Music in the Thought of Deconstruction / Deconstruction in the Thought of Music (For Joseph Dubiel)

  • Martin Scherzinger
Keywords: Deconstruction, post-structuralism, metaphysics, romanticism, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Adorno, Derrida, resonance, différance, Mehrdeutlichkeit, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Cage, Babbitt, Lachenmann, Andriessen, Ligeti, music analysis, listening

Abstract

This article critically speculates on points of affinity and difference between, on the one hand, musicological writings and the musical practices they attempt to represent and, on the other, the operation of deconstruction (defined in terms of the differential structure of our grip on presence and plenitude). The article outlines two prominent instances of misreading Derridean deconstruction in the context of musical writing (Subotnik, Korsyn). This is followed by a brief description of music's peculiar resonance with Derrida's model of language; an argument that will be crafted across the terrain of music's modern philosophical history (via Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Adorno). The last section of the essay considers how the internal movements of actual musical pieces can (and cannot) articulate with deconstruction; a process that will figure deconstruction as mode of listening. Examples include moments in Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Babbitt, Cage, Ligeti, Lachenmann, and others.

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Published
2005-12-01
How to Cite
ScherzingerM. (2005). Music in the Thought of Deconstruction / Deconstruction in the Thought of Music (For Joseph Dubiel). Musicological Annual, 41(2), 81-104. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.41.2.81-104
Section
Articles