Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), one of the principal figures associated with the Frankfurt School, wrote extensively on culture, modernity, aesthetics, literature, and - more than any other subject - music. To this day, Adorno remains the single most influential contributor to the development of qualitative musical sociology which, together with his nuanced intertextual readings of musical works, gives him broad claim as a continuing force in the study of music. This long-awaited collection of twenty-seven essays represents the full range of Adorno's music writing. Nearly half of the essays appear in English for the first time; all of the essays are fully annotated; and, the previously translated essays have been corrected and missing text restored, making this volume the definitive resource on Adorno's musical thought.
Richard Leppert is Samuel Russell Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. His previous books include Art and the Committed Eye: The Cultural Functions of Imagery (1996) and The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation, and the History of the Body (California, 1993).
Preface and Acknowledgments Translator's Note Abbreviations Introduction (by Richard Leppert) 1. LOCATING MUSIC: SOCIETY, MODERNITY, AND THE NEW Commentary (by Richard Leppert) Music, Language, and Composition (1956) Why Is the New Art So Hard to Understand? (1931) On the Contemporary Relationship of Philosophy and Music (1953) On the Problem of Musical Analysis The Aging of the New Music (1955) The Dialectical Composer (1934) 2. CULTURE, TECHNOLOGY, AND LISTENING Commentary (by Richard Leppert) The Radio Symphony (1941) The Curves of the Neddle (1927/1965) The Form of the Phonograph Record Opera and the Long-Playing Record (1969) On the Fetish-Character in Music and the Regression of Listening (1938) Little Heresy (1965) 3. MUSIC AND MASS CULTURE Commentary (by Richard Leppert) What National Socialism Has Done to the Arts (1945) On the Social Situation of Music (1932) On Popular Music [With the assistance of George Simpson] (1941) On Jazz (1936) Farewell to Jazz (1933) Kitsch (c. 1932) Music in the Background (c. 1934) 4. COMPOSITION, COMPOSERS, AND WORKS Commentary (by Richard Leppert) Late Style in Beethoven (1937) Alienated Masterpiece: The Missa Solemnis (1959) Wagner's Relevance for Today (1963) Mahler Today (1930) Marginalia on Mahler (1936) The Opera Wozzeck (1929) Toward an Understanding of Schoenberg (1955/1967) Difficulties (1964, 1966) Bibliography Source and Copyright Acknowledgments Index