The Sociology of Music

The Sociology of Music

The Sociology of Music

The Sociology of Music

Excerpt

AT THE PRESENT TIME, when a great amount of music is being both composed and heard, a great deal is also being written about music. Eager attempts are being made both by those who are qualified for the task and those who are not, by scientists and men of letters alike, to bring closer to mankind an art which is naturally close anyway; and on all sides people are trying to construct systems which shall bring us to the roots of music. Such attempts are by no means new. The nature of music has been discussed wherever and whenever music has been composed, and discussion, attempting to adapt itself to the needs of the time, swung for many centuries between the extremes of pure musical theory and philosophical and ethical reflection. Only when the invention and continuing improvement of the printing-press made it possible for enormous amounts of music to be published did it happily become necessary for scholars to preserve every composition as a precious cultural heritage.

It was at this time that the broad lines of musical evolution were laid down. It became necessary to study musicians individually, and from this necessity a vast biographical literature has arisen, as a result of which the kind of treatment once reserved for the great and in most cases dead masters is today given even the youngest composers. Thus the pendulum of musical literature has swung from pure theory through the . . .

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