Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Good MusicWhat It Is and Who Gets to Decide$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John J. Sheinbaum

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226593241

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226593418.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 06 May 2021

Serious: The Cultural Work of Classical Music and the Trap of Musical Sound

Serious: The Cultural Work of Classical Music and the Trap of Musical Sound

(p.20) 1 Serious: The Cultural Work of Classical Music and the Trap of Musical Sound
Good Music

John J. Sheinbaum

University of Chicago Press

Notable writings by Theodor W. Adorno (“On Popular Music”), Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind), and Lawrence Kramer (Why Classical Music Still Matters) seek to valorize classical music both through its own inner workings and through pointed comparisons to popular genres. The overall verdicts, however, are more directly related to the sensuous surface of the music rather than judgments grounded in objective musical structures. With against-the-grain readings of musical examples by Beethoven (Symphony No. 5), Duke Ellington (“Concerto for Cootie”), and Bruce Springsteen (“Lonesome Day”), this chapter surveys critically the philosophical and cultural roots of treating the conventional classical music value system as a universal truth. Popular music often indeed can perform the sorts of cultural work thought to be limited to classical music, and classical music can be approached in compelling ways from perspectives usually applied to popular genres.

Keywords:   Theodor W. Adorno, Ludwig van Beethoven, Allan Bloom, classical music, Duke Ellington, Lawrence Kramer, musical structures, popular music, sensuous surface, Bruce Springsteen

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.