Download PDF by Robert W. Witkin: Adorno on Music

By Robert W. Witkin

ISBN-10: 1136215379

ISBN-13: 9781136215377

Publish 12 months note: First released February nineteenth 1998

More than 1/2 the broadcast works of Theodor Adorno have been dedicated to his reviews in track. As his acceptance has grown in recent times, although, Adorno’s paintings on tune has remained a overlooked zone due to its musicological complexity.

This is the 1st specified account of Adorno’s texts on track from a sociological viewpoint. In transparent, non-technical language, Robert Witkin courses 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 tackle his therapy of Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Berg, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and at last jazz. all through, Witkin develops a sociology of the artwork during which Adorno’s writings on track could be understood. It used to be via those works greater than any others that Adorno verified the suitable of the humanities to be stated as an ethical and important strength within the improvement of a contemporary society. by means of getting better them for non-musicologists, Witkin provides immeasurably to our appreciation of this immense of twentieth-century idea.

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Example text

The very character of domination and exploitation, which constitutes the external relationship of society to nature, is reproduced in the specialisation of individuals in the division of labour and in the hierarchies through which the labour of the masses is exploited by the few. This same division of labour reproduces itself at the level of the knowledge systems - the divis ion into specialised disciplines - which supply the consciousness through which societ y reproduces and develops itself. Th e latter, too , are organ ised hierarchically.

Bodies ought to harmonise together in the istoria in both size and function. It would be absurd for one who paints the Centaurs fighting after the banquet to leave a vase of wine still standing in such a tumult. [We would call} it a weakness if in the same distance one person should appear larger than another, or if dogs should be equal to horses, or better, as I frequently see, if a man is placed in a building as in a closed casket where there is scarcely room to sit down. For these reasons, all bodies should harmonise in size and in function to what is happening in the istoria [my emphasis}.

This rupture between subject and object threatens the moral integrity of the individual; there are terrors enough for a subject who confronts in himself a world that is no longer his world. Such a subject is not a complete or full subject, one that is at home in the world - that is, one whose spi ritual integrity is grounded in society. There is a moral choice to be made here: either one can face up to one's responsibility to struggle with the world, to be fully historical, or one can retreat into a so-called realm of pure subjectivity - a realm in which Adorno located the products of the culture industry no less than those of so-called serious art and music and modern subjectivist philosophies.

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Adorno on Music by Robert W. Witkin

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