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Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of HistoryShaping Modern Musical Thought in Late Nineteenth Century Vienna$
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Kevin Karnes

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368666.001.0001

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GERMAN MUSIC IN AN AGE OF POSITIVISM

GERMAN MUSIC IN AN AGE OF POSITIVISM

Chapter:
(p.159) CHAPTER SIX GERMAN MUSIC IN AN AGE OF POSITIVISM
Source:
Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History
Author(s):

Kevin C. Karnes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368666.003.0007

This chapter considers the nationalist underpinnings of late-century musicology by examining the diverse and even contradictory cultural associations that Adler forged through the medium of his work. In his publications on the medieval origins of harmony, Adler distanced himself from attempts to claim exclusively Germanic origins for polyphonic phenomena. But in essays on Bach, Handel, and Mozart, penned in the mid-1880s, he indulged a brand of cultural chauvinism associated with Wagner and his followers. In his work on the Monuments of Music in Austria series of editions, Adler embraced a supranational vision of Austrian cultural identity endorsed by Habsburg officialdom, yet in his 1904 monograph on Wagner he declined to engage the composer's most inflammatory statements on race and identity. Each of these cases illuminates Adler's response to a specific crisis that shook his society, and together they testify to the difficulties of defining the German in the late-century musicological discourse.

Keywords:   Adler, Bach, cultural identity, Handel, harmony, Monuments of Music in Austria, Mozart, musicology, nationalism, race, Wagner

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