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Out of TimeMusic and the Making of Modernity$
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Julian Johnson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190233273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190233273.001.0001

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Le Corps Sonore

Le Corps Sonore

(p.275) Chapter 8 Le Corps Sonore
Out of Time

Julian Johnson

Oxford University Press

The repudiation of Classical grammars in Modernism, especially in electronic music and musique concrète, reasserts the primacy of sound in music. But the tension between tone and the patterns of its notated organization traverses the history of musical modernity from Rousseau and Rameau through to contemporary music (notably composers associated with IRCAM). The exploration of the particularity and materiality of sound involves finding alternative kinds of structure (which Saariaho alludes to as a ‘grammar of dreams’). The anticipation of such an aesthetic, in the music of Debussy and Ravel, foregrounds a ludic logic in music which embodies Schiller’s ‘play’ principle, a third term that mediates between the rational/irrational and the sensuous /immediate. Contrary to accounts of music that fetishize one side or other of this equation, the concluding chapter insists that musical modernity arises from their mutual interaction.

Keywords:   sound, notation, particularity, immediacy, materiality, Rousseau, Rameau, musique concrète, dreams, play

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