Lawrence Kramer (musicologist)
Lawrence Kramer (born 1946) is an American
Kramer was born in Philadelphia and educated at the
New and/or Critical musicology rejected the idea of the autonomous musical artwork and sought to understand music in terms of its social and cultural relationships. Controversial when introduced in the late 1980s, this position has since become foundational, while expanding further to include questions of affect, embodiment, and performance. It has also expanded beyond Western classical music, the main focus of Kramer’s work, to include music in any genre. Kramer’s Music as Cultural Practice (1990) set forth the principle that music takes on complex meanings as a result of its participation the circulation of valuations and practices that constitute culture. The book introduced a number of terms, including its title phrase, which passed into common use, most prominently “hermeneutic windows” (pressure points in and around music from which multiple lines of cultural associations extend). Between this book and The Thought of Music (2016; part of a trilogy also including Expression and Truth (2012) and Interpreting Music (2010), Kramer expanded his theoretical frame of reference to include performance, embodiment, voice, music in media (especially film), and opera. He has challenged the idea that musical meaning must be derived from musical form and has repeatedly rejected oppositions between score and performance and performance and meaning. He has drawn on speech act theory, deconstruction, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and philosophy, especially by Heidegger and Wittgenstein, to develop a pragmatic theory of interpretation, “descriptive realism,” which asserts that interpretation is a form of knowledge, not merely opinion, first as applied to music and then applied in general. This in turn became the basis of a wider theory of humanistic knowledge that embraces uncertainty and creativity and takes musical experience as its paradigm. In The Hum of the World: A Philosophy of Listening (2019), Kramer extended this theory to the experience of sound and the relationship of listening to knowledge.
David Beard and Kenneth Gloag credit Kramer with bringing questions about
Kramer's compositions, including eight string quartets, fifteen song cycles, and numerous standalone songs, have been widely performed in the United States and Europe in venues including New York, Santa Fe, Edinburgh, London, Vienna, Stockholm, Graz, Ghent, and Bern. In 2013, his string quartet movement "Clouds, Wind, Stars" won the Composers Concordance “Generations” award. Kramer's compositions include:
- "Colors of Memory" for piano.
- "Evocations" for piano and optional voice.
- "Three Nocturnes" for viola and piano.
- "Questions of Travel" for cello and piano.
- "Cloud Shadows" for violin and piano.
- "A Short History" (of the Twentieth Century)" for voice and percussion.
- "The Wind Shifts" for voice and piano.
- "Pulsation" for piano quartet.
- "Wingspan" for string sextet.
- "The Hourglass" for cello and harp.
- "Part Songs" for mixed chorus.
- The Hum of the World: A Philosophy of Listening (University of California Press, 2019)
- The Thought of Music (University of California Press, 2016)
- Expression and Truth: On the Music of Knowledge (University of California Press, 2012).
- Interpreting Music (University of California Press, 2010).
- Music as Cultural Practice: 1800-1900 (1990; University of California Press, 20th Anniversary Edition, 2010).
- Why Classical Music Still Matters (University of California Press, 2007).
- Porque É a Música Clássica ainda Importante? Trans. Fernanda Barão (Bizancio, 2010).
- Perchè la musica classica? Significati, valori, futuro. Trans. Davide Fassio (EDT, 2011).
- Critical Musicology and the Responsibility of Response: Selected Essays, Ashgate Contemporary Thinkers on Critical Musicology (Ashgate, 2006).
- Opera and Modern Culture: Wagner and Strauss (University of California Press, 2004).
- Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History (University of California Press, 2001).
- Franz Schubert: Sexuality, Subjectivity, Song (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
- After the Lovedeath: Sexual Violence and the Making of Culture (University of California Press, 1997).
- Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge (University of California Press, 1995).
- Music as Cultural Practice: 1800-1900 (University of California Press, 1990).
- Music and Poetry: The Nineteenth Century and After (University of California Press, 1984).
- ^ "THE NATION;Musicologists Roll Over Beethoven - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1995-11-26. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ Critical Musicological Reflections: Essays in Honour of Derek Scott, ed. Stan Hawkins (Ashgate 2012), 1-18
- ^ Dr. Alastair Williams, Constructing Musicology (Ashgate Publishing 2001, p. 121
- ^ "English Faculty - Bio Page - Lawrence Kramer". Fordham.edu. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ "19th-Century Music : University of California Press | Journals + Digital Publishing". Ucpressjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- . Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- ^ Steven Paul Scher, "Melopoetics Revisited," in Word and Music Studies: Defining the Field, ed. Walter Bernhart, Steven Paul Scher, and Werner Wolf (Rospoi 1999), p. 14
- ^ David Gramit, "The Roaring Lion: Critical Musicology, Aesthetic Experience, and the Music Department," Canadian University Music Review 19 (1998), pp. 21, 25
- ^ "Poets Out Loud Moves to Lincoln Center for 20th Anniversary". Fordhamobserver.com. 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ "Contemporaneous / Voices Up 2013". Contemporaneous.org. 2013-04-02. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ "WMA » Events » Tentative Scheudle for the Eighth International Conference (2011)". Wordmusicstudies.org. Archived from the original on 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ "Word and Music Studies : Ninth International Conference" (PDF). Music.sas.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ "Calendar » Composers Concordance 'Generations' concert & composition competition". Sequenza21.com. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- ^ "Online Library". Library.newmusicusa.org. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
Articles and chapters concerning Lawrence Kramer and New Musicology:
- Joel Galand, "The Turn from the Aesthetic, " Current Musicology 58 (1995): 79-97.
- David Gramit, "The Roaring Lion: Critical Musicology, Aesthetic Experience, and the Music Department," Canadian University Music Review 19 (1998).
- Alastair Williams, Constructing Musicology (Ashgate, 2000).
- David Beard and Kenneth Gloag, Musicology: The Key Concepts (Routledge 2004).
- Patricia Debly, "The Myth of Musicology, Part 2", CAML Review 32 (2004)
- Giles Hooper, The Discourse of Musicology (Ashgate 2006).
- David Clarke, “Between Hermeneutics and Formalism: the Lento from Tippett's Concerto for Orchestra (Or: Music Analysis after Lawrence Kramer),” Music Analysis 30 (2011): 309-59.
- Jonathan Goldman, "La New Musicology: Survol de la musicologie américaine des années 1990," Filigrane 11 (2010), 129-140.
- Erik Wallrup, "Hermeneutics and Anti-hermeneutics of Music: The Question of Listening in Jean-Luc Nancy and Lawrence Kramer," Epekeina: International Journal of Ontology, 3 (2013), 307-320.
- John Finney, Chris Philpott, and Gary Spruce, "Hermeneutics and the Making of (Critical) Meaning," in Creative and Critical Projects in Classroom Music: Fifty Years of Sound and Silence, (Taylor and Francis, 2020)
- Nicholas Davey, "Displacing Hermeneutics with the Hermeneutical?" Duquesne Studies in Phenomenology 1 (2020).
- 1946 births
- Living people
- American musicologists
- American male classical composers
- American classical composers
- 20th-century classical composers
- 21st-century classical composers
- Fordham University faculty
- Yale University alumni
- University of Pennsylvania alumni
- 21st-century American composers
- 20th-century American composers
- 20th-century American male musicians
- 21st-century American male musicians