chapter  9
19 Pages

Stockhausen’s spirituality kONRAD BOEHMER

Music that is experienced as spiritual must be understood as independent of the intentions of the composer. ‘Spirituality’ is often forced upon the listener by semantic means: texted music needs those means if it aims to convey an ideological message. Only language can evoke definite meanings; music can only do so to a limited extent, that is, insofar as it is able to call upon culturally pre-established historical ‘intonations’ or sounds that immediately reference a concrete source, such as birdsong or traffic noise. Often a ‘spirituality’ affirmed through words is inconsistent with the sense evoked by the music, but this does not diminish the composer’s verbal intervention in support of his or her message.