By Robert W. Witkin
Publish yr note: First released February nineteenth 1998
More than 1/2 the broadcast works of Theodor Adorno have been dedicated to his reports in song. As his attractiveness has grown lately, besides the fact that, Adorno’s paintings on track has remained a missed sector as a result of its musicological complexity.
This is the 1st precise account of Adorno’s texts on track from a sociological viewpoint. In transparent, non-technical language, Robert Witkin publications the reader in the course of the complexities of Adorno’s argument in regards to the hyperlinks among track and morality and among musical works and social constitution. Separate chapters tackle his remedy of Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Berg, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and at last jazz. all through, Witkin develops a sociology of the paintings in which Adorno’s writings on tune may be understood. It used to be via those works greater than any others that Adorno confirmed definitely the right of the humanities to be said as an ethical and important strength within the improvement of a contemporary society. by means of recuperating them for non-musicologists, Witkin provides immeasurably to our appreciation of this monstrous of twentieth-century concept.
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Additional resources for Adorno on Music
Writers have frequently used theatre as a metaphor for social life and sociologists have appropriated its terminology to describe social life. The structural conditions of the new drama are therefore closest to those that describe - ideal-typically - the individuated social relations of bourgeois society. According to Szondi (P. Szondi 1987), the absolute drama was 'the result of a bold intellectual effort made by a newly self-conscious being who, after the collapse of the mediaeval world view, sought to create an artistic reality within which he could fix and mirror himself on the basis of interpersonal relationships alone' (P.
The representation of reality in terms of an articulation of foreground and background, of outer appearance and inner meaning, makes of the immediate visible surface of a representation a sign of an underlying dynamic stretching back into the past and forward into the future . The 'whole' or the 'totality' society, culture, history, personality - is identified with what lies 'behind', 'beneath' or 'within' appearances; that is, with the 'idea' disclosed in appearances or - to express it semiotically - the 'sig nified'.
Rose 1978). Certainly, such a reading can be recovered from Adorno's writings. I would suggest that a different reading of Adorno's posture can also be just ified. Adorno's pessim ism is everywhere in evidence but I do not perceive it as 'tragic'. It makes as much sense to me to see this extraordinarily resourceful and restless thinker as sharing some of the characteristics of a modern Odysseus, rather than as a tragic hero or as a Cassandra prophesying doom. A pessimistic Odysseus, perhaps, and yet I cannot read his late essays withour feeling that the memory of Ithaca is strong.
Adorno on Music by Robert W. Witkin