By Daniel Chua

This booklet examines the highbrow background of instrumental song, particularly the belief of absolute tune. It attempts to teach how definite principles in philosophy, theology and the sciences impact the which means and, certainly, the lifestyles of instrumental track, and the way, in flip, instrumental tune is used to unravel or exemplify yes difficulties in sleek tradition. rather than present in a natural and self reliant shape, tune is woven again into the epistemological cloth and entangled with a variety of discourses, therefore demonstrating the centrality of tune within the development of which means.

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Extra info for Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism)

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To put it another way, the Camerata inaugurated the pastoralisation of music theory. 15 It is a controversial matter whether these Florentine pastorals really constitute the ‘birth of opera’,16 but they certainly produced, as their afterbirth, the modernity of instrumental music. The problem with the Camerata’s strategy is that it is necessarily divisive: it has to denounce the present to idealise the past as its future. If opera heralds the promise of Utopia, then the songless present has to be overcome.

Goldhammer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), 1–36. Baruch Spinoza, Abrégé de grammaire hébraique, ed. J. Askénazi and J. Askénazi-Gerson (Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. , 24. 36 On opera Ex. 4 Claudio Monteverdi, L’Orfeo: structure of the Prologue. 37 The music of the voice carries the secret vowels of the soul; it intones an unwritten presence, whereas the instrumental mechanism forms the clatter of consonants that are like ‘holes’ on the flute – that is, a sign of absence. So it is the function of instrumental music to form the empty consonants for the voice to animate in performance.

It was the Protestant ascetics who most vehemently split music to 11 12 14 15 16 17 Cicero, Republic, quoted in Edward Lippman, A History Of Western Aesthetics (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 7. See Macrobius, Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis, vol. 2, ed. J. Willis (Leipzig: B. G. 13 Teubner, 1970), comm. 4, 2–3. See Plato, Republic, 616d–17c. Tomlinson, Music in Renaissance Magic, 62. , 136. Also see D. P. Walker, ‘Ficino’s spiritus and Music’, in Music, Spirit and Language in the Renaissance, ed.

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