Brev från den autonoma musikens värld : Den diskursiva konstruktionen av musikalisk autonomi i den samtida klassiska CD-skivan

Sammanfattning: The purpose of the present thesis is to demonstrate in detail and by concrete example the construction of music as autonomous. It studies how the basic categories constituting the discourse of musical autonomy get reproduced in commercialized and mass-produced and at the same time institutionally authorized texts. The texts under examination consist of a number of sleeve-notes all concerned with the symphonies of Johannes Brahms.In the first two chapters the purposes as well as the theoretical framework and the methodological procedures of the study are presented. The third chapter provides an historical account of the discourse of musical autonomy. In the fourth chapter the basic categories of this discourse are identified. Each of these categories is discussed at length and their implications clarified. The fifth chapter comprises a text- and discourse analysis that purports to elucidate the internal structure of the texts as well as the relation between text and context. The sixth chapter seeks to determine the extent to which the texts can be seen as structured in accordance with the central categories of musical autonomy. The chapter argues that the texts under examination must indeed be understood as representing the symphonies of Johannes Brahms as autonomous and self-sufficient objects. The seventh and last chapter is concerned with the complex relation between power, knowledge and the constitution of subjectivity in the discourse of musical autonomy. The chapter identifies and discusses some of the operations of power relating to the constitution of the listening subject and to the disciplining of the human body, operations inextricably tied to the production and communication of knowledge within the discourse of musical autonomy.Thus, the real subject of this thesis is the discourse of musical autonomy itself. Its contribution to the ongoing discussion of musical autonomy lies at the level of exemplification: it picks out one of the places where this discourse gets reproduced and demonstrates in detail how that reproduction comes about. But it goes further than that in its attempt to highlight the power relations lying at the heart of the representation and communication of apparently autonomous musical works.