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Nationality vs Universality: Music Historiographies in Central and Eastern Europe

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    0459423 - EÚ 2017 RIV GB eng M - Monography Chapter
    Zapletal, Miloš
    From Tragedy to Romance, from Positivism to Myth: Nejedlý's Conception of the History of Modern Czech Music.
    Nationality vs Universality: Music Historiographies in Central and Eastern Europe. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016 - (Żerańska-Kominek, S.), s. 99-124. ISBN 978-1-4438-8578-2
    Institutional support: RVO:68378076
    Keywords : Nejedlý * metahistory * musical historiography * history of music * philosophy of music * methodologies of musicology * discourse analysis * philosophy of history * Smetana * Dvořák * Fibich * Foerster * Suk * Novák * modern Czech music
    Subject RIV: AL - Art, Architecture, Cultural Heritage

    The importance of the literary analysis of musicological texts, of the examinations of “musicological poetics”, was stressed more than twenty years ago by Henry Kingsbury, and many remarkable results have been achieved in this field ever since, especially in the context of “new musicology”. But this cannot be said about Czech musicology, and particularly about the research into the poetics of Czech music historiography. Such lagging behind in this particular area naturally also hinders the development of the closely related sub-disciplines of Czech music historiography, namely its methodology and the history of music reception. While in other historical disciplines it has long been clear for that literary representation is an essential part of the historian’s work, and as such deserves to be studied critically, the Czech music historiography has not reflected on this issue too deeply, being (whether consciously or subconsciously) committed to the Rankian notion that the historian’s task is merely to convey objectively “wie es wirklich gewesen war”. In this paper, I have tried to at least partially make up for this omission by providing a discourse analysis of the early works of Zdeněk Nejedlý (1878–1962), a controversial historian, critic, politician and especially Classic of Czech musicology. Nejedlý’s works written between 1901 and 1921 represented the very first comprehensive and coherent historiographical representation of the history of modern Czech music (ca. 1860–1920). The aim of this deconstruction is to identify ways in which Nejedlý conceptualized and represented the development of modern Czech music and its “meaning” and how he achieved the rhetorical power of his conception.
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