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The Politics of Reception: Tailoring the Present as Fulfilment of a Desired Past

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Leo Treitler*
Affiliation:
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Extract

The discourse of history can appear as a medium of proud self-portraiture, as the ritual of a culture in narcissistic self-contemplation, glorying in its uniqueness and superiority and in its descent from revered ancestors. This thought catches history as a kind of myth and opens history to anthropological, as well as to historiographical, description.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1991 Royal Musical Association

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References

This essay is dedicated to Lewis Lockwood in honour of his sixtieth birthday It has benefited from the work of Hayden White, especially The Content of the Form (Baltimore, 1986)Google Scholar

1 All quotations from Rousseau are taken from the English translation by William Waring (London, 1779)Google Scholar

2 The Ideas of Progress and their Impact on Art (New York, 1971), 1232 All quotations from Winckelmann are taken from these pages of Gombrich's book, in his translationsGoogle Scholar

3 A General History of the Science and Practice of Music (London, 1776), 138Google Scholar

4 Beethoven Konversationshefte, ed Karl-Heinz Köhler and Grita Herre with Günther Brosche (Berlin, 1968-), i, 372, ii, 319, vi, 175, ix, 204, 216, 291Google Scholar

5 History of the Modern Music of Western Europe, trans Robert Muller (London, 1848, repr. New York, 1973), 1Google Scholar

6 An overview of the source situation and of the theories that have been advanced to account for it is given by Helmut Hucke in ‘Gregorian and Old Roman Chant’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London, 1980), vii, 693–7Google Scholar

7 Stäblein's remarks are quoted from two sources Die Gesänge des altrömischen Graduale Vat lat 5319, Monumenta monodica medii aevi, 2 (Kassel, 1970), and ‘Die Entstehung des gregorianischen Chorals’, Die Musikforschung, 27 (1974), 517Google Scholar

8 Die Enstehung des gregorianischen Chorals’, 11Google Scholar

9 Die Gesänge des altrömischen Graduale, 38Google Scholar

12 Die Entstehung des gregorianischen Chorals’, 17Google Scholar

13 Ibid., 14Google Scholar

16 Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Kassel, 1939–51), iv, cols 1299–325Google Scholar

17 Einführung in die gregorianische Melodien, iii, Gregorianische Formenlehre Eine choralische Stilkunde (Leipzig, 1921)Google Scholar

18 Estetica gregoriana, ossia Trattato delle forme musicali del canto gregoriano (Rome, 1934), trans into French as Esthétique grégorien (Tournai, 1938)Google Scholar

19 Gregorian Chant (Bloomington, 1958), 362.Google Scholar

20 Der Weg zur neuen Musik (Vienna, 1960), 23 I am grateful to Professor Anne Schreffler of the University of Chicago for pointing out this passage to me.Google Scholar

21 That a treatise on musical forms would constitute the extension of the title Estetica gregoriana is as significant as the fact that a theory of form, as in Wagner's title, would constitute a science of style Regarding the influence of these aesthetic issues on the analysis of chant, see my essay ‘“Centonate Chant” Ubles Flickwerk or E pluribus unus?’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 28 (1975), 123Google Scholar

22 Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic, trans. from the Italian by Douglas Ainslie (London, 1909), 16.Google Scholar

23 On the Musically Beautiful A Contribution toward the Revision of the Aesthetics of Music, trans and ed. Geoffrey Payzant (Indianapolis, 1986), 6.Google Scholar

24 Ibid., 49Google Scholar

25 I was myself once persuaded of the attractiveness of this way of thinking, and have regrettably been a contributor to the mythology based on it My essay ‘On the Structure of the Alleluia Melisma. A Western Tendency in Western Chant’, Studies in Music History. Essays for Oliver Strunk, ed Harold Powers (Princeton, 1968), 59–72, conveys in its very title the a priori idea that closure and unity of melodic structure and coherence of melodic syntax are essentially Western, as opposed to oriental, features And the interpretations of melody within the essay I now regard as too restrictive about what constitutes unity and coherence, even within the ‘Western’ tradition I would rather have my current understanding of that question represented by the analysis of the Old Roman melody in my essay ‘Oral, Written, and Literate Process in the Transmission of Medieval Music’, Speculum, 56 (1981), 471–91 (pp 476–80) I offer that analysis, too, as a counterexample to the characterizations of Old Roman and Gregorian chant that I have cited in the preceding On its terms the Old Roman melody shown there is as coherent and unified as any Gregorian melody It seems we are forever apt to allow ideology to command analytical methods which then, of course, produce the accounts we desireGoogle Scholar

26 On the Musically Beautiful, 46Google Scholar

27 See Said, , Orientalism, 46Google Scholar

28 Letter to Casimir Bölendorff, 1801, in Friedrich Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke und Briefe (3rd edn, Munich, 1981), ii, 926 I am grateful to Patrizia Hucke of the Freie Universität, Berlin, for calling my attention to this letterGoogle Scholar

29 Black Athena The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, 1, The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785–1985 (New Brunswick, 1987)Google Scholar

30 Bibliographical details for these books can be found in Eichenauer, Musik und Rasse.Google Scholar

31 Richard Wagner's Prose Works, ed and trans William Ashton Ellis (London, 1893–9; repr New York, 1966), ii, 3941Google Scholar

32 Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, 15 (1913–14), 270–95Google Scholar

33 Die Grundlagen des 19 Jahrhunderts (Munich, 1900)Google Scholar

34 ‘A Northern influence on plainchant was that the melodic line became modified through the introduction of more skips, especially by the interval of a third. The tendency of Northern melody was toward organization by third ’ Donald Jay Grout and Claude Palisca, A History of Western Music (4th edn, New York, 1988), 68.Google Scholar

35 On the Musically Beautiful, 64Google Scholar

36 See Roederer, Charlotte D, ‘Can we Identify an Aquitanian Chant Style?’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 27 (1974), 7599Google Scholar

37 Prozessus und Structura Über Gattungstradition und Formverständniss im Mittelalter’, Musiktheorie, 1 (1986), 531Google Scholar

38 I am grateful to Prof Krin Gabbard for this information, and for other helpful suggestions and information regarding this parallelGoogle Scholar

39 Dizzy Gillespie with Al Frazer, To Be or Not to Bop (New York, 1979), 111Google Scholar

40 Ronald M Radano, ‘Jazz Neoclassicism and the Mask of Consensus’, Abstracts of Papers Read at the Joint Meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, Society for Music Theory, November 7 through November 11, 1990, Oakland, California, ed Bruno Nettl (Urbana, 1990), 47–8Google Scholar

41 ‘Musicology Rhymes with Ideology’, Arts in Society, 7/2 (1970), 230–6Google Scholar

42 ‘Fremde Texte’, Materiali universitari, lettere, 49 (Milan, 1984), 91Google Scholar

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