Download After Adorno: Rethinking Music Sociology by Tia DeNora PDF

By Tia DeNora

Theodor W. Adorno broached key questions about the function of song in modern society and argued that it affected attention and was once a way of social administration and keep an eye on. announcing that track sociology will be drastically enriched through returning to Adorno's concentrate on song as a dynamic medium of social lifestyles, this booklet considers cognition, the feelings and track as a administration device.


If Adorno prepared the ground for the disciplines of sociology and musicology to return jointly, DeNora has introduced this interdisciplinary scholarship to a brand new point of class, displaying that the discussion among musicology and sociology remains to be a two-way street." - William G. Roy

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Extra resources for After Adorno: Rethinking Music Sociology

Sample text

There were, arguably, at the time, good reasons for this over-theoretical approach, as Richard Leppert explains: Adorno’s sociology worked from both the outside and the inside of musical works. ‘Outside’ musical texts, he looked at social practices, but here he upset musicological convention by his relative lack of interest in empirical research, though Adorno knew well the ‘basic facts’ of music history, to be sure. But he insisted on the inadequacy of musical facts as such to the understanding of music – precisely the argument in musicology that emerged in full-blown form only in the mid 1980s, but was nonetheless foreshadowed during the last decade of Adorno’s life in his critique of positivism, especially as represented by the British philosopher Karl Popper.

Music sociologists tend to agree that Adorno’s conception of the culture industry is over general. In Adorno, the culture industry is too quickly written off as a monolithic force, its products dismissed a priori as undifferentiated, equally worthless (on this point, see Witkin 2002). This is because, as Richard Middleton has observed (1990:37), Adorno began with that which he knew well – Germany during the 1930s – and he projected this model of cultural production inappropriately across time and space.

By this he means that Adorno’s focus on individual works allowed him, as I described earlier, certain theoretical luxuries – as a strategy the confinement to what he had to say about composition permitted him to find that to which he was already predisposed. And this bias, coupled with Adorno’s personal position – a Jew in 1930s Germany, a member of the educated elite, an acolyte of Alban Berg – led to his establishment of a particular version of music history and history more generally as the ‘true’ version.

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