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date: 13 November 2019

Introduction: Defining the New Cultural History of Music, Its Origins, Methodologies, and Lines of Inquiry

Abstract and Keywords

This article introduces the convergence of two different fields: cultural history and music. It begins by discussing the revival of the cultural history of music and the theoretical synthesis that occurred within these two converging disciplines. It notes that both musicologists and historians are trying to not only return to the goal of capturing the complexity and texture of experience, communication, and understanding in the past, but also to do so by using a theoretically sophisticated approach. This article notes that cultural history and music are identifying the latter as a privileged point of entry into questions about past cultures.

Keywords: cultural history, music, convergence, revival, theoretical synthesis, theoretically sophisticated approach, past cultures

I. The New Theoretical Synthesis in Two Converging Disciplines

In recent years it has become increasingly evident that cultural history, in a distinctive new form, has been undergoing a revival not only in history but in the discipline of musicology as well. Indeed, it is difficult to ignore the fact that, as a result of discernibly converging perspectives, historians and musicologists are engaging in similar inquiries and employing a common range of theoretical concepts. They are doing so, moreover, as the result of a shared commitment to return to the goal of cultural history—of grasping meaning, understanding, and experience and learning how such experience is constructed and communicated through cultural objects and cultural practice. What distinguishes it, however, is the bracing new synthesis of theoretical perspectives and methodologies drawn from the “new cultural history” and “new musicology” of the 1980s, together with recent social, sociological, and anthropological theories. This synthesis has, in part, been propelled by a sense of crisis within the field of history provoked by charges of “perspectivism” and the (p. 4) focus on discursive constructions of the social world independent of “objective” or social verification. The French historian Roger Chartier registered these concerns in his On the Edge of the Cliff: History, Language, and Practices in 1997, as did American historians Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob even earlier in their Telling the Truth about History, published in 1994.

It is evident that both fields are now increasingly aware of the necessity of understanding the often complex interaction of social, political, and artistic phenomena in our analysis of the symbolic realm. Just as historians attempt to grasp the construction and transmission of meaning, so musicologists are turning their inquiries not only to cultural representations but also to social dynamics and to music's distinctive “register” of communication as an abstract and performing art.1 For many musicologists the most fruitful aspect of recent historical directions has been the turn to the question of how patterns of cultural meaning are intertwined with the encompassing world of social and political significance.2 Historians in turn have drawn attention to the fact that such cultural significations are manipulated and refracted in the act of enunciation inherent in each art's means of communication, as well as by the changing material modes of inscription of a given work. Both fields, moreover, are increasingly aware that individuals and groups make use of or appropriate symbols within the larger field of social power and representation—that symbols can become destabilized or contested and a symbolic battle or negotiation may thus ensue.

Indeed, there has been a new awareness of “representations” and their constructions ever since the launching of the interdisciplinary journal by that name at the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. Musicologists, of course, have long been sensitive to the ways in which power may employ the theater and particularly opera to represent either the authority and social order that sustains it or that it aspires eventually to ensconce. However, they have more recently recognized that opera is neither transparent in its agenda nor ever entirely instrumental, for it is a composite form of representation, one that is both unique and in continual dialogue with the social and discursive world that surrounds it. Moreover, musicology has learned to be aware of what Louis Marin has described (with reference to painting) as “the gap between the visible—what is shown, figured, represented, staged—and the legible—what can be said, enunciated, declared.”3 As we now recognize, each mode of communication embodies a different register of representation, and although they intersect with and respond to each other as in opera, which may create a uniquely complex enunciation, they never entirely merge.

