philosopher of music. He was born and educated in Frankfurt, Germany. After completing his Ph.D. in philosophy, he went to Vienna, where he studied composition with Alban Berg. He soon was bitterly disappointed with his own lack of talent and turned to musicology. In 1928 Adorno returned to Frankfurt to join the Institute for Social Research, commonly known as The Frankfurt School. At first a privately endowed center for Marxist studies, the school was merged with Frankfort's university under Adorno's directorship in the 1950s. As a refugee from Nazi Germany during World War II, Adorno lived for several years in Los Angeles before returning to Frankfurt. Much of his most significant work was produced at that time. Critics find Adorno's aesthetics to be rich in insight, even when they disagree with its broad conclusions. Although Adorno was hostile to jazz and popular music, he advanced the cause of contemporary music by writing seminal studies of many key composers. To the distress of some of his admirers, he remained pessimistic about the prospects for art in mass society. Adorno was a neo-Marxist who believed that the only hope for democracy was to be found in an interpretation of Marxism opposed to both positivism and dogmatic materialism. His opposition to positivisim and advocacy of a method of dialectics grounded in critical rationalism propelled him into intellectual conflict with Georg Hegel, Martin Heidegger, and Heideggerian hermeneutics.

Table of Contents

Editor's Foreword.

Translator's Introduction.

Notes I.

Ad Dorian.

On Richard Wagner's 'Uber das Dirigieren'.

Concerning the Older Material.

AdAancient Musical Notation.

Notes Taken After the Darmstadt Lecture.

Notes II.


Structural Keywords for chapters 2, 4 and 5 of the Draft.

Material for the Reproduction Theory.

Two Schemata.

Keywords for the 1954 Darmstadt Seminar.



Index of Names.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews