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Contents

Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries

WHAT WAS ENLIGHTENMENT?

Chapter:
CHAPTER 9 Enlightenment and Reform
Source:
MUSIC IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

So perhaps it is from the operatic masterpieces of the age that we can best learn an important lesson: it is a considerable distortion of the way things were to describe the so-called Enlightenment exclusively as an “age of reason”—especially if we persist in assuming (as the romantics would later insist) that thinking and feeling, “mind” and “heart,” are in some sense opposites. Gluck and Piccinni show us how far from true this commonly accepted dichotomy really is. The impulse that had led them and their artistic contemporaries to question traditional artifice and attempt the direct portrayal of “universal” human nature was equally the product of “free intellect” and sympathy—community in feeling. This last was based on introspection—“looking within.” The community it presupposed and fostered was one that in principle embraced the whole of humanity regardless of race, gender, nationality, or class. The objective of “enlightened” artists became, in Wye J. Allanbrook’s well-turned phrase, “to move an audience through representations of its own humanity.”12 And not only move, but also instruct and inspire goodness: free intellect and introspective sympathy went hand in hand—or in a mutually regulating tandem—as ministers to virtue.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 9 Enlightenment and Reform." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-09004.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 9 Enlightenment and Reform. In Oxford University Press, Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries. New York, USA. Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-09004.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 9 Enlightenment and Reform." In Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-09004.xml
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