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:

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If the humanities are to have a future, especially if they are to continue the famously incomplete work of the European Enlightenment, they will obviously have to reinvent themselves, each in its own way. Musicology may join with music in the long, hard work of countering the counter-Enlightenment. This concluding chapter argues that musicology should take up the task by continuing to reconceive and reaffirm the powers of interpretation in all its forms: as address, as understanding, and as performance. It draws examples from classical music, which it believes should retain a central place in our musical culture. These examples are: George Gershwin's An American in Paris, which reverses direction and carries the cultural hodgepodge from America to Europe; the unexpected appearance of Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto in Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 film There Will Be Blood; and a 2005 performance of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto by the American Symphony Orchestra.

Keywords: humanities; musicology; interpretation; performance; classical music; George Gershwin; American in Paris; Johannes Brahms; Violin Concerto; Paul Thomas Anderson

Chapter.  6256 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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