The Musicological Apparatus in Times of Changing Scholarly Models


  • Marija Bergamo



musicology, aesthetics, theory, analysis


The article deals with the position of musicology and its apparatus with regard to the complicated context (broader, so-called reality, and narrower, relevant to the subject) within which it is to operate and develop. As obstacles (both far artistk work as well as far establishing a scholarly matrix), a dissociated natural milieu is brought forward in which neither uniform concepts nor the existence of various individual contexts, and, consequently, eliminated theoretical fields can be detected. Musicology as such is also being infected by processes of dehomogenization, of loss of historical memory, and of creating problems that do not arise from the vital tasks of the discipline. Yesterday's aesthetic reflection, in which the theoretical essence of scholarship and the aesthetical essence of art pervaded each other, is nowadays being substituted by a hardly surveyable supply of theoretical systems, models, and analytical methods. Theories deal with each other rather than with the phenomena that should explain them. Many a time those theoretical hypotheses and dispositions that have materialized in individual compositions remain ali but overlooked. Theories themselves often set up problems as well as the apparatus needed far their solution. Musicology too is becoming a more and more self-reproductive as well as self-referential discipline. Perspectives? In its further development it will certainly have to find its way back to the original, and organic, musical impulse that should lead our thinking on music. It should also be based on the newly acquired right to personal response as regards individual phenomena, to one's own interpretation as a musically basic operational principle, and even to scholarly adventures resulting from one's impetuously subjective experiences with art. However, a shadow of doubt about the possibility of renewing a firmer referential system and a more uniform view on integral wholes appears to be justified for the time being.


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How to Cite

Bergamo, M. (2003). The Musicological Apparatus in Times of Changing Scholarly Models. Musicological Annual, 39(1), 69–74.