The new theoretical synthesis, of course, has built in important ways upon the dual contributions of the “new musicology” and the “new cultural history” of the past three decades. The former drew necessary attention to the questions of meaning, reception, and interpretation or “criticism,” as well as to politics, ideology, and gender, and in doing so discovered or rediscovered the significance of theorists, including Jacques Derrida, Theodor Adorno, Wolgang Iser, and Clifford Geertz.4 Simultaneously, the “new cultural history,” as well as the “cultural studies” movement in several adjacent fields, felt the impact of the “linguistic turn” in the humanities, or the focus on the semiotic functions of language and the cultural construction and transmission of meaning.5

(p. 5) The new cultural history, as codified in a volume of that title, edited by Lynn Hunt and published in 1989, distinguished itself not only from social history but also from the older intellectual history. Here the focus was not on ideas or systems of thought but instead on encompassing patterns of meaning, symbols, assumptions, and feelings, and the contributors drew heavily on cultural theory, including the anthropological, the philosophical, and the literary. Of particular importance were feminist theorists such as Julia Kristeva, Luce Iragary, and Joan Scott, as well as literary theorists, including Mikhail Bakhtin and the poststructuralist Jacques Derrida, with their insights into “difference,” marginalized communities, perspective or “construction,” and the instability of meaning. The influence of figures such as these also helped expand the territory, as well as the sources, of historical inquiry to include the body, the senses, fiction and reading, images, and a wide range of social and cultural practices.6

In both the new musicology and the new cultural history, symbolic anthropology (in particular the work of Clifford Geertz) proved influential in furthering the shift from the empiricist, or the literal and “positivist,” toward interpretation and a new sensitivity to the symbolic realm. Beginning in the 1980s innovative historians and musicologists thus sought to approach culture as a “text” to be deciphered—as neither a simple reflection of an economic substructure, as in older Marxist interpretations, nor an element of an encompassing idealist “Zeitgeist.”7 Significantly, however, in a seminal essay the French cultural historian Roger Chartier attacked the uncritical application of Geertzian symbolic anthropology to history. His admonitions center on two points: first, that the historian must rely not on empirical observations or fieldwork but on texts, and second, that the latter should be approached not in the literal but in the broader metaphorical sense.8

We must, then, as Chartier adjures, consider a source's “textuality” and perceive those larger patterns of meaning that are intertwined with the encompassing “social world of significance.” For these meanings are necessarily manipulated and refracted in the rhetorical or aesthetic act of enunciation inherent in each mode, each “register” of cultural or artistic communication.”9 Second, Chartier asks, how stable are symbols, particularly in the context of advanced Western cultures—are they “shared like the air we breathe” (to quote Geertz), or are they rather mobile, polysemous, and equivocal? Is there a common symbolic universe of replicated meanings interacting within a “web” in a developed modern culture, or are symbols more characteristically diverted, subverted, and contested? Semantic investment in symbols is unquestionably central to all cultures, but in the modern world so, too, is subsequent “disinvestment” and multiple reinvestment of meaning.10

Indeed, Chartier was not alone in his concerns: In the course of the 1990s other scholars began to critique the overemphasis on cultural construction and the concomitant “retreat from verification” in the interest of theory and interpretation. As early as his seminal essay on “thick description” (1973), Geertz himself pointed out the limits of such textual or purely cultural analysis and observed the danger that it may “lose touch with the hard surfaces of life” such as economic and political structures.11 By the end of the decade historians had widely begun to question what many now (p. 6) perceived as an overly exclusive emphasis on cultural systems and on language, or “the displacement of the social in favor of culture,” as evidenced in the collection edited by Victoria Bonnel and Lynn Hunt, Beyond the Cultural Turn, published in 1999.12

One immediate response was to reexamine the implications of figures who focus primarily on the analysis of social forces and particularly of power— how it is exercised, as well as contested or undermined. These included not only the French philosopher Michel Foucault and the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu but also major figures in German sociology such as Norbert Elias and Jürgen Habermas. Foucault's examination of the social and political role of “discourse” now became increasingly influential, and the term prominently entered the vocabulary of disciplines not only in the social sciences but also in the humanities. Few today would dispute Michel Foucault's intellectually seismic assertion that discourse defines or “authorizes” knowledge: It renders visible; it “produces” what we see. As he so incisively demonstrated, discourse not only furnishes those conceptual categories through which we conceive reality within a period but also shapes or articulates and legitimizes all of our subsequent discoveries. Foucault, of course, is frequently grouped with postmodernists because of his questioning of the possibility of objective knowledge, but his insights into means of social control through discourse still impart a social dimension or grounding to his analysis.13

