Perspectives on Musical Monumentality
Although musical monumentality is expected to entail grand ambitions, it may simply be viewed as a stylistic property whose effects may evoke both positive and negative qualities in such a way that music can be either uplifting and inspiring or saddening and distasteful. Monumental music possesses a self-evident nature. This, however, may pose certain challenges and difficulties in determining a stylistic classification for these effects since, despite its relevance, such a taxonomy has yet to be established in the musicological literature. A number of writers like Theodor W. Adorno, Alfred Einstein, and others have provided relatively vague explanations for this monumentality since they may have assumed that their readers are already able to grasp the concept. This chapter illustrates how the self-evidence of musical monumentality challenges the self-understanding of musicology as an intellectual discipline, causes an aesthetic problem, and is undermined by certain ideologies.
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