Schenker and Schoenberg on the Tone and the Genius

Schenker and Schoenberg on the Tone and the Genius

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Taking as a starting point Schenker's and Schoenberg's Harmonielehren , I demonstrate that the most fundamental elements of their theories of music, the tone and the genius, are essentially the same, and that in each case these elements define a process of musical reflection---for the one, paralyzing, and for the other, blinding: Schenker is barred from composing, and Schoenberg is bereft of the light of God. Whereas Schenker interprets his condition as the sign of a music-historical breakdown, Schoenberg interprets his condition as necessitating a music-historical breakthrough. Thus the tonal and post-tonal eras are not realities toward which Schenker and Schoenberg orient themselves as loyalist and revolutionary---they are Schenker's and Schoenberg's own inventions. Schenker and Schoenberg are not divided by history---they are united by their division of history. Inasmuch as our discipline presupposes this division, its peculiar metaphysical basis ought to give us pause.... according to Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin, everyone in the educated world discussed philosophy and regarded the ... subsume language under the rubric of society and culture, because society, culture, and philosophy are all mediated by ... 36 Heinrich Schenker, aquot;Three essays from Neue Revue (1894-1897), aquot; trans.

Title:Schenker and Schoenberg on the Tone and the Genius
Author: Matthew Arndt
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008

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