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Response: Music, image and the sublime

Armstrong, T (2008) Response: Music, image and the sublime Textual Practice, 22 (1). pp. 71-83.

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This paper locates James' suggestion that the personal feelings produced by the sublime might serve to reinforce a safe conservatism wherein the individual is freed from reflecting on the ideological implications of his or her own emotions in the field of musicology. Using Bourdieu, Kubrick's 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968) and Stephen Speilberg's E. T. (1982), Armstrong shows how film music guarantees the safety of the educated, bourgeois listener by rescuing him or her from the fear of atonal, dissonant music by ensuing melodic harmonies and slowed rhythms. It is music's linguistic silence, the paper shows, that renders its ideological aspect more powerful however, highlighting the social context of music's production, distribution and reception.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Music and Media
Authors :
Armstrong, T
Date : 18 February 2008
DOI : 10.1080/09502360701842033
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in Textual practice (2008), 22 (1), 71-83. Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 25 Apr 2012 11:00
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 10:14

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