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From Modernism to Postmodernism

Between Universal and Local

Gregor Pompe, Katarina Bogunović Hočevar and Nejc Sukljan

The book explores two radical changes of cultural and social paradigm that determined the World after 1945 – Modernism and Postmodernism. From the cataclysmic atmosphere emerged the second wave of Modernism. In art this attitude was manifested in the form of a radical break with the aesthetic and stylistic characteristics of prior generations. In architecture the International Style was born, meanwhile similar «universality» was also a characteristic of musical serialism.

From the beginning of the 1970s the wheels again began to turn in the other direction. The powerful destructive will of modernism increasingly waivered, and the period after modernism – postmodernism – began. The book answers questions related to the reasons for these turnarounds, their consequences and their implications.

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Helmut Loos - Modernity – Postmodernity. Controversial Core Structures of Musical Thinking


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Helmut Loos

Modernity – Postmodernity. Controversial Core Structures of Musical Thinking

Abstract Musical thinking is always based on certain conditions that are not part of the system: on axioms. Their apparent presuppositions often require that they be accepted without reflection, regardless of their plausibility or time-related arrest. This applies particularly to music composed since the 18th century, in which the romantic musical intuition first formulated in Germany gradually established itself as a religion of art in the new bourgeois society. Composers adapted essential basic principles of modernity, transferring them into their own media. If these axioms questioned on their historical and social origins back, resulting quasi inevitably in the basic structure for understanding postmodernism, which had just suspended these basic principles and disbanded their standards.

Thinking of any kind, including musical thinking, is always based on certain axioms – presuppositions that are not part of the system. What appears to be a lack of presuppositions often leads to these axioms to be blindly accepted, regardless of their plausibility or temporal limitations. In music, this tendency can be observed beginning in the 18th century. When the Romantic music perception was first conceived in Germany, developing its status as art-as-religion within the new bourgeois society emerging at the time, composers adopted essential core principles of modernity, transferring them to their own musical medium. An examination of the historical and societal origins of these axioms inevitably leads us to core structures that are necessary for understanding...

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