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Seth Brodsky

Seth Brodsky is an Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities, and the director of the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago. He is the author of From 1989, or European Music and the Modernist Unconscious (California, 2017).

The Birth of Music out of the Spirit of Critical Idolatry?

“Sounding the idols”—wait, isn’t this what music already does? What music is? Everything music touches—and it touches everything—seems to appear after the fact as having been an idol, or at least idol-like: hollow, silent, still. A drum, a mouth, a score for sure. A room, a premise. Maybe images above all? None dead, none even all that mute, and yet music, once it arrives on the scene, makes them seem as if they had been dead and mute, refuges for a kind of unearned authority. No idols without unearned authority.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2023

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