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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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Biographical Notes on Kurt Blaukopf 1914–1999


Kurt Blaukopf was born on 15 February 1914 in Czernowitz [Chernivtsi], Bukowina. After primary and secondary school in Vienna, at his father’s wish he started a degree course in jurisprudence and political science at the University of Vienna. Even in the early 1930s, however, his real preference was for a scientific understanding of music.

The following is intended to outline Kurt Blaukopf’s academic career, with particular attention to his writings. The division into six creative periods corresponds to the emphasis of their content. At the same time, these periods reflect the important stages of Blaukopf’s academic career and above and beyond that form the basis of the chronological criteria for the arrangement of the Kurt Blaukopf Archive at the Institute for Music Sociology at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts.

1935–1947: Vienna, Paris, Jerusalem1

Blaukopf’s first years as a student are marked by intense autodidactic study of music sociology. Looking back, Blaukopf described these autodidactic ambitions as follows: “I spent every free minute in the music collection of the National Library in order to excerpt and comment on musicological literature, and I used the evenings in the extraordinarily extensive library of the Vienna Chamber of Workers primarily to gain a picture of the state of sociological research.”2

Under the pseudonym “Hans E. Wind”, in 1935 Blaukopf published his first essay, entitled “Die Endkrise der bürgerlichen Musik und die Rolle Arnold Schönbergs” [The Final Crisis...

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