New Music in Post-Modern Age? A Contribution to the Aggravation of a Modern-Day Controversy (In Memoriam Željko Falout)

  • Nikša Gligo

Abstract

The present study examines the applicability of the term "Post-Modernity" as, on the one hand, a designation of a period and, on the other hand, the negation of Modernity which, from the latter half of the 19th century, has assumed the meaning of modernity as something up to the genius of the period (as opposed to classicism as an extra-temporal category). Special attention is devoted to the confrontation of New Music and Post-Modernity, together with the insistence on a completely novel understanding of musicality as proposed by the New Music movement, including its characteristic Utopian potential which is a fundamental constant of its existence (as already expounded by the present author in his book Problemi Nove glazbe 20. stoljeća: Teorijske osnove i kriteriji vrednovanja/Issues of the New Music of the 20th Century: Theoretical Bases and Criteria of Evaluation). The conclusion reached is that "Post-Modernity" as one of the terms intended to create some order in the designation of the simultaneously existing yet heterogeneous phenomena has missed the mark completely. The reason for the insufficiency of "Post-Modernity" as a designating term lies in the fact that "signs have stopped referring to denotata but only refer to other signs", since people, through their language, "have long stopped grasping such a thing as a meaning, circling ceaselessly in a vicious circle of designata" (P. Buerger). This insufficiency is particularly made seen in the relation of the "post-modern discourse" to New Music: there is no possibility of the term being discontinued since it is rested upon it through its very Utopian potential for the conception of new musicality.

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Published
1989-12-01
How to Cite
GligoN. (1989). New Music in Post-Modern Age? A Contribution to the Aggravation of a Modern-Day Controversy (In Memoriam Željko Falout). Musicological Annual, 25(1), 29-39. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.25.1.29-39
Section
Articles