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S choenberg and the ‘M oment of G erman M usic ’

S choenberg and the ‘M oment of G erman M usic ’ `MOMENT OF GERMAN MUSIC' Although antipathy to Schoenberg's music has long been a cornerstone of popular, critical and academic opposition to musical modernism, the last decade has witnessed a decisive renewal of hostilities. The belated introduction of postmodern and post-structuralist critical theory into the musicological sphere has opened up a fresh discursive space for this debate. Criticism that, in the immediate post-war years, would have seemed reactionary now complements a contemporary, anti-historical philosophical context, which, in its most extreme form, characterises the modernist claim to historical authenticity as a species of bourgeois elitism or self-deluding instrumental rationality (see Bourdieu 2000).1 Recent anti-Schoenbergian sentiment has taken a variety of forms. Roger Scruton opposes Schoenberg on two counts, the first historical, the second psycho-acoustical (1997, pp. 239±308). The idea that the materials of tonality exhaust themselves in the immanent dialectic of musical history for Scruton confuses the inherent qualities of those materials and their contextual meaning (pp. 286±92). The increasing `falseness', as Adorno put it, of tonal procedures depends upon their musical context; their exhaustion therefore cannot be asserted absolutely (1973, p. 34). Schoenberg's hopes for the ultimate aural intelligibility of serialism (1975, pp. 216±18) are likewise suspect. Scruton considers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

S choenberg and the ‘M oment of G erman M usic ’

Music Analysis , Volume 24 (1‐2) – Mar 1, 2005

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-2249.2005.00219.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

`MOMENT OF GERMAN MUSIC' Although antipathy to Schoenberg's music has long been a cornerstone of popular, critical and academic opposition to musical modernism, the last decade has witnessed a decisive renewal of hostilities. The belated introduction of postmodern and post-structuralist critical theory into the musicological sphere has opened up a fresh discursive space for this debate. Criticism that, in the immediate post-war years, would have seemed reactionary now complements a contemporary, anti-historical philosophical context, which, in its most extreme form, characterises the modernist claim to historical authenticity as a species of bourgeois elitism or self-deluding instrumental rationality (see Bourdieu 2000).1 Recent anti-Schoenbergian sentiment has taken a variety of forms. Roger Scruton opposes Schoenberg on two counts, the first historical, the second psycho-acoustical (1997, pp. 239±308). The idea that the materials of tonality exhaust themselves in the immanent dialectic of musical history for Scruton confuses the inherent qualities of those materials and their contextual meaning (pp. 286±92). The increasing `falseness', as Adorno put it, of tonal procedures depends upon their musical context; their exhaustion therefore cannot be asserted absolutely (1973, p. 34). Schoenberg's hopes for the ultimate aural intelligibility of serialism (1975, pp. 216±18) are likewise suspect. Scruton considers

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2005

References