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Music Criticism and Adorno

Stephanus Muller ; University of the Free State, Odsjek za glazbu, Bloemfontein, Južna Afrika

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 74 Kb

str. 101-116

preuzimanja: 2.818



This article considers the ambivalent ontology of and disciplinary space occupied by music criticism, using as special point of reference the music criticism practiced and advocated by Theodor Adorno. It tries to situate music criticism disciplinarily between the more institutionalized approaches of historical musicology and music theory and analysis and provides an historical overview of music criticism. By referring to two essays in Quasi una Fantasia ("Commodity Music Analysed" and "Vers une musique Informelle"), it attempts to show how Adorno's critical practice and philosophy of critical practice co-exist and, at times, contradict each other. Adorno's resistance to systematization of any kind is pointed out and the implications for music criticism as analysis are considered. The concept of the constellation as an alternative to traditional logic and the crisis of language when interpreting music is discussed. Special attention is paid to the not inconsiderable challenges the Adornian text presents to the reader, and the relevancy of these texts in the present as a source of critical concepts, techniques and results. Lastly, the article also dwells on the position of the (music) critic vis-à-vis society as an enabling position for Adorno's so-called "immanent" criticism by restating and interrogating some arguments in his essay in Prisms, "Cultural Criticism and Society". The Adornian alternatives of immanent criticism and transcendent criticism are explained through a close reading of this essay.

Ključne riječi

music criticism; Theodor W. Adorno; immanent criticism; transcendent criticism; ideology; music and language

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