Academic musical studies have gone through a period of rapid change in recent years; the musicological agenda has been expanded to include a broad range of sociological and ideological issues, while the very status of music theory (with its apparent dependence on the autonomous musical work) has been thrown into doubt. The time is ripe for a comprehensive re-evaluation of our thinking about music in the light of such recent developments.
Rethinking Music is in two parts. Part 1 focuses on approaches to musical texts, covering such topics as the relationship of text and context, concepts of unity and meaning in music, and the role of empirical approaches, together with compositional and performance perspectives. Underlying the volume as a whole is the question of how far, and in what ways, music theory can remain viable and valuable in a changing intellectual evironment.
Part 2 sets out to reflect the nature of the discipline of musicology, and the ways in which it has been, and may be, challenged and enriched. The volume examines music history and cultural histories of music. The status of the musical text is a subject that has clear resonances in Part 1, and themes developed in Part 2 include questions of ethics, pedagogy, performance, and popular music as subjects for scholarly enquiry, questions of reception, canon, gender, and historiography.