Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Listening to ChinaSound and the Sino-Western Encounter, 1770-1839$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Thomas Irvine

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226667126

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226667263.001.0001

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: 23 October 2021

Listening to China with Forkel and Marx

Listening to China with Forkel and Marx

(p.159) Six Listening to China with Forkel and Marx
Listening to China

Thomas Irvine

University of Chicago Press

The first part of this chapter examines Forkel’s writings on China. The Göttingen academic figures today as a founding father of a specifically German construction of music history. The second part of this chapter engages with Marx’s survey of Chinese musical culture in Gustav Schilling’s Encyclopädie, which appeared more than sixty years later. Marx’s intervention represents a shift in Western attitudes toward Chinese music. He agreed with Forkel that Chinese music was inherently inferior, but he went further, denying the Chinese agency as protagonists of music history. In Hegelian tones he claimed that the World Spirit of music history, after finding its first legitimate home there, had abandoned China. This chapter asks: what are the specific conditions that informed the production of knowledge about Chinese music in Germany between 1770 and 1840? How do constructions of Chinese music history inflect German writers’ construction of their own national musical community? For whose benefit are such imaginary communities established? Finally, this chapter seeks to understand how “Germanness”—which both Forkel and Marx imagined in opposition to “Chineseness”—might be articulated as a particular practice of listening.

Keywords:   Forkel, Marx, Schilling, Chinese musical culture, World Spirit, national musical community, imagined communities, practices of listening

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.