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Adorno - Theodor Adorno"Adorno's Case Against Popular Music...

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Theodor Adorno "Adorno's Case Against Popular Music" by Lee B. Brown 1992, revised 2005 "Adorno was born Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno in 1903. According to Martin Jay he may have dropped the Wiesengrund when he joined the Institute for Social Research in New York in 1938 because of its sounding Jewish. Between 1918 and 1919, at the age of 15, Adorno studied under Siegfried Kracauer. After completing his Gymnasium period, he attended the University of Frankfurt where he studied philosophy, sociology, psychology, and music. He received a doctorate in philosophy in 1924. In 1925, Adorno went to Vienna to study composition under Alban Berg, and at the same time he began to publish articles on music, especially on the work of Schönberg. After becoming disillusioned with the 'irrationalism' of the Vienna circle, he returned to Frankfurt in 1926 and began a Habilitationschrift on Kant and Freud, entitled 'The concept of the unconscious in the transcendental theory of mind'. This thesis was rejected, but in 1931, he completed another: Kierkegaard: The Construction of the Aesthetic, which was published in 1933 on the day of Hitler's rise to power. Once his thesis was accepted, Adorno joined the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research after Max Horkheimer became director. To escape from Nazism, the Institute moved to Zürich in 1934, and Adorno moved to England. In 1938, Adorno rejoined the Institute, which was now located in New York, and worked on the Princeton Radio Research Project, headed by Paul Larzarsfeld. While in America he worked on a number of different projects, including one with Thomas Mann on Doktor Faustus. With Max Horkheimer, Adorno sounded a pessimistic note about Enlightenment reason in the Dialectic of Enlightenment which was first published in 1947. In 1953, at the age of 50, Adorno left the United States and returned to Frankfurt to take up a position with the Institute, and in 1959 he became its director following the retirement of Horkheimer. By the end of the following decade Adorno became embroiled in a conflict with the students who occupied the Institute's offices. Adorno died in 1969 in Switzerland while writing what many believe to be his most important work, Aesthetic Theory." http://pratt.edu/~arch543p/help/Adorno.html Brown’s essay refers mainly to Adorno’s essay “On Popular Music” 1941 http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/SWA/On_popular_music_1.shtml The entire essay is at this website.
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Lee B. Brown Professor at Ohio State University, [email protected] , BA - University of Utah, MA - Northwestern University, Ph.D. - Northwestern University, was
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