If Foucault revealed the extent to which social power is insinuated in discourse, his colleague at the Collège de France, sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, did the same with symbols and language, thus reembedding cultural analysis within the social. Perhaps the most forceful vector of Bourdieu's work for historical study has been his insight into the way in which relations of power are imminent or embodied in all realms of symbolic exchange.14 Particularly resonant in the humanities has been Bourdieu's concept of “symbolic domination”—the attempt to constitute or reproduce social hierarchies through the definition of “symbolic legitimacy” and “symbolic capital.” His concomitant concept of “symbolic violence” refers to the invisibility of this imposition, which maintains the existing order but without recourse to physical violence.15

As Bourdieu has shown, symbolic violence may occur not only within a colonial context and in class relations but also in the relations between the sexes, as he demonstrated so tellingly in La domination masculine. It also occurs politically, for groups in power impose representations or symbols that provoke a wide range of responses across a broad spectrum from domination, or acquiescence, to contestation.16 Before feeling the full impact of Bourdieu musicology, like history, was locked in either a narrow and literal or a philosophical conception of the political; it was his work, together with Foucault's, that allowed us to identify political power in systems of representation, as well as in challenges to them. Moreover, Bourdieu, in particular, has now taught us to perceive how the symbols that authority has inculcated for political ends—in many possible forms or styles—is a prerequisite to both interpreting culture and deciphering politics.

We have hence grown increasingly aware that culture is neither extraneous to politics nor devoid of authentic political content but may rather be a fundamental (p. 7) symbolic expression or articulation of the political. Scholars in several fields have thus sought to unlock the language of symbolic domination and the idioms through which social actors, on various levels and in different sectors, respond. From this dialogic perspective styles or symbols we have previously considered apolitical must necessarily be reconsidered or the structure of symbolic opposition revealed.17 Musicology, however, long neglected Bourdieu or slighted his insights into power and its deployment of symbols in favor of the social, symbolic analysis of Adorno and Geertz. Only recently has the field attempted to expand its notions of how to cast the relation between music and ideology or politics to include other approaches, those that go beyond the literal, the textual, and the philosophical or metaphoric.

As several chapters in this volume demonstrate, musicologists have begun to ask why those symbolic exchanges and the power relations that they embody, as Bourdieu has made visible, have not been identified or analyzed systematically in their field. Indeed, the issue of why musicology has skirted Bourdieu's social and political grounding of symbols has compelled the discipline to recognize premises that have long persisted without reflection, buttressing the predominance of other paradigms and in particular Adorno's.18 One tangible example is the case of neoclassicism: From Adorno's philosophical perspective it is monolithic—a crystallized social formation and, like all traditions, inherently inimical to freedom and to the critical spirit. Within his essentialist manner of associating ideological orientations with aesthetic values and styles, contestation within neoclassicism is invisible, a theoretical impossibility.

Adorno's framework for the perception of contestation in music or of resistance to domination as he construes it is not empirical, relational, or contextual, as it is in Bourdieu. For Adorno, unlike Bourdieu, is not refuting structuralism or Sartrean existentialism but rather Hegel and the tradition of glorifying the “sublation of the individual … in the comprehensive other.” Thus, although, like Bourdieu, he associates domination with a closed, repressive social structure, one perpetuated by a reified tradition, his answer is cast philosophically or metaphorically. Adorno, then, and those influenced primarily by him sought not to recognize semiotic strategies within a social field of power but to focus on the way in which the individual seeks “freedom” or is able to preserve an unfixed identity.19

