Foundations of Music History by Carl Dahlhaus

By Carl Dahlhaus

This e-book is the 1st thoroughgoing examine in any language of the philosophy of tune historical past. Drawing on competing philosophies of background in the course of the a long time, from the Enlightenment to the French structuralists, from the German idealist culture to Russian formalism, the past due Carl Dahlhaus applies the techniques of those quite a few faculties to the professional requisites of tune heritage and assesses their merits and shortcomings. distinctive awareness is given to an appraisal of even if Marxist reviews are nonetheless potential and the place they stand short of rethinking. For this English version, the writer supplied an intensive annotated bibliography.

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Extra resources for Foundations of Music History

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This claim bears more resemblance to an historicalphilosophical decree than to the outcome of a considered and impartial interpretation of individual pieces. Not only that; it is never exactly clear what is meant by the alleged 'backwardness' of Wagner's or Brahms's rhythm. It would, of course, be absurd to assess the rhythm of Tristan by the standards of, say, The Rite of Spring; but it would be equally futile to attempt to demonstrate a discrepancy between rhythm and harmony within Tristan itself.

What an historian reconstructs as musichistorical fact - the composer's thought as part of the past - is of no consequence to rigorous structuralists, who discard both the author's intention and the temporal nature of works of art. Yet as long as a theory of art predominates that binds the artistic nature of music to categories such as 'originality' and 'expressive content', which are rooted in the notion of composers as historical agents, then the writing of music history can still be reconciled with the tenet that the 'object' of history consists in human action without at the same time inviting the criticism that music history is alien to art.

Hoffmann's Undine during the burning of the old Berlin Schauspielhaus in 1817 and to follow this fact immediately and without further comment by referring to the use four years later of Weber's Freischiitz to inaugurate the new Schauspielhaus. This would suggest a music-historical connection as represented by the destruction and rebuilding of the theatre. And in fact the influence of Undine did come to an abrupt end with this catastrophe, and the opera figures in the history of German romantic opera as a 'preliminary stage' en route to Der Freischiitz, as a tentative experiment whose aesthetic and historical significance was 'sublated' (as the Hegelians would say) into the later and more perfect work.

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