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Max Paddison and Irène Deliège (eds), Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010). xx + 386 pp. £70. IS ...

Max Paddison and Irène Deliège (eds), Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical... Irène Deliège and Max Paddison's Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives has been a long time in the gestation. Was it worth the wait? The honest, if dispiriting, answer has to be ‘yes and no’. The volume has much to recommend it, especially in its later sections; but its long incubation (as well as its previous partial publication in French) seems to have left some strong traces. The title is one example of the problem: it suggests a bipartite division, whereas in fact the volume is divided into three sections, devoted respectively to theory, philosophy and creative practice. While this would not normally be worth noting, the final section is an addition to the English‐language version, absent from the earlier, French‐language volume. Cuts have been made elsewhere, to which I shall turn below. Within such a division, as Paddison notes, there is inevitably slippage (p. 3). Yet the overlaps here are rather extreme and in certain senses confusing, at least if one is to have any sense that ‘theory’ means something distinct from ‘philosophy’, particularly because Paddison speaks of a crisis in theory itself, occasioned by the rise of notions of postmodernity, where he indicates ‘theoretical discourse in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Max Paddison and Irène Deliège (eds), Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010). xx + 386 pp. £70. IS ...

Music Analysis , Volume 33 (1) – Jan 1, 2014

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Irène Deliège and Max Paddison's Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives has been a long time in the gestation. Was it worth the wait? The honest, if dispiriting, answer has to be ‘yes and no’. The volume has much to recommend it, especially in its later sections; but its long incubation (as well as its previous partial publication in French) seems to have left some strong traces. The title is one example of the problem: it suggests a bipartite division, whereas in fact the volume is divided into three sections, devoted respectively to theory, philosophy and creative practice. While this would not normally be worth noting, the final section is an addition to the English‐language version, absent from the earlier, French‐language volume. Cuts have been made elsewhere, to which I shall turn below. Within such a division, as Paddison notes, there is inevitably slippage (p. 3). Yet the overlaps here are rather extreme and in certain senses confusing, at least if one is to have any sense that ‘theory’ means something distinct from ‘philosophy’, particularly because Paddison speaks of a crisis in theory itself, occasioned by the rise of notions of postmodernity, where he indicates ‘theoretical discourse in

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2014

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