Within this “negative dialectic,” repressive classic forms and the rational reconciliation that they embody must be dissolved through innovation in processes that oppose authority, totality, or “structure.” His paradigm, then, is the artist's new organization and working through of the material itself: This, as in Schoenberg, is what he identifies with the advanced, autonomous artwork. Given Adorno's focus on the dialectic of technique and material, the destruction of “fixed meaning” or emancipation from false resolution cannot occur within a formal tradition.20 Yet, other scholars and I have identified a quest for freedom, for contestation of domination and repression within wartime and postwar classicism, in my case from the perspective of Bourdieu's theoretical insights. For they allow us to perceive that, historically, contestation can occur through traditional genres, forms, and styles, the logic of which can be challenged by strategies that open up or disrupt the language.21

(p. 8) The focus on strategies and “practices” is another important new historical direction, one begun by practitioners of the new cultural history and then expanded under the impetus of more recent theoretical insights. Initially the work of Mikhail Bakhtin drew attention to the ways in which popular culture could subvert, manipulate, or penetrate high culture, specifically with reference to the work of Rabelais.22 Scholars soon combined his influence with that of theorists such as Michel de Certeau, who stressed the importance of cultural “practice” or uses as opposed to a more passive consumption of culture. As he observed, cultural products may be creatively employed, manipulated, or “appropriated” through specific strategies and often on the part of those groups who are politically or socially dominated. It is within this context that more recent historians have done important work on reading practices, which has had a palpable influence on musicology as well. Musicologists such as Kate van Orden, for example, have stressed the importance of approaching music in the early modern period within the context not only of “print culture” but also of reading practices and of actual usages. Just as influential have been recent anthropological developments in “performance theory,” or the study of the ways in which performance is socially framed and how this necessarily impacts the work's enunciation, as anthropologist Victor Turner has shown.23

Equally important in the sphere of “practice” has been the work of the German historical sociologist Norbert Elias, who analyzed the larger social and political dynamics of cultural practice in the early modern period. Elias's book of 1939, The Civilizing Process, has only recently been rediscovered, now from the perspective of his study of court behavior, its gradual development, and the way in which it imposed control over the self, including both manners and the emotions.24 More recently, historians such as Alain Corbin have focused on the history of the senses, or of perception, as shaped by changing modes of experience and by means of social control. Corbin was also a pioneer in what is now generally referred to in both musicology and ethnomusicology as the “soundscape,” or the larger cultural and political context of hearing. His Village Bells (1994) was concerned with the way bells were heard and experienced in the past and specifically how they were closely associated with both piety and parochialism, or with a sense of place.25 In his contribution to this volume ethnomusicologist Joseph Lam is similarly interested in the issues of both soundscape and practice with regard not only to power but also to those who were dominated in twelfth- and thirteenth-century China.

Public meaning and experience, as well as public memory, have served as another flourishing path of research not only within recent historical studies but also in the field of musicology. Initially sociologists such as the German Jürgen Habermas drew attention to what he termed “the public sphere,” or the domains of public life as they developed in the course of the later eighteenth century. Habermas connected this phenomenon with the rise of what we now generally call “public opinion,” which is associated with an implicit sense of responsibility and rights on the part of those governed within a political system.26 Linked to this concept has been that of public memory, as well as of a sense of both community and traditions, as embodied in the work of figures such as Pierre Nora, Benedict Anderson, and Eric Hobsbawm.

(p. 9) The monumental collection of essays that Nora edited between 1984 and 1993, titled Les lieux de mémoire, concerns major sites of social, political, and cultural collective memory. The history of shared memory has also been developed within the context of manipulations or inventions on the part of political power, as demonstrated by the collection of essays coedited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, The Invention of Tradition. The complementary concept of the invention or “imagination” of communities was also developed by Benedict Anderson, whose Imagined Communities (1983) has had an ostensibly broad impact.27 Significantly, several of the essays in this volume, written by both musicologists and historians, concern collective memory, invented traditions, and imagined communities, particularly those of historian Philipp Ther and musicologist James Hepokoski.

