The Gould Variations: Technology, Philosophy and Criticism in Glenn Gould's Musical Thought and Practice (Europäische Hochschulschriften / European ... / Publications Universitaires Européennes)

By Juha Markus Mantere

This e-book makes a speciality of 3 points in Glenn Gould’s (1932-1982) musical idea and perform: Gould’s embody of tune expertise, his notions of the ontology of track and musical interpretation, and where of his idea in Canadian highbrow background. Focusing not just on Gould’s writings on tune know-how but in addition on these of Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) and Jean Le Moyne (1913-1996), this publication offers a clean viewpoint on Gould’s pondering, which was once embedded in and keenly alert to the highbrow global outdoors track. The booklet additionally touches on Gould’s public reception, his nationwide iconicity, in Canadian literature and Hollywood videos. Gould’s stardom is mentioned as a phenomenon typically linked to modern pop culture.

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During this regard, it really is of specific curiosity for my dialogue the following that Gould (1966a/1990, 355) regards recordings as “one of the simplest metaphors” for a detachment from the social collective. In one other interview, Gould (1980/2002, 10) is going as far as to assert that recording track is initially an ethical precept, which finally is extra vital than the song gotten out of it. in any case, then, Gould isn't any believer in excessive constancy as such – the standard of the recorded sound, it sort of feels transparent, is barely of secondary value to the truth that recorded track is listened to in privateness and solitude, properly indifferent from the social collective of a track viewers. This contrast among privateness and collectivity turns out to subject to Gould end result of the respective distinction within the emotional dedication. In a 1981 interview, Gould (1981a/1999, 346–347) argues that recorded song should still functionality as a “tranquillizer” instead of “excite” the listener like public live shows do. 89 For Gould the purist, Le Moyne’s reflections at the ethical implications of expertise supplied a helpful ideological heritage, simply because either males observed the opportunity of expertise as a part of a wide moral and ethical framework. For Gould, that framework was once basically musical. Le Moyne, against this, wrote extra from a philosopher’s viewpoint, from which no region of human existence is excluded. it really is curious, even if, how a lot Gould and Le Moyne proportion so far as track itself is anxious. Le Moyne’s reviews on Mozart’s tune are strikingly just like Gould’s: I begrudge the leisure point of Mozartian aesthetics. His song is mostly with out supernatural content material and it locks us up in a global of natural leisure, which diverts want for self-discipline. One might ask, as a result, even if Gould’s idealization of solitude and isolation mirrored, in truth, his personal worry of being human. Helen Mesaros and Lynne Walter (2000) cross as far as to argue that Gould’s obsession with isolation, either in actual existence and aesthetic concept, used to be a gently developed mental security. (See additionally Roberts 2003 for a speculation that Gould’s hypochondria could have its roots within the demise of Gould’s expensive mom and Gould’s worry of a public failure. ) 89 In clients of Recording essay, Gould (1966a/1990, 350) argues that the upkeep of sound and picture makes attainable “the unimpassioned mirrored image upon the of society, the attractiveness of a multifaceted chronological thought. ” a hundred twenty five attention from what's crucial, pressing and uniquely worthy. His kind is a type of incurable gallantry that basically reluctantly turns its eyes up in the direction of the heights of piety. (Le Moyne 1966, 249. ) Gould (1976/1990, forty three) himself admits being prompted through Le Moyne’s pondering. Le Moyne additionally writes approximately counterpoint in a really comparable tone to Gould’s. He considers fugue, for example, to be a type of an Ur-form of track, a kind of musical texture that has refused to vanish yet as a substitute has remained alive in song through the centuries.

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