A collection of essays that offers a historical reappraisal of what musical modernism was. It assembles approaches from different perspectives to new music with a particular emphasis on a critical reassessment of the meaning and function of the legacy of musical modernism.
This collection of essays offers a historical reappraisal of what musical modernism was, and what its potential for the present and future could be. It thus moves away from the binary oppositions that have beset twentieth-century music studies in the past, such as those between modernism and postmodernism, between conceptions of musical autonomy and of cultural contingency and between formalist-analytical and cultural-historical approaches. Focusing particularly on music from the 1970s to the 1990s, the volume assembles approaches from different perspectives to new music with a particular emphasis on a critical reassessment of the meaning and function of the legacy of musical modernism. The authors include scholars, musicologists and composers who combine culturally, socially, historically and aesthetically oriented approaches with analytical methods in imaginative ways.While the depiction of musical modernism that emerges is on the whole more positive than what has been prevalent in recent musicological discussions, this does not mean that the contributors are unanimous or uncritical.; On the contrary, there is a considerable variety of viewpoints, including critiques of aspects of modernism, at times undertaken from positions that could be described as postmodernist. It is this kind of critical debate on modernism that the book intends to foster.
Introduction: new music and the modernist legacy, Bjorn Heile; Part 1 New Music, Social Debates and the Aesthetics of Critical Modernism: Modernism's moments of plenitude, Andrew Timms; Fields of rubble: on the poetics of music after the post modern, John Croft; Spectralism, politics and the post-industrial imagination, Eric Drott; The scream in avant-garde music: the new left and the rediscovery of the body, Beate Kutschke; Verbal discourse as aesthetic arbitrator in contemporary music, Ian Pace; Weltmusik and the globalization of new music, Bjorn Heile.; Part 2 Aspects of Compositional Poetics: Temps perdu: Aldo Clementi and the eclipse of music as praxis, David Osmond-Smith; Feldman - Beckett - Johns: patterning, memory and subjectivity, Catherine Laws; Brian Fernyhough, 'postmodernist modernist', Lois Fitch; The electroacoustic music of Henri Pousseur and the 'open' form, John Dack; Self-portrait with Boulez and Machaut (and Ligeti is there as well): Harrison Birtwistles's Hoquetus Petrus, Mark Delaere; Local polymetric structures in Elliott Carters 90+ for Piano (1994), Eve Poudrier; Select bibliography; Index.