Tag Archives: musicological

Critical Musicological Reflections: Essays in Honour of Derek B. Scott

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Critical Musicological Reflections: Essays in Honour of Derek B. Scott by Stan Hawkins
English | 2012 | ISBN: 1409425606 | 257 pages | PDF | 2,3 MB

Critical Musicological Reflections: Essays in Honour of Derek B. Scott
This collection of original essays is in tribute to the work of Derek Scott on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. As one of the leading lights in critical musicology, Scott has helped shaped the epistemological direction for music research since the late 1980s. There is no doubt that the path taken by the critical musicologist has been a tricky one, leading to new conceptions, interactions, and heated debates during the past two decades. Changes in musicology during the closing decades of the twentieth century prompted the establishment of new sets of theoretical methods that probed at the social and cultural relevance of music, as much as its self-referentiality. All the scholars contributing to this book have played a role in the general paradigmatic shift that ensued in the wake of Kerman's call for change in the 1980s. Setting out to address a range of approaches to theorizing music and promulgating modes of analysis across a wide range of repertories, the essays in this collection can be read as a coming of age of critical musicology through its active dialogue with other disciplines such as sociology, feminism, ethnomusicology, history, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, aesthetics, media studies, film music studies, and gender studies. The volume provides music researchers and graduate students with an up-to-date authoritative reference to all matters dealing with the state of critical musicology today.
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Shostakovich in Dialogue

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Judith Kuhn, "Shostakovich in Dialogue"
English | ISBN: 0754664066 | 2010 | 318 pages | PDF | 5 MB

Shostakovich in Dialogue
A thorough examination of Shostakovich's string quartets is long overdue. Although they can justifiably lay claim to being the most significant and frequently performed twentieth-century oeuvre for that ensemble, there has been no systematic English-language study of the entire cycle. Judith Kuhn's book begins such a study, undertaken with the belief that, despite a growing awareness of the universality of Shostakovich's music, much remains to be learned from the historical context and an examination of the music's language. Much of the controversy about Shostakovich's music has been related to questions of meaning. The conflicting interpretations put forth by scholars during the musicological 'Shostakovich wars' have shown the impossibility of fixing a single meaning in the composer's music. Commentators have often heard the quartets as political in nature, although there have been contradictory views as to whether Shostakovich was a loyal communist or a dissident. The works are also often described as vivid narratives, perhaps a confessional autobiography or a chronicle of the composer's times. The cycle has also been heard to examine major philosophical issues posed by the composer's life and times, including war, death, love, the conflict of forces of good and evil, the nature of subjectivity, the power of creativity and the place of the individual – and particularly the artist – in society. Soviet commentaries on the quartets typically describe the works through the lens of Socialist-Realist mythological master narratives. Recent Western commentaries see Shostakovich's quartets as expressions of broader twentieth-century subjectivity, filled with ruptures and uncertainty. What musical features enable these diverse interpretations? Kuhn examines each quartet in turn, looking first at its historical and biographical context, with special attention to the cultural questions being discussed at the time of its writing. She then surveys the work's reception history, and follows with a critical discussion of the quartet's architectural and harmonic features. Using the new tools of Sonata Theory, Kuhn provides a fresh analytical approach to Shostakovich's music, giving valuable and detailed insights into the quartets, showing how the composer's mastery of form has enabled these works to be heard as active participants in the Soviet and Western cultural discourses of their time, while remaining compelling and relevant to twenty-first-century listeners.
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