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Abstract Musical Works As Objects Of Political Interest? The Example Of Schönberg’s Op. 11,1

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers in what ways musical works that consist of nothing more than patterns of sound may have politically relevant effects on listeners. Briefly touching on the possibilities of politically relevant expression available to representational artworks, the author then moves on to the more challenging question of how non-representational, purely abstract, musical works may contain, or be deemed to contain, a political content. Indeed Schönberg’s opus 11, no. 1 is considered a milestone in the history of music not only in terms of its breaking with tonality, but also in terms of advancing the possibilities of musical expressivity. A musical work is the result of the composer having made choices regarding the sound material, compositional strategies, instrumental combination, and form.

Keywords: musical work; political content; Schönberg's opus 11, 1

10.1163/ej.9789004172135.i-204.34
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