After Adorno: Rethinking Music Sociology by Tia DeNora

By Tia DeNora

Theodor W. Adorno broached key questions about the position of track in modern society and argued that it affected cognizance and used to be a method of social administration and regulate. announcing that tune sociology will be significantly enriched via returning to Adorno's specialize in song as a dynamic medium of social lifestyles, this booklet considers cognition, the sentiments and tune 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, exhibiting that the discussion among musicology and sociology continues to be a two-way street." - William G. Roy

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Adorno’s avoidance of both a ‘comparative’ perspective and a contextualising methodology, moreover, allow him a particular form of theoretical luxury – that of letting his examples ‘illustrate’ (rather than drive) the direction of his theory. For example, Beethoven’s incorporation of ‘shock’ or surprise, his deconstruciton of form, may, if perceived from the point of view of the contemporary responses to his works (and the level of surprise expressed), have been at its strongest during his early period, when, in terms of the reception history of his work, reactions to Beethoven were most extreme.

More recently, Richard Leppert has suggested that the work Adorno co-authored with Max Horkheimer, the Dialectic of Enlightenment, is characterised by the ‘fundamental rhetorical device [of] . . exaggeration, embodied in the vast historical sweep from Homer to the movies, in an implicitly unbroken historical thread, as exemplary of domination as it was grist for subsequent criticism’ (2002:27). Adorno does indeed paint history on a large canvas and with a large brush, turning now and again to illuminate the workings of these sweeping forces through minute attention to one or another detail.

Indeed, had the world of music reception been populated with specified and socially located hearers and music consumers, a good deal of Adorno’s aesthetic hierarchy would have been undermined. Responding is composing To speak of framing a musical work and its impact upon that work’s perception is to speak of how listening is mediated through one or another cultural schema; how it inevitably takes place from within the confines of particular and selective universes of works, and is often linked to status group affiliation.

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