chapter  25
36 Pages

‘Max Weber and Musicology: Dancing on Shaky Foundations’, Musical Quarterly, 93, pp. 262—96

Max Weber is no stranger to these pages, or to the pages of other humanities-oriented journals that through their treatments of vintage material attempt to shed light on current issues. This should come as no surprise; Weber’s prodigious contributions to sociology when the field was still in its embryonic stage not only constituted a thorough critique of nineteentlvcentury Germanic values but, indeed, also served as a cat' alyst for an impressively wide range of contemporary thinking. As Stephen Turner reminds us in his introduction to the Cambridge Companion to Weber,

The practiced ear can find echoes of Weber in the most diverse placesfrom the commonplace notion of “the Protestant Work Ethic” to the ubiquitous modem use of the term charisma, to the idea of bureaucratization. But the echoes can also be heard in many more recondite settings-from Harvey Mansfield’s defense of George [Herbert] Bush as a particularly pure example of adherence to the ethic of responsibility in politics to Helm ut Schmidt’s earlier invocation of the same idea in German politics, to Octavio Paz who used the image of W eberian ration^ alization in attem pting to understand the puzzle of the difference between the U nited States and Mexico. Weber, put simply, is one of the sources of our culture, and a source at the highest as well as at the lowest level.1