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Kurt Blaukopf on Music Sociology – an Anthology

2nd Unrevised Edition


Edited By Tasos Zembylas

This anthology contains seven texts by Kurt Blaukopf (1914–1999) that exemplify the sociological and epistemological position of this pioneer of Austrian music sociology. Blaukopf’s efforts were aimed at a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach and analysis of music as a cultural phenomenon and as social practice. The primary aim of this anthology is to make Blaukopf’s work better known in the English-speaking world. It offers the interested reader a fruitful analysis of the relation between music sociology and its sister disciplines, e.g. musicology, a solid analysis in terms of the philosophy of science on the possibilities and limits of music sociology, and a highly topical discussion about the significance of intrinsic artistic aspects in music sociology.
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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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