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The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism

The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism
Revolution, Reaction, and William Walton


Part of Music in Context

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521765213

£ 72.99

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About the Authors
  • Modernism is both a contested aesthetic category and a powerful political statement. Modernist music was condemned as degenerate by the Nazis and forcibly replaced by socialist realism under the Soviets. Sympathetic philosophers and critics have interpreted it as a vital intellectual defence against totalitarianism, yet some American critics consider it elitist, undemocratic and even unnatural. Drawing extensively on the philosophy of Heidegger and Badiou, The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism proposes a new dialectical theory of faithful, reactive and obscure subjective responses to musical modernism, which embraces all the music of Western modernity. This systematic definition of musical modernism introduces readers to theory by Badiou, Žižek and Agamben. Basing his analyses on the music of William Walton, Harper-Scott explores connections between the revolutionary politics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and responses to the event of modernism in order to challenge accepted narratives of music history in the twentieth century.

    • Proposes a new model for understanding musical modernism
    • Applies contemporary philosophy to establish broad interpretative contexts for music
    • Brings the capacity for music to challenge cultural and political presuppositions into clearer focus
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521765213
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 52 b/w illus. 25 tables 26 music examples
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing:
    1. Modernism as we know it, ideology, and the quilting point
    Part II. Relationship Problems:
    2. Modernism, love, and truth
    3. The love of Troilus and Cressida
    Part III. The Revolutionary Kernel of Reactionary Music:
    4. Communist modernism
    5. A new community
    Afterword: what to do?

  • Author

    J. P. E. Harper-Scott, Royal Holloway, University of London
    J. P. E. Harper-Scott is Reader in Musicology and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has published widely on Elgar, Wagner, Britten and symphonic music and opera of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries and his books include Elgar Studies (edited with Julian Rushton), An Introduction to Music Studies (edited with Jim Samson) and Edward Elgar, Modernist. His work has strong intersections with continental philosophy and psychoanalysis (Heidegger, Badiou, Žižek and Lacan) and has increasingly come to espouse an explicitly Leftist perspective.

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