About Philosophy of Modern Music
Project MUSE Mission
As detailed in Philosophie der neuen Musik and elsewhere, music for Adorno was a source of knowledge and truth, one of modernity's most lamentable victims, as well as the art form that holds the greatest potential for social transformation. Music, especially new music which is understood here as "contemporary art music" , was to illuminate "only by convicting the brightness of the world of its own darkness" Seeing "particular constellations of compositional tasks" 33 as the best way to elucidate the specific social position and potential of new music, Adorno engages in a detailed, if sometimes short-sighted, discussion of the works of Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky, the two figures that best exemplified the social position and potential of new music at that historical juncture. In "Schoenberg and Progress," Adorno densely traces the negative and affirmative characteristics of the atonal and twelve-tone music of Schoenberg, as well as his students Alban Berg and Anton von Webern. While Adorno's verdict of advancement in "Schoenberg and Progress" is not reached easily, in the end, Schoenberg composes his [End Page ] twelve-tone music "as if tone technique did not exist" 85 and in doing so, as "representative of the most advanced aesthetic consciousness" 94 , places his music in diametrical opposition to the dominant culture, utilizing the instrumental rationality of modernity against itself. In doing so, Schoenberg brings Adorno's dialectical tracing of his music in relation to modernity to a halt.
Table of contents
To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Adorno's Philosophy of New Music. A Thing of the Past?
Coming soon. Theodor W. Translated, edited, and with an introduction by Robert Hullot-Kentor Intensely polemical from its first publication in , every aspect of Philosophy of New Music was met with extreme reactions. Marking a turning point in Theodor Adorno's musicological philosophy, this book became highly regarded and widely read among musicians, scholars, and philosophers. In this new translation, Philosophy of New Music emerges as an indispensable key to Adorno's illustrious and influential oeuvre. A manifesto on how criticism could actively participate in and clarify artistic concerns, immanently complicating solidarity between theory and practice.