Lawrence Kramer is Distinguished Professor of English and Music at Fordham University and the author of numerous books. His trilogy on musical understanding includes Interpreting Music, Expression and Truth, and The Thought of Music. He is also a prizewinning composer.
"Kramer has been hugely successful in creating a community of formalist and hermeneutic analytical discourse that has inspired a new generation of thinkers to question music’s inherent meaning and value in contemporary society. . . a hugely important and timely work that should no doubt become the focus of much future work and pedagogy."—Notes
“The Thought of Music shows us Lawrence Kramer at his best: provocative, intense, philosophical, and hermeneutic. Kramer takes on musicology’s current trends and bugaboos—from performance studies to cultural contexts to music as ineffable—and reimagines them from his magisterially critical perspective. We see what it is like to think in, through, and with music, not as some transcendent object that prohibits thought but as the vehicle that sparks it. Kramer develops a virtual newer musicology.”—Michael L. Klein, author of Music and the Crises of the Modern Subject
“Thinking about music, and—more to the point—thinking through music over the past thirty years is well and appropriately anchored in the writing of Lawrence Kramer. Indeed, it’s safe to say that musicology has very considerably rethought its project, and is much the better for it, on account of Kramer’s consistently stunning work. The Thought of Music thinks hard about how and why musical thought needed to change, and still does. The book, intellectually magisterial, is beautifully written, supremely well argued, and anchored in what actually happens in musical works. By no means least, Kramer articulates the stakes—for musical understanding and music’s myriad social and cultural agencies—that append to the thinking about music. I’d be hard put to recommend any book that accomplishes this increasingly urgent task more convincingly.”—Richard Leppert, author of Aesthetic Technologies of Modernity, Subjectivity, and Nature
2017 Virgil Thomson Award for Oustandstanding Music Criticism, ASCAP Foundation Deem Thomson-Virgil Taylor Awards Program