Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning by Daniel Chua

By Daniel Chua

This ebook examines the highbrow historical past of instrumental tune, specifically the belief of absolute tune. It attempts to teach how sure principles in philosophy, theology and the sciences have an effect on the that means and, certainly, the lifestyles of instrumental song, and the way, in flip, instrumental track is used to unravel or exemplify convinced difficulties in smooth tradition. rather than latest in a natural and self sustaining shape, tune is woven again into the epistemological cloth and entangled with a number of discourses, therefore demonstrating the centrality of song within the development of that means.

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Perhaps this is why the earliest operas were all pastorals,1 set in Arcadian landscapes emptied of dung and toil, and filled with singing nymphs and demigods mingling among the shepherds and lovers. The pastoral is the world as a garden, a secular Eden conjured by the desires of the urban imagination,2 where work is play because the only implement that works nature is the very lyre that enchants it. 3 And the figure who dramatises the Arcadian landscape is Orpheus, the son of Apollo, the god of music.

61–2. On the revival of Pythagoreanism in early Romanticism, see John Neubauer, The Emancipation of Music from Language: Departure from Mimesis in Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), 193–210. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, Philosophie der Kunst (1802–3), in Peter le Huray and James Day, Music Aesthetics in the Eighteenth and Early-Nineteenth Centuries, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 280. 21 The Garden of Eden hoping to find some meaning among the rubble of facts.

See Jacques Derrida’s discussion of Rousseau’s Essai sur l’origine des langues in Of Grammatology, trans. G. C. Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976). See Foucault, The Order of Things, 34–42, and Gary Tomlinson, Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 3–11. W. J. T. Mitchell, Picture Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 91–2. 35 The Garden of Eden Ex. 3 Claudio Monteverdi, L’Orfeo: Prologue – bs 22–4. presence.

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