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Lateness and BrahmsMusic and Culture in the Twilight of Viennese Liberalism$
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Margaret Notley

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305470.001.0001

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MUSIC PEDAGOGY, MUSICOLOGY,AND BRAHMS'S COLLECTION OF OCTAVES AND FIFTHS: HISTORICAL DECLINE, PERSONAL RENEWAL

MUSIC PEDAGOGY, MUSICOLOGY,AND BRAHMS'S COLLECTION OF OCTAVES AND FIFTHS: HISTORICAL DECLINE, PERSONAL RENEWAL

Chapter:
(p.107) CHAPTER 4 MUSIC PEDAGOGY, MUSICOLOGY,AND BRAHMS'S COLLECTION OF OCTAVES AND FIFTHS: HISTORICAL DECLINE, PERSONAL RENEWAL
Source:
Lateness and Brahms
Author(s):

Margaret Notley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305470.003.0005

Brahms voiced his sense of lateness by deploring declining music-pedagogical traditions. In a project of lifelong self-improvement, he compiled examples from other composers' music that seem to violate a rule against parallel octaves and fifths. Evidence in the manuscript, letters, and his personal library shows the impact of the emergent field of musicology on this study. Brahms rejected attempts by Helmholtz, Chrysander, and other early musicologists to explain musical conventions such as voice leading — matters of “second nature” in the parlance of Adorno and Lukács — as first nature, as well as the related contemporary interest in just intonation. But villanelle by Marenzio and others, which referred to folk practices seemingly based in first nature, confronted him with unfathomable “foreign worlds”. It is argued that a final phase of collecting began in 1893-94 and served as a source of renewal apparent in voice-leading choices in his clarinet sonatas.

Keywords:   Adorno, Brahms, Chrysander, Helmholtz, just intonation, Lukács, Marenzio, musicology, parallel octaves and fifths, villanelle

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