Article ID: CBB001212428

The Temporalist Harp: Henri Bergson and Twentieth-Century Musical Innovation (2011)


Clelanda, Kent (Author)

European Legacy
Volume: 16, no. 7
Issue: 7
Pages: 953-967

Publication Date: 2011
Edition Details: Part of a special issue, “Bergson and European Modernism Reconsidered”
Language: English

The twentieth century was a time of dramatic change in the structure, language, and aesthetic purpose of music. Numerous factors came together that led the musical avant-garde toward new artistic paths such as atonality and aleatoricism (use of chance elements) in music, and a shift in the idea of what music should portray away from beauty toward truth, or from idealized to actualized. If the arts are a reflection of the philosophical and aesthetic spirit of the times, then an examination of prominent philosophical and aesthetic regimes of the time should reveal changes that facilitated the aesthetic and artistic innovations of the era. This article will examine the relationship between the philosophical and aesthetic writings of Henri Bergson and the affinities, and in some cases influences, they had on the development of two of the major musical innovations of the twentieth century. Specifically, Arnold Schoenberg's development of atonal compositional technique results partially from Bergson's focus on knowledge as a conveyor of truth, and John Cage's cultivation of aleatoricism as a compositional process arises out of Bergson's critique of nothingness as stated in Creative Evolution.

Included in

Article Irema, Nazim (2011) Bergson and Politics: Ottoman-Turkish Encounters with Innovation. European Legacy (pp. 873-882). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Fabio Bellissima; Maria Silvestrini; (2017)
The «Mathematical Possibilities» of the Music Concept of Mode from Ptolemy to Messiaen (/isis/citation/CBB413487512/)

Thesis Portnow, Allison Kerbe; (2011)
Einstein, Modernism, and Musical Life in America, 1921--1945 (/isis/citation/CBB001567274/)

Book Blackmore, John T.; Itagaki, Ryoichi; Tanaka, Setsuko; (2009)
Ernst Mach's Influence Spreads (/isis/citation/CBB001023228/)

Article Khazrai, Babak; (2009)
Abd al-Qādir Marāghī's Statements Concerning Fretting the String Instruments (/isis/citation/CBB001510398/)

Article Schmidt, Michael J.; (2014)
Visual Music: Jazz, Synaesthesia and the History of the Senses in the Weimar Republic (/isis/citation/CBB001201425/)

Article Irema, Nazim; (2011)
Bergson and Politics: Ottoman-Turkish Encounters with Innovation (/isis/citation/CBB001212429/)

Article Barker, Andrew; (2009)
Ptolemy and the Meta-Helikôn (/isis/citation/CBB000932506/)

Thesis Tichindeleanu, Ovidiu; (2008)
The Graphic Sound. An Archeology of Sound, Technology and Knowledge at 1900 (/isis/citation/CBB001560948/)

Article Guan, Xiao-wu; (2007)
An Interpretation of Temperament Lengths Recorded in Iüshu of Shi Ji (/isis/citation/CBB000760551/)

Book Fabio Bellissima; (2022)
La scala musicale: una storia tra matematica e filosofia (/isis/citation/CBB817825244/)

Book Cho, Gene J. T.; (2003)
Discovery of Musical Equal Temperament in China and Europe in the Sixteenth Century (/isis/citation/CBB000301657/)

Book Danius, Sara; (2002)
The Senses of Modernism: Technology, Perception, and Aesthetics (/isis/citation/CBB000302280/)

Thesis Desmond, Karen; (2009)
Behind the Mirror: Revealing the Contexts of Jacobus's Speculum Musicae (/isis/citation/CBB001560793/)

Article Villegas Guillén, Salvador; (2006)
Un fresco de Rafael, un desconocido Boecio y un diapasón (/isis/citation/CBB001023873/)

Article Carla Bromberg; Ana M. Alfonso-Goldfarb; (2016)
Music and Mathematics: A Case Study in the History of Science (/isis/citation/CBB854514897/)

Authors & Contributors
Cohen, Brigid
Mauskopf, Seymour H.
Katz, Mark
Finson, Jon W.
Bellissima, Fabio
Bayuk, Dimitri A.
Science in Context
Kexue Jishu yu Bianzhengfa (Science, Technology, and Dialectics)
Nei Menggu Shifan Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Estudios Clásicos, Órgano de la Sociedad Española de Estudios Clásicos
Edwin Mellen Press
Cornell University Press
Sentinel Open Press
New York University
State University of New York at Binghamton
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Music theory
Musical scales; temperament
East Asia, civilization and culture
Bergson, Henri Louis
Stumpf, Carl
Odoyevskiy, Vladimir
Proust, Marcel
Röntgen, Wilhelm Conrad
Chu, Tsai-Yu
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
16th century
Rome (Italy)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment