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Deep RefrainsMusic, Philosophy, and the Ineffable$
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Michael Gallope

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226483559

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226483726.001.0001

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Adorno’s Musical Fracture

Adorno’s Musical Fracture

(p.107) Chapter 2 Adorno’s Musical Fracture
Deep Refrains

Michael Gallope

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 takes up this modernist critical practice where chapter 1 leaves off: a conversation between Bloch and Adorno during a radio interview in 1964. It argues that the principal innovation in Adorno’s philosophy of music is the remaking of Hegel and Bloch’s conception of the tone into a teleology toward the ideological language of tonality. I then discuss both historical and methodological foundations for Adorno’s approach to music. As I contend, Adorno’s conception of music’s ineffability is based in the way it approximates the structures of language while not saying anything in particular. To make this theory concrete, two contrasting case studies of Adorno’s immanent critique are offered: that of Schoenberg’s early turn to atonality, and the more open-ended themes at play in his monograph on Mahler. It is here that I locate the paradox of the vernacular that I shall return to in the conclusion. In the final section of the chapter, the chapter turns to Adorno’s speculative writings on the inconsistency of the radio and of phonograph.

Keywords:   Adorno, Theodor, Schoenberg, Arnold, Mahler, Gustav

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