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Music in the Late Twentieth Century

CHAPTER 5 Standoff (I)

Music in Society: Britten

CHAPTER 5 Standoff (I)
Richard Taruskin

Richard Taruskin

Art remains outside the line of human conduct, with an end, rules, and values which are not those of the man but of the work to be produced. Hence the despotic and all-absorbing power of art, as also its astonishing power of soothing: it frees from every human care, it establishes the artifex, artist or artisan, in a world apart, cloistered, defined, and absolute, in which to devote all the strength and intelligence of his manhood to the service of the thing which he is making.1

Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism (1920)

A relationship of opposites had come into being; art had become a critical mirror, showing the irreconcilable nature of the aesthetic and the social worlds.2

Jürgen Habermas, “Modernity—An Incomplete Project” (1981)

Art is neither a mirror nor a substitute for the world. It is an addition to that universal reality which contains natural man and shows the infinite varieties of ways that man can be.3

George Rochberg, Reflections on the Renewal of Music” (1972)

Scientists are infatuated with the idea of revolution.4

Richard Lewontin, Darwin's Revolution (1983)

Before plunging into the home stretch of the “relative present,” the historically undistanced recent past, it is time, in this chapter and the next, for a stocktaking. The essential question of modern art, as it was understood by modern artists during the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, and the essential debate, was whether artists lived in history or in society. Posed literalistically, of course, the question is absurd. Everybody, artists included, obviously lives in both, and society (like everything else human) is a product of history. But as a metaphor for values and loyalties, the question crystallizes the dilemma of a period in which the values and loyalties of artists had become polarized to the point of crisis. In the minds of many, one served one's art or one's society, and loyalty to the one precluded loyalty to the other. One had to choose.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 Standoff (I)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-chapter-005.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 5 Standoff (I). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 29 Feb. 2024, from https://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-chapter-005.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 Standoff (I)." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 29 Feb. 2024, from https://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-chapter-005.xml
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