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The Avant-Garde Music Serves Imperialism(?) : the relation between music and ideology in the trajectory of Cornelius Cardew between the decades of 1960 and 1970

Grant number: 16/05113-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2016
Effective date (End): May 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal Investigator:Mauricio Funcia de Bonis
Grantee:Gabriel Francisco Barboza Lemos
Host Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In the second half of the twentieth century, artists and intellectuals strongly discussed about the relationship between the poetic performance (creative) of the artist and his influence on the political and ideological social field. In this context, the English composer Cornelius Cardew (1936 - 1981) is noted for developing a compositional and theoretical work of critical and self-critical importance about the musical avant-garde and its ideological dimension. Therefore, from the production of Cardew, this literature research, of analytical and comparative nature, aims to map and raise theoretical materials that contribute to the development of possible interpretive paths about the composer and the criticisms of his work made in the 1960s and 1970s. The aim is to establish relations between his compositions and his Marxist-Maoist thought in discussions between this ideological dimension and the music of the second half of the twentieth century. Thus, the objective of the research was restricted to a case study of Thälmann Variations (1973), piece for piano representative of the political action and its compositional applications in the work of Cardew. We will use common tools to the field of musical analysis, but also will use theories of language and of the Marxist philosophical thought to support the research, which is divided into three stages: a) brief critical survey of compositional and ideological thinking of Cornelius Cardew, contextualizing historically and ideologically the discussions about the production of European classical music of the twentieth century; b) Outline points of relationship between music and its social function in the context of production of the composer; c) From a meta-linguistic analysis, map references used in politically engaged composition of the composer to establish meaningful relationships between the musical material and the ideological dimension in his compositions from this period.

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