[Smt-talk] Criteria for Old and New

Phillip Dineen murraydineen at uottawa.ca
Fri Mar 8 06:58:00 PST 2013

This past week's exchanges remind me of the fact that the SMT and the practices of music theory it addresses lack a tradition of critical self examination, certainly of the kind common to other fields of scholarship. There are certain exceptions, Henry Klumpenhouwer has addressed this from time to time (in Music Ideology: Resisting the Aesthetic, ed. Krims, for example). But the SMT is not given to historiography in this critical mode. (Geertz's Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author comes to mind.) I am not talking about histories of music theory, but historiographies. There may be good reasons for this, primary a lack of critical mass in the SMT. But without such a tradition or even exemplars to which one might refer, the tone will remain as it has been this past week. For that reason, I am unwilling to partake in the exchange, unless there be some reference to a guiding document such as Bill Rothstein's Americanization of Schenker (supplemented by Hardt and Negri's Empire), or for that matter the exchange between Charles and David Beach way back in Spectrum 8 and 9.

Murray Dineen
University of Ottawa
murraydineen at uottawa.ca

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