Chapter

Meaning

Lawrence Kramer

in Interpreting Music

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267053
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947368 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267053.003.0004
Meaning

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The conceptual transformation that overtook musical scholarship during the 1990s had become more or less normative by the time the decade ended. The process unfolded almost too neatly along the classic lines described in Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. By 2002, the New York Times had announced that the new musicology had “swept the field.” By then, the once-heady label had become obsolete. Neither the rejection of aesthetic autonomy nor an interest in cultural context and meaning was even remotely “new” in 1990. What was at stake at the time was not an absolute novelty, but the inauguration of changes in the way such terms as meaning, culture, autonomy, work, performance, and interpretation were to be understood. If we think of music in terms of addressing and being addressed, we are immediately confronted with the question of how the field of address is structured.

Keywords: Thomas Kuhn; new musicology; meaning; culture; autonomy; work; performance; interpretation; music

Chapter.  8727 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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