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Adorno's engagement in postwar music debates and the emergence of informal music

Grant number: 18/01423-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Marcos Severino Nobre
Grantee:Ricardo Ribeiro Lira da Silva
Supervisor: Georg W Bertram
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Freie Universität Berlin, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:16/23759-0 - Critical models in Theodor W. Adorno's philosophy of music: the category of musical material, BP.DR


This project aims to investigate and reconstruct the participation of Theodor W. Adorno in the musical debates in postwar Germany, especially his involvement in the courses for new music at Darmstadt. The research is guided by the hypothesis that there are significant conceptual differences in Adorno's musical writings of the 1950s and 1960s that can only be properly understood in the light of these debates. This hypothesis is linked to the research developed in my doctoral thesis, in which I investigate the changes in the category of musical material in Adorno's late writings, which point to the formulation of a new critical model of music in the 1960s. It is a question of understanding how and to what extent does the reception and critique of the works produced by the new generation of composers gathered around Darmstadt tension the critical model developed in Philosophy of New Music (1949) - centered on Schoenberg School and the dispute with Stravinsky. This tension, given by the debates on the new situation of musical composition, engenders questions that force the boundaries of the concept of musical material, as can be seen in the 1955 conference The aging of the new music. Questions that will find a more precise formulation only in the conceptual constellation that is established around the idea of an informal music in the 1960s - which tries to deal with the problems of both fetishism of the series and the compositional practices that incorporate indeterminacy and chance. In order to reconstruct Adorno's engagement in those debates, we will focus on the research and systematization of the documents and bibliographical material - letters, roundtables and conversation with composers and musicologists - that are mostly concentrated in the archive of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

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