In a highly influential essay, Rose Rosengard Subotnik critiques “structural listening” as an attempt to situate musical meaning solely within the unfolding of the musical structure itself. The authors of this volume, prominent young music historians and theorists writing on repertories ranging from Beethoven to MTV, take up Subotnik’s challenge in what is likely to be one of musical scholarship’s intellectual touchstones for many years to come. Original, innovative, and sophisticated, their essays explore not only the implications of the “structural listening” model but also the alternative listening strategies that have developed in specific communities, often in response to twentieth-century Western music.
Contributors: Paul Attinello, Andrew Dell'Antonio, Joseph Dubiel, Robert Fink, Elisabeth LeGuin, Tamara Levitz, Fred Everett Maus, Mitchell Morris, Martin Scherzinger, Rose Rosengard Subotnik
Andrew Dell'Antonio is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Syntax, Form, and Genre in Sonatas and Canzonas, 1621–1635.
"This is a rich and challenging collection, sparked by Rose Rosengard Subotnik's notion of 'structural listening,' that offers a spirited critique of modernist aesthetic assumptions. Its authors write from a common perspective that sets their views at odds with the terms that have most commonly determined musical discourse in the twentieth century, and at the same time they consider listeners' involvement with a wide range of musics from the high modernism of Boulez and Barraqué through the standard classical repertory to MTV. There is something here to interest every music scholar and listener."—Ruth A. Solie, author of Music in Other Words: Victorian Conversations
"The most impressive collection of separately authored essays musicology has yet seen. They are persuasive in their theoretical sophistication and in how they demonstrate original tactics for illuminating musical meanings. This collection is a landmark contribution that will take musical scholarship by surprise."—Robert Walser, author of Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History