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Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres by Peter Pesic

Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres by Peter Pesic Peter Pesic Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres MIT Press, 2017: 344 pp. ($38.00 cloth) Anna Zayaruznaya As is appropriate to a book about polyphony, Peter Pesic’s Polyphonic Minds tries to do several things at once. On one level, it presents a history of poly- phonic practice in the West, introducing and commenting upon a string of examples at a level targeting the novice student of music history. On another, it offers “a synthesis that breaks new ground by placing polyphony in the wid- est context of musical, philosophical, theological, and scientific concerns, highlighting the questions surrounding polyphony and engaging those ques- tions anew” (8). For Pesic the central issue that polyphony raises is no less than the metaphysical problem of the One and the Many, with all its logical, theo- logical, cosmological, and ultimately neurological baggage. Framed thus, the history of polyphony acquires a new telos: “Beginning as a music suitable for divine minds, for gods and angels, in time polyphony became a defining attribute of human personhood” (1). The book’s four parts ser ve as the large-scale pillars of this progression. “Polyphony Emergent” (chaps. 1–5) introduces polyphony as a decidedly sacred protagonist attacked on theological grounds but http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres by Peter Pesic

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 63 (1) – Apr 1, 2019

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Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-7320663
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Peter Pesic Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres MIT Press, 2017: 344 pp. ($38.00 cloth) Anna Zayaruznaya As is appropriate to a book about polyphony, Peter Pesic’s Polyphonic Minds tries to do several things at once. On one level, it presents a history of poly- phonic practice in the West, introducing and commenting upon a string of examples at a level targeting the novice student of music history. On another, it offers “a synthesis that breaks new ground by placing polyphony in the wid- est context of musical, philosophical, theological, and scientific concerns, highlighting the questions surrounding polyphony and engaging those ques- tions anew” (8). For Pesic the central issue that polyphony raises is no less than the metaphysical problem of the One and the Many, with all its logical, theo- logical, cosmological, and ultimately neurological baggage. Framed thus, the history of polyphony acquires a new telos: “Beginning as a music suitable for divine minds, for gods and angels, in time polyphony became a defining attribute of human personhood” (1). The book’s four parts ser ve as the large-scale pillars of this progression. “Polyphony Emergent” (chaps. 1–5) introduces polyphony as a decidedly sacred protagonist attacked on theological grounds but

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2019

References