Greene, David B. Books
David B. Greene is Professor of Arts Studies, emeritus at North Carolina State University, where he directed the Arts Studies Program from 1988 to 2006. He completed his Ph.D. at Yale University.2015 1-4955-0322-4
The book develops four strategies for doing listener-guided analysis. Each strategy is used to describe one of the movements in Bruckner’s Eighth. Each analysis has two goals: to clarify the mechanics of a particular strategy for carrying out listener-guided analysis, and to demonstrate that new kinds of insights can be gained when the strategy opens a way to describe Bruckner’s music by describing its hearers’ relations to it.
Working through four case studies, this book focuses on conceptual issues involved in coming to terms with works of art that bear significant marks of more than one culture. The introduction identifies the conceptual problems of ‘joining’ elements from two cultures that are strange to one another. It distinguishes between joining these elements, and merely juxtaposing, blending or mixing them. When the joining is genuine, it leads to a concord that does not erase the otherness of the joined elements to one another; instead, it continues each of the joined traditions.
The case studies examine Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde
, Ming landscape paintings, Iranian rugs, and Guatemalan architecture, textiles and folk tales. The first analysis focuses on the difference between the cyclical time of the neo-Daoist poetry in Mahler’s text and the end-directedness of European music. The next chapter describes the Ming period struggle to join Yuan period elements with the very Song period elements that the Yuan painters had rejected. Thinking about Iranian rugs in European interiors opens up a contradictory valuation of the exotic when the far-away has become familiar. The last chapter brings to the surface the possibility of invisible strangeness when differences are too deep to be seen, and the even greater strangeness when the differences are surpassed.2007 0-7734-5378-4
This book provides an English translation of philosopher Heimo Hofmeister’s book, Der Wille zum Krieg, oder die Ohnmacht der Politik
, which traces the connection between war and the individual or group awareness of differences among ‘others’ which leads to inevitable and serious disagreement. Analyzing the relations of strength, force and power on the one hand and state, politics and war on the other, Hofmeister shows that while conflict is inevitable, war is not. Ironically, the same diversity that exists among humanity and the conflicts that arise from the awareness of such are just as much the foundation of harmony, friendship and love as they are that of war and hate.2010 0-7734-3713-4
This book takes up six sets of works of art that imagine community. These works do not illustrate concepts of community or make community an explicit theme. Nevertheless, the particular techniques and structure of each work project an imagining of community that is unique to the piece. Studying the six sets together opens prospects for re-imagining community and lays the groundwork for re-imagining the relation of arts and society. This book contains twelve color photographs and three black and white photographs.2010 0-7734-1311-1
This book studies three types of Guatemalan art that represent imagines of community. The particular techniques and structure of each set of works project an imagining of community that is unique to those pieces. Studying the pieces together lays the groundwork for re-imagining the relation of arts and society. This book contains nineteen color photographs.2010 0-7734-4665-6
This book takes up pieces of music that imagine community. These works do not illustrate concepts of community or make community an explicit theme. Nevertheless, the particular techniques and structure of each work project an imagining of community that is unique to the piece. Studying the pieces together lays the groundwork for re-imagining the relation of arts and society.2005 0-7734-6268-6
One of the most significant figures in contemporary German philosophy and ethics, Heimo Hofmeister has recently published landmark works in medical ethics and the nature of warfare. A Russian translation of this book has already been published in 2000 and a second edition in German came out at the same time, and is almost sold out. This is the much awaited, first English translation of Dr. Heimo Hofmeister’s groundbreaking work.
Many contemporary composers and music critics say in an offhand way that all music written in the past quarter century is about music—that it is reflexive and self-referential in some significant sense. It is music in search of an understanding of itself. This book tries to deepen the understanding of music about music as well as music itself in four ways. First, it puts music’s own self-understanding onto an equal footing with philosophical aesthetics of music. It subjects pieces of music about music to close, detailed analysis, and puts the statements about the nature of music that emerge from these analyses into conversation with philosophical statements about music. Second, it investigates whether and in what way the concept of reflexive music makes sense and to what extent music about music is possible. Third, it inquires into the need for music to search for itself, and evaluates the connection between this need and the European fascination and then disillusion with the concept of aesthetic experience. Fourth, it brings to the surface a sense, embedded in music’s self-understanding, that there are severe limits to the meaningfulness of music in general that it is thus impossible for music about music to be fully meaningful.
This book is based around reports from people who have listened to certain pieces of sacred music (that is, pieces with a liturgical text or biblical allusions) and have said that hearing the music is itself an encounter with the divine. While relating to the music, these people find that relating to the music is a relation to God. The music as such becomes inaudible, and disappears into an encounter in which they address and are addressed by God, or the Risen Christ, or the Eternal Infinite.
The book’s project is to elaborate on these reports, first by dwelling on the meaning of “relation” then by drawing parallels between the reports and the writings of Martin Buber on the I-Thou relation and its contrast to the I-It experience, and finally by describing the salient aspects of the music in order to specify just what is this hearing that is a relating, an encounter.
Although many pieces could have been chosen as examples of this kind of hearing and this kind of spirituality, the book takes only three so that it can describe them in considerable detail and depth. These pieces : Three Movements from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, the resurrection music from Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and Oliver Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time
This book deals with an anomaly of art: the powerful style that abruptly disappears. While many historians have focused on explaining the sudden stop, overlooking the fact that when these styles were thriving, futurelessness is precisely what they were not, this book asks how these works were experienced when there futureless was unexpected. This book contains nine color photographs and 24 black and white photographs.2012 0-7734-2589-6
In pieces of music set to biblical or liturgical texts, the musical connections of one passage or one movement to one another. In a musical sense, these texts have a meaning and significance that can be and often distinct from the meanings achieved by syntactic relationships. Sometimes the syntactic meanings are lost in the musical repetitions and overlapping entries of many voices; in the case of texts for different movements, syntactic relations often simply do not exist. Consequently, the music does not merely parallel or illustrates the text’s theological meaning or guide an affective response to an already familiar contemplation of God and the Divine presence in the world. Rather, it relates the texts’ images to one another in a specific and particular way and achieves a theological coherence that is distinctive to the particular piece.
The book carries out this approach in analyzing three works of sacred music: The Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah
, the Credo
of Beethoven’s Mass in D, and the Dies Irae of Verdi’s Requiem
. The analyses show how the composers’ melodic, harmonic, and structural events work on and determine the ideas and images in the texts. The goal is to point to the “heard analogy” that becomes available when listeners pay attention to the musical relationships and their impact on the contemplation of God.