ECU Libraries Catalog

Absolute music and the construction of meaning / Daniel K.L. Chua.

Author/creator Chua, Daniel K. L., 1966-
Format Book and Print
Publication InfoCambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Descriptionxii, 314 pages : illustrations, music ; 24 cm.
Series New perspectives in music history and criticism
New perspectives in music history and criticism. ^A359753
Contents Part 1. The Garden of Eden. On history ; On modernity ; On disenchantment ; On division ; On opera ; On machines ; On space ; On style -- Part 2. The fruit of knowledge. On being ; On the mind ; On biology ; On the body ; On the soul ; On morality ; On women ; On masculinity ; On independence ; On heroes ; On politics ; On nothing ; On God ; On infinity ; On self-deification ; On invisibility ; On conscious life-forms ; On artificiality -- Part 3. The Tower of Babel. On death ; On absolute music ; On the beautiful and the sublime ; On monuments ; On the apocalypse ; On the end ; On suicide ; On absolute drivel ; On Babel.
Abstract This book is born out of two contradictions: first, it explores the making of meaning in a musical form that was made to empty its meaning at the turn of the nineteenth century; secondly, it is a history of a music that claims to have no history--absolute music. The book therefore writes against the notion of absolute music which tends to be the paradigm for most musicological and analytical studies. It is concerned not so much with what music is, but why and how meaning is constructed in instrumental music and what structures of knowledge need to be in place for such meaning to exist. Instead of existing in a pure and autonomous form, music is woven back into the epistemological fabric, and tangled with the discourses of theology, visual perspective, biology, philosophy, gender, chemistry, politics, physics. Such contextualisation, far from diminishing the significance of music, actually demonstrates the centrality of music in the construction of modernity. From the thought of Vincenzo Galilei to that of Theodor Adorno, the author suggests that instrumental music has always been a critical and negative force in modernity, even with its nineteenth-century apotheosis as 'absolute music'.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references (pages 291-306) and index.
LCCN 98042733
ISBN0521631815 (hb)

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Music Music Stacks ML3854 .C5 1999 ✔ Available Place Hold