Just as important as the study of the cultural definition or symbolic distinction of communities has been that of their development of a sense of the “other,” including their cultural encounters, or points of contact and interaction. Ever since Edward Said's seminal literary study of the way in which cultures represent, distort, or construct each other, his Orientalism (1978), historians and musicologists have become interested not only in the construction of cultural boundaries but also more recently with points of interpenetration and mutual discovery.28 This we may see in historian Celia Applegate's chapter in this volume, in which she examines the cultural “symbiosis” and often the interaction of musicians through their professionally necessary international travels in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Cultural “translation,” or the appropriation of elements of one culture by another, has similarly become a major point of interest for ethnomusicologists, as we may see from Philip Bohlman's contribution on Herder's cultural translations in this volume.

In sum, it is evident that both historians and musicologists are now striving not only to return to the goal of capturing the texture and the complexity of experience, understanding, and communication in the past but also to do so by means of a theoretically sophisticated approach that combines a semiotic, cultural analysis with a deeper understanding of surrounding social forces and their dynamics. They are equally conscious of how their questions are framed in order to yield the most insight on both of these levels and hence attempt to define the most appropriate contexts through which to explore the cultural object and its multifaceted significance.

II. Emerging Approaches, Lines of Inquiry, and the New Agenda

Not only is it revealing that historians and musicologists are now asking similar kinds of questions about past cultures and employing a new synthesis of methodologies, but both fields are identifying music as a privileged point of entry into these inquiries, and thus are engaging in a sustained collaboration. It is difficult to ignore (p. 10) the fact that, recently, leading journals in history, such as the Journal of Modern History and the American Historical Review, now regularly review those books by musicologists that attempt to achieve these goals. Moreover, it has become an inescapable phenomenon that more and more historians are turning to music despite the difficulties of mastering the analytic dimension and the technical specificities of the musical language.29 They are similarly aware of the necessity of understanding the “champ” or field, to use Bourdieu's term, or the specific domain of culture, with its own degree of autonomy, workings, and conventions that can, like a prism, at specific moments approach or open up to other such fields.30

Most striking, perhaps, is that scholars in both areas are now exploring music under similar historical rubrics, those emerging from the recent synthesis of theoretical perspectives on society and culture that we have seen. As this volume vividly demonstrates, these include questions of cultural identity and its expression, or its constructions, representations, and exchanges, into which music provides a significant mode of access. The scholars who work in these areas are concerned with those cultural sites of the construction or attempted control of identity, as well as its interrogation through active agency on a social and an individual level, which embraces subjectivity and its relation to the larger cultural unit. This line of inquiry includes the study of how new perceptions or awareness may be realized or enunciated through musical language; it also embraces investigation of the development of new modes of understanding in or around music, as well as of the way in which such meaning is produced or communicated even in the midst of social or political attempts to control it.

Here we may see attempts on the part of both historians and musicologists to engage with the new ways of perceiving the articulation of music, ideology, and politics opened up by figures such as Foucault, Bourdieu, Elias, and Habermas. For their study of meaning and symbols is both relational and contextual as they strive to unlock the idioms not only of social or political power but also of the strategies of contestation or refusal. They are similarly interested in identity as defined within the public sphere and the ways in which such public or national identity may be questioned through specific practices or the experience of cultural encounters.

Part I of this volume accordingly comprises sections devoted to Constructions or Representations of the Body, Gender, Sexuality, and Race; Subjectivity and the Shaping of the Self in Society; Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Transnationalism, and Popular and Elite Cultural Intersections or Exchanges. The historians and musicologists working in these areas approach music as a cultural form that communicates diverse kinds of discourses, including ideology or political rhetoric, while realizing that the material or cultural forms that carry such discourse cannot be reduced to the discourses they were intended to carry.31 Moreover, they are aware of what the artwork can do to the discourse or to a text either consciously on the part of the artist, or on a subconscious level, or as a result of music's unique register of representation and its specific dynamics as a performing art. As some of the chapters demonstrate, because of music's abstraction and its physical nature it can more easily transmit certain aspects of identity or experience than others, while inherently altering them in the very act of representation.

