Doctoral Colloquium (Music): Daphne Tan, Theory Guest



The Doctoral Colloquium is open to all.

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'We all have become listeners today’:

Viktor Zuckerkandl and music theory for a general audience”

Daphne Tan (University of Toronto)

Abstract: The ideas of Viktor Zuckerkandl (1896–1965) have long captured the attention of music theorists, particularly those interested in phenomenology and rhythm and meter. Yet the theoretical approaches Zuckerkandl takes in his writings are, with few exceptions, tailored for a general audience. This talk considers: what can theoretical activity in non-specialist realms reveal about the discipline? I will first examine two lectures Zuckerkandl delivered at the Eranos conferences, which has long been a site of esoteric thinking. For a multidisciplinary audience concerned with mysticism, the occult, and the irrational, Zuckerkandl adapts and sanitizes Schenkerian theory; this is motivated by his belief in a generally accessible “musical thinking” that exists in a separate realm from “mere logical thinking.” In our time remaining, I will turn to educational materials Zuckerkandl developed in the 1940s and ‘50s and to his broader focus on a new listening public in mid-century America.

Bio: Daphne Tan is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Toronto. Her research addresses questions about music and the mind, with methodologies and perspectives from the history of music theory and music cognition.

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