ABSTRACT

The point of departure for scholars of Western art music of the past several centuries has typically been an aesthetic one ignited by the unique qualities of individual art works. It was almost by necessity, then, that composers at the time became theorists or at least composer-theorists, explainers of their music and the systems that underlay it. Composers and theorists of twelve-tone music might stress the revolutionary character of Schoenberg’s methods and the necessity of approaching this music on its own terms. In Schenkerian analysis, the model of tonality is always weighed against the demands of the individual. Compliance is not really the point, even if it may well have been for Schenker himself. For Adorno, healthy, developmental music took account of the reality of the human predicament in modern times.