(p. 11) Other scholars represented in this volume are particularly interested in cultural practice, collective memory, transmission, and evaluation as they are both forged and then negotiated, as influenced by figures such as de Certeau, Corbin, Chartier, and Nora. Hence, part II of this collection is devoted to cultural experience, practice, and appropriations, grouping together those cultural arenas in which music both illuminates and is further illuminated, technically and aesthetically, by a study of its uses, collective practices, modes of inscription, and evaluation or reception. These include Urban, Aural, and Print Culture; Symbols, Icons, and Sites of Collective Memory or Ritual, and Aesthetics, Politics, and Transmission. Scholars working in these areas have become concerned with how cultural or social experience may shape creative or professional decisions and with the manner in which the public comes to appropriate or to know and use a specific artistic work.

The approaches taken here demonstrate an awareness of the fact that the manner in which a work is diffused or transmitted becomes an integral part of how, historically, it assumes a cultural “sense.” The contributors to this section, both historians and musicologists, are apprised of all the dimensions that may affect the construction of signification, including specific material inscriptions and the symbolic potential of the artistic language. Hence, here we see a concern with how the forms assumed by texts become an essential element in the creation of their meaning since different groups encounter, “possess,” and experience a work in various ways and within the context of different aural and visual cultures, as Leon Botstein's chapter so aptly demonstrates.

Indeed, in the computer age, when the same text may be apprehended through variable mediums of representation and reproduction, we are more cognizant of how the material means through which texts are communicated help to determine their signification or cultural sense. This has also stimulated study of how networks or communities of both creation and reception come into being within or across national boundaries and concomitantly of the role of cultural exchanges and new technologies. Scholars seeking to study the realms of cultural experience, practice, and appropriation are equally aware of how artistic works or emerging artistic languages may foster or articulate new experience, as I illustrate in my own chapter in this volume. Moreover, they perceive that truly innovative works can help to develop new modes of reception and hence of thought within different “sound cultures,” both drawing on and acting back upon the social and cultural world.32

The new lines of inquiry, theoretical synthesis, or the agenda characteristic of the new cultural history of music—all vividly illustrated here—must, of course, be sustained through a continuing collaboration between those historians and musicologists who are centrally concerned with culture. Musicologists need to apprise themselves of the most recent and relevant historical literature and remain aware that, if they are to pose historical questions relating music to ideology and politics, they must do so with a complete knowledge not only of the musical field but also of others that, at specific moments, impinged upon it. They must similarly remain cognizant of the relevant surrounding discourses that interacted in historically specific manners with those of the musical field—how they helped to shape terminology, approaches, and central concepts.

(p. 12) Historians, in turn, if they seek to employ music as a significant mode of access to cultural experience, practice, and understanding in the past, must familiarize themselves with those musicological sources that illuminate essential elements of the musical language and the musical culture. Finally, both disciplines, if they wish to understand the historical and musicological significance of theatrical works (particularly of opera), must recognize the complexity of its enunciation and its close relation to its specific modes of inscription, experience, and reception, as Edward Muir's contribution to this volume tellingly illustrates. For the message of an opera historically cannot be equated simply with the supposed intent of the composer, the librettist, or the institution producing it but rather must be approached in terms of a tense negotiation or a semiotically complex interaction at temporally, socially, and culturally specific moments.

