2nd Unrevised Edition
Max Weber and Music Sociology
Max Weber (1864–1920), whom a recognised reference book names as the greatest and most important German sociologist, was a universally educated thinker who made fruitful contributions to the history of law, economic history and the sociology of religion. The diversity of his works probably means that Weber’s contributions to the sociology of art and music still have not received the recognition they deserve. Sociologists evidently lacked the knowledge of the scientific categories for music that Weber possessed, and with few exceptions contemporary musicological literature, on the other hand, seldom referred to his music-sociology texts. Thus Tibor Kneif’s Musiksoziologie2 devoted only a few lines to possibly the most representative German sociologist, and the name Weber is not mentioned in the index to Peter Rummenhöller’s Einführung in die Musiksoziologie3 [Introduction to Music Sociology], while he mentions it at least briefly once in the text.
One of the causes of the neglect of Weber’s music sociology can be found in the publishing fate of his work on music sociology, which remained a fragment, published one year after his death, 1921, by Theodor Kroyer and appeared in a second edition in 1924.4 In his preface he noted that the publisher “had his hands full” with Weber’s often indecipherable handwriting. The result presented is far removed from the original text or a critical edition. Astonishingly, the explanation by such an important musicologist as Kroyer claimed that he had altered “only the obviously wrong, otherwise changed nothing” in...
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