Peter Kivy's Antithetical arts : on the ancient quarrel between PDF

By Peter Kivy

Peter Kivy provides a serious exam of the 2 rival methods of knowing instrumental track. He argues opposed to 'literary' interpretation when it comes to representational or narrative content material, and defends musical formalism. He additionally discusses interpretations of a number of works within the canon.


Peter Kivy offers a desirable severe exam of the 2 rival methods of knowing instrumental tune. He argues opposed to 'literary' interpretation by way of representational or narrative Read more...

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Additional info for Antithetical arts : on the ancient quarrel between literature and music

Example text

It is obvious from even a cursory perusal of the literature that critics and theoreticians of these times felt a deep need to talk about the newly emerging instrumental idiom. What one cannot discuss one cannot understand, or explain to another. To put it more grandiosely, words give us power over things. But where to find the words? Is it too bizarre to suggest that the first model for absolute music talk was the practice, already in place, of putting words to already existing music? Casti’s and Salieri’s joke, in other words, became the critics’ and theoreticians’ stock-in-trade.

For what we quite naturally think of as ‘‘the fine arts,’’ were only just beginning to be thought of as such in the eighteenth century. ’’ In the eighteenth century, when music was talked about at all by philosophers and other ‘‘theorists’’ of the arts, it was almost always vocal music that was being talked about, even when that was not explicitly stated. And there wasn’t any real problem with vocal music’s membership in the family of the fine arts. For one thing, it had a poetic text, and there was never any doubt that poetry was a fine art: indeed it was the paradigm case.

Gregory ( The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974), 114. 36 part i: the founding of formalism which is what Kant was talking about in the Anthropology, has both form and ideational content, the content being given by the text which music sets. So whereas vocal music is a fine art, having both form and ideational content, absolute music is ‘‘in part’’ a fine art since it has form, but in part not a fine art since it lacks ideational content. This is, however, just a rough account of what Kant is claiming.

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