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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 4, Issue Part 1, 2007

Selected Essays from Northern Europe Part 1

Jael Kraut
Pages 425-441

Transcendental Subjectivity as Alternative to Adorno’s Objectivist Notion of Subjectivity in his Informal Music

Th e eradication of the subject in serialism and aleatory composition leads to the elimination of music itself. Proposing a way out this “empty music”, Adorno pleads for a restoration of the subjective elements at work in composition. But since his notion of subjectivity is ambiguous (sometimes it is universal, sometimes he considers it from an objectivist standpoint, that is, as psychological, arbitrary and opposed to objects) his argument fails. Against his objectivist notion of subjectivity, this article proposes a phenomenological reading of the antinomies contemporary music is confronted with, by replacing Adorno’s arbitrary subject with the universal a priori of transcendental subjectivity.

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