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Title: Complete Fantasy: The Imagination in Musical Discourses of the Long Nineteenth Century
Authors: Hines, Jane
Advisors: Reuland, Jamie
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Eduard Hanslick
Hugo Riemann
music aesthetics
Subjects: Music history
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Complete Fantasy provides a conceptual history of the faculty of imagination, conceived as a metonym for the German terms die Einbildungskraft, die Phantasie, and die Vorstellungskraft. Focusing on German-language sources from the late eighteenth to the mid twentieth century, I demonstrate how the imagination, as it was theorized in philosophy, psychology, and aesthetics, informed writers on music. I first argue for the significance of the concept of imagination to understanding the philosophy and aesthetics of music in the nineteenth century in particular. I then argue that, despite its centrality to many of musicology’s formative texts and practices, the imagination as a historical concept has largely evaded musicological inquiry since the early twentieth century. Central to my historical thesis is a renewed attention to the imagination's role in musical experience: the way it enjoins the listener to participate in the realization, continuation, or completion of the musical work. In conclusion, I offer my hypotheses for this lacuna in musicological scholarship and also present examples of the exceptions to the rule.The dissertation unfolds in two parts. First, I introduce the concept of imagination in theory and in practice. The first chapter surveys eighteenth-century understandings of the imagination, which were largely informed by the reception of Aristotle’s phantasia. I turn to musical practice in the second chapter, by investigating how compositions titled fantasia were implicated in the discourse on imagination. The second part of the dissertation is oriented around case studies. There are chapter-length case studies on the concept of imagination in the writings of Eduard Hanslick and Hugo Riemann. I contextualize their respective theories of imagination in their intellectual contexts and demonstrate how the identification of these contexts informs our reading of their work. In the final chapter, I return to the imagination in both theory and practice, reflecting on the areas of scholarship that continued to study the imagination (e.g., phenomenology, psychoanalysis), and possible reasons for its neglect in musicology. As a final case study, I show how Theodor Adorno participated in the discourse on imagination in theory and in practice.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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