The new cultural history of music seeks to investigate precisely such arenas in which a close musical analysis must interact with a sophisticated understanding of the semiotic or linguistic dimension while maintaining a comprehensive grasp of the relevant social, cultural, and political dynamics. There are many such avenues of research, as the scholars in this volume demonstrate, all of which compel us to employ the emerging theoretical or methodological composite discussed in the beginning of this Introduction. Music examined from the perspective of areas such as print culture, aural experience, or “soundscapes” and their relation to political power, national memory, or cultural icons demands that we remain open to this resonant theoretical synthesis while seeking out the most historically relevant contexts. Such an approach will also allow us to perceive new aspects of the musical language, its meaning, and evolution, as well as how it “spoke” or communicated historically within the landscapes of now distant or foreign cultures.

Finally, as this volume demonstrates, the new cultural history of music requires that musicologists take history seriously and remain apprised of its most fruitful new directions and that historians work closely with musicologists, consulting the relevant musicological sources. To this end, departments training scholars in both fields must in turn encourage students to develop the requisite skills, historical, theoretical, and musicological in innovative new programs that cross the boundaries of the once separate disciplines. Only by doing so can we continue to recast the questions that both fields are asking, thus bringing them closer and developing the new cultural history of music in an ever more resonant, mutually fruitful synthesis.


(1.) See Roger Chartier, On the Edge of the Cliff: History, Language, and Practices, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), and Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob, eds., Telling the Truth about History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

(2.) I have focused on this interaction in several books that trace the tight imbrication of politics and ideology with French culture and music, including The Nation's Image: French Grand Opera as Politics and Politicized Art (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), French Cultural Politics and Music from the Dreyfus Affair to the First World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), and The Composer as Intellectual: Music and Ideology in France 1914–1940 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

(3.) See Charter, On the Edge of the Cliff, 90–103.

(4.) For example, see Joseph Kerman, Contemplating Music (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985); D. Kern Holoman and Claude V. Palisca, Musicology in the 1980s: Methods, Goals, Opportunities (New York: Da Capo, 1982); Rose Rosengard Subotnik, “The Role of Ideology in the Study of Western Music,” Journal of Musicology 2(1) (Winter 1983): 1–12; Susan McClary, Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002); Richard Leppert and Susan McClary, eds., Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance, and Reception (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Gary Tomlinson, “The Web of Culture: A Context for Musicology,” 19-Century Music 7(3) (1984): 350–62; and Carolyn Abbate, Unsung Voices: Opera and Musical Narrative in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991).

(5.) On the “linguistic turn” in both history and the humanities see John E. Toews, “Intellectual History after the Linguistic Turn: The Autonomy of Meaning and the Irreducibility of Experience,” American Historical Review 92(4) (1987): 879–907. Also see Lynn Hunt, ed., The New Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989). On the “cultural studies” movement as it originated in Great Britain see Peter Burke, What Is Cultural History? (Malden, Mass.: Polity, 2008), 140–41.

(6.) See Hunt, New Cultural History, 1–22, and Burke, What Is Cultural History? 51–53, 79, 116.

(7.) See Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), and Tomlinson, “Web of Culture.”

(8.) Roger Chartier, “Texts, Symbols, and Frenchness,” Journal of Modern History 57(4) (Dec. 1985): 682–95.

(9.) Chartier, “Texts, Symbols, and Frenchness,” 683–84. On the concept of different “registers” of communication see Chartier's discussion of the work of Louis Marin in On the Edge of the Cliff, 9–103.

(10.) Chartier, “Texts, Symbols, and Frenchness,” 691.

(11.) Burke, What Is Cultural History? 115.

(12.) Victoria E. Bonnel and Lynn Hunt, eds., Beyond the Cultural Turn: New Directions in the Study of Society and Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). See the introduction by Bonnel and Hunt, 9.

(13.) On the concept of discourse see Michel Foucault, L'ordre du discours (Paris: Gallimard, 1971), as well as his Les mots et les choses: Une archéologie des sciences humaines (Paris: Gallimard, 1966). Also see the introduction by Bonnel and Hunt to the collection they coedited, Beyond the Cultural Turn, 3, 9.

