Composing difference: The idea of ‘society’ in the teaching of musical composition

Giovanni Guanti


The aspiration to a universal art, especially to a universal music, is problematic in so far as both are viewed as oases of protection and conservation of quintessential cultural singularities. The cosmopolitan universalism of the Enlightenment, first, and subsequently the exacerbated nationalisms of the 19th century, have deeply affected European culture, down to specific aspects of music education. Undoubtedly, today it would be impossible to teach students to compose in the German, French or Italian style, although it still made sense until the end of World War II. What can, and should, be done instead, is to extrapolate and highlight the salient features of "European musical knowledge”. This knowledge was, and remains, coherent and uniform in its basic linguistic structures, despite any forced emphasis placed on internal differentiations and local articulations.

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2039-9715/4310

Copyright (c) 2014 Giovanni Guanti

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