Book

Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

Arved Ashby

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264793
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945692 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520264793.001.0001
Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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Recordings are now the primary way we hear classical music, especially the more abstract styles of “absolute” instrumental music. This book argues that recording technology has transformed our understanding of art music. Contesting the laments of nostalgic critics, the author sees recordings as socially progressive and instruments of a musical vernacular, but also finds that recording and absolute music actually involve similar notions of removing sound from context. He takes stock of technology's impact on classical music, addressing the questions at the heart of the issue. This study reveals how mechanical reproduction has transformed classical musical culture and the very act of listening, breaking down aesthetic and generational barriers and mixing classical music into the soundtrack of everyday life.

Keywords: classical music; instrumental music; recording technology; art music; absolute music

Book.  336 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Applied Music

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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The Recorded Musical Text in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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Schnabel's Rationalism, Gould's Pragmatism in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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Digital Mythologies in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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Beethoven and the iPod Nation in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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Photo/phono/porno in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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Mahler as Imagist in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

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