(14.) I have developed this point in my chapter, “Symbolic Domination and Contestation in French Music: Shifting the Paradigm from Adorno to Bourdieu,” in Opera and Society in Italy and France from Monteverdi to Bourdieu, ed. Victoria Johnson, Jane F. Fulcher, and Thomas Ertman (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 312–29.

(15.) For a detailed discussion of Bourdieu's concept of symbolic violence see Niilo Kauppi, The Politics of Embodiment: Habits, Power, and Pierre Bourdieu's Theory (New York: Lang, 2000), 6 ff.

(16.) Pierre Bourdieu, La domination masculine (Paris: Seuil, 1998).

(17.) See Pierre Bourdieu, “Penser la politique,” Actes de recherches en sciences sociales (March 1988): 2–3. Also see David Swartz, Culture and Power: the Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), p. 7.

(18.) Fulcher, “Symbolic Domination and Contestation,” 312.

(19.) See Hauke Brunkhorst, “Irreconcilable Modernity: Adorno's Experimentalism and the Transgression Theorem,” in The Actuality of Adorno: Critical Essays on Adorno and the Postmodern, ed. Max Pensky (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), 47–49. Also see Eric L. Krakauer, The Disposition of the Subject: Reading Adorno's Dialectic of Technology (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1998), 139, 143.

(20.) See Peter U. Hohendahl, Prismatic Thought: Theodor Adorno (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995), 200. Also see Theodor Adorno, Philosophy of Modern Music, trans. Anne G. Mitchell and Wesley V. Bloomster (London: Sheed and Ward, 1973), 165–67.

(21.) See Fulcher, Composer as Intellectual, 172–95, and Glenn Watkins, Proof through the Night: Music and the Great War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).

(22.) See Burke, What Is Cultural History? 53–54, and Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984). Significantly, as Burke points out, the book was first translated into both French and English in 1965.

(23.) Burke, What Is Cultural History? 79–80. Also see Michel de Certeau, L'invention du quotidien (Paris: Gallimard, 1990). On reading practices as related to the history of the book, see Roger Chartier, Publishing Drama in Early Modern Europe (Panizzi Lectures) (London: British Library, 1999). On the relevance of the study of print culture and reading for musicology see Kate van Orden, ed., Music and the Cultures of Print (New York: Garland, 2000). Also see Richard Bauman, Story, Performance, and Event: Contextual Studies of Oral Narrative (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), and Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance (New York: PAJ, 1986).

(24.) See Chartier, On the Edge of the Cliff, 124–31, and Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1994).

(25.) Alain Corbin, Village Bells: Sound and Meaning in the Nineteenth-century French Countryside, trans. Martin Thom (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), and Burke, What Is Cultural History? 112.

(26.) See William Weber, “Opera and the Cultural Authority of the Capital City,” in Johnson, Fulcher, and Ertman, Opera and Society in Italy and France, 167–68, and Craig Calhoun, ed., Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992).

(27.) See Pierre Nora's multivolume Les lieux de mémoire (Paris: Gallimard, 1984–1993). Also see Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, The Invention of Tradition (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), and Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 2006).

(28.) Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1978), and Burke, What Is Cultural History? 121.

(29.) See, for example, Michael P. Steinberg, Listening to Reason: Culture, Subjectivity, and Nineteenth-century Music (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004); William Weber, Music and the Middle Class: The Social Structure of Concert Life in London, Paris, and Vienna (London: Croom Helm, 1975); James Johnson, Listening in Paris: A Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); and the final chapter of Carl E. Schorske's classic Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture (New York: Knopf, 1980).

(30.) See Burke, What Is Cultural History? 58, and my discussion of the implications of Johan Huizinga's related concept of historical shift in the “cultural landscape” in Fulcher, French Cultural Politics and Music, 12.

(31.) See Chartier, On the Edge of the Cliff, 94.

(32.) The concept of the interaction of text and its reception was initially developed by German scholars such as Wolfgang Iser. See, for example, his Der Akt des Lesens (Munich: Fink, 1976).