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FROM THE EROTIC TO THE DEMONICOn Critical Musicology$
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Derek B. Scott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151961.001.0001

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Lux in Tenebris: BRUCKNER AND THE DIALECTIC OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Lux in Tenebris: BRUCKNER AND THE DIALECTIC OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Chapter:
(p.103) 5 Lux in Tenebris: BRUCKNER AND THE DIALECTIC OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT
Source:
FROM THE EROTIC TO THE DEMONIC
Author(s):

Derek B. Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151961.003.0006

This chapter discusses the construction of the sacred in music by way of a study of the composer Bruckner, chosen because he is widely seen as a “pure” musician, impervious to ideological assault. It becomes clear, however, that he often makes musical choices with reference to Christian religious discourse and thus for ideological rather than structural reasons. The chapter examines the usefulness of a “darkness and light” trope for understanding the compositional process in his music. The strategy is: (1) to establish the sacred character of Bruckner's music and show how he inherits religious signifiers for darkness and light; (2) to show how he uses these signifiers; (3) to explore the appropriateness of the darkness/light trope; and (4) to put forward a theory of “transfiguration of themes”. It affords an opportunity to import ideas from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, as well as to draw on Jacques Derrida's anti-dialectical arguments.

Keywords:   darkness, deconstruction, Deleuze, Derrida, light, religion, religious, sacred

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