Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research (Paperback)
  • Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research (Paperback)

Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research (Paperback)

Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 23/12/2004
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As a work of cultural criticism that recalls the concerns of Foucault, Hayden White, Zizek, and others Decentering Music examines the struggle for the authority to speak about music at a time when the humanities are in crisis. By linking the institutions that support musical research, including professional associations and universities, to complex historical changes such as globalization and the commodification of knowledge, Korsyn undertakes a critique of musical scholarship as an institutional discourse, while contributing to a general theory of disciplinary structures that goes beyond the limits of any single field. In asking a number of fundamental questions about the models through which disciplinary objects in music are constructed, Korsyn suggests unexpected relationships between works of musical scholarship and the cultural networks in which they participate. Thus David Lewin's theory of musical perceptions is compared to Richard Rorty's concept of the "liberal ironist," Susan McClary's feminist narrative of music history is juxtaposed with T.S. Eliot's "dissociation of sensibility," and Steven Feld's work in recording the music of the Kaluli people is compared to the treatment of ambient sound in contemporary cinema. Developing a framework for interpretation in dialogue with a number of poststructuralist writers, Korsyn goes far beyond applying their thought to the analysis of music; by showing the cultural dilemmas to which their work responds, Korsyn suggests how musical research already participates in these ideas. Rather than impose any single method, Decentering Music empowers readers to choose for themselves by interrogating their own values and ideological commitments, exploring the enabling conditions for statements about music. By demonstrating the complicity of opposing positions and challenging readers to reexamine their own values, Decentering Music will surely provoke debate, while appealing to readers in a variety of fields, and to anyone concerned about the crisis in the humanities.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780195181647
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 371 g
Dimensions: 234 x 155 x 16 mm

"The collation of parable, dialogue, anecdote, standard academic prose, and more into a collage text whose coherence does not depend on its uniformity is a remarkable achievement...Anyone interested in the state of the musicological art should find the arguments impossible to ignore."-Lawrence Kramer, author of Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History and Opera and Modern Culture: Wagner and Strauss
"A brilliantly irreverent, often profound romp through the mine-fields of poststructuralist thought and beyond."-Richard Kramer, Distinguished Professor of Music, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
"This is an ambitious-and even audacious-book. Kevin Korsyn proposes nothing less than a major critique of contemporary musical scholarship...Provocative in conception and brilliant in execution."-Thomas Christensen, Professor of Music and the Humanities, University of Chicago
"An absolute tour de force....Decentering Music will be a widely appreciated and much discussed book, quite possibly the most read book of its kind since Kerman's Contemplating Music."-Brian Hyer, Associate Professor of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Recommended. Valuable and fascinating for upper-division graduates, graduate students, faculty, and professionals."-Choice

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