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.