Authenticity, performance, and truth: On Adorno's theory of musical reproduction
Orluk, John James
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This paper investigates the problematic role of musical performance in the writings of Theodor Adorno. For Adorno, the performance of music, as a mediation between composer and listener, could be viewed as a process capable only of detracting from a musical work itself. In fact, he envisioned a time when playing music could be a superfluous gesture such as speaking a written text. However, it is also clear that he felt a worthwhile performance could be attainable following proper analysis. Furthermore, a close reading of Adorno's texts reveals that performance is an integral part of the dialectical nature of music. This paper examines Adorno's views concerning performance in detail, focusing on the areas of sociology of music, the nature of the musical work, and authenticity in music.