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Philosophy Of New Music Hardcover – May 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1 edition (May 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816636664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816636662
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) was the leading figure of the Frankfurt school of critical theory. He authored more than twenty volumes, including "Negative Dialectics" (1982), "Kierkegaard" (Minnesota, 1989), "Dialectic of Enlightenment" (1975) with Max Horkheimer, and "Aesthetic Theory" (Minnesota, 1997).

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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Steward Willons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perhaps the only things more polemical than Adorno's critique of Schoenberg and Stravinsky are the reactions that followed. Unfortunately, many people still assume that they understand Adorno's views and arguments concerning these two composers. The reductionist tendency to simplify Adorno's view to "Schoenberg good, Stravinsky bad" shows just who has and who hasn't actually read this book. It is never so simple. Adorno is frequently critical of Schoenberg in very perceptive ways. Of course there's no mistaking who Adorno favors, but to consider this book as a good-vs-evil study is far too limiting. Not only is this a great study of the then current state of musical thought, it is also an interesting overview of twelve tone music, how it works, what it seeks to do, and why it's important.

The format of the book is especially nice. Adorno's favored paratactical prose style can be incredibly difficult when multi-page paragraphs begin to accumulate. For the most part in Philosophy of New Music, each new paragraph is marked by a heading. This keeps the ideas organized and focused. Adorno's paragraphs seem to function as a spinning out of an idea in a very fluid manner and the length of his sections are just the right length to allow the reader to comfortably follow him without getting bogged down. His theses is developed piece by piece, but clearly dividing up the ideas helps the reader see the logical progression. Having read other Adorno writings, I found this to be unusually clear and concise. I wonder how much more useful Aesthetic Theory would be if he had used this structure.

The remarkable clarity is probably due, to a large extent, to Robert Hullot-Kentor's translation.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bob G. on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This translation is the clearest that has yet been published. The writing is far easier to understand than the translation published by Continuum. The edition also provides helpful context for many of Adorno's more obscure references.

If you're new to Adorno's ideas, here are some very general thoughts. Keep in mind that Adorno writes in a highly technical, allusive language; fully understanding a book like this will require years of training in both 20th-century Continental philosophy and music theory, which probably only a handful of individuals really possess or have ever really possessed. (I'm not one of them, so maybe you should take this review with a grain of salt.) Because of the extremism of his musical views, Adorno is mostly out of fashion now in American academia, but any writer as brilliant and sensitive as this at least warrants some acquaintance.

For me, the appeal of this book is that Adorno focuses on the connection between music and culture, and about whether any given cultural pattern is humanizing or de-humanizing. This is almost unique among 20th-century writers on contemporary music. No one else approaches these subjects with the same sustained intensity.

The book is part of Adorno's long-term attempt to understand fascism in a very general sense, especially how fascism permeates Western psychology and culture. If you've read any academic critical theory, you'll be familiar with this theme, which is often handled in a formulaic and unconvincing way. Adorno is more interesting and more sincere than most of this literature -- possibly because, as a student and young professor, Adorno observed the slow approach of WWII, as the mass media, democratically-elected politicians, and cultural leaders clamored for war and fascism.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By W. Jamison VINE VOICE on June 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Bought this yesterday with my father's day gift certificate. Went here to see what others had thought of it and was surprised to see no review posted yet! What gives? Are you guys sleeping on the job?

The translators preface by Robert Hullot-Kentor who also did Aesthetic Theory is vintage translator expressing the torments of trying to merge two different worlds. I enjoyed it and know just what he means. Quine is right about that. But it is harsh! RH-K is a believer in Adorno and what Adorno says in the text. Does one have to empathize with a text to translate it well just as a musician must be in the mood of the music to express that mood? I wonder. Maybe so.

Adorno gave these guys grief. I am sure it applies to our music as well. I read this not simply thinking of the "new music" but the continuing type and wonder if we can associate the trite with the sensuous and the good with the abstract? But then what makes the good so good? Reading on....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Orson Welles on April 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The one advantage of the earlier 1994 Continuum edition of Philosophy of Modern Music was the larger font size. The current edition has the same font size as the new and improved translation. So I no reason not to order this UMinn edition.
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