1st International Congress of Musicology

Athens Goethe Institute, 25-27 February 2002

Paper Abstracts

Panos Vlagopoulos

Empathy and Individuality: Value Judgements and Analytical Choices in the Historiography of Early Music

By comparing two paradigmatically different approaches to the music of Machaut – an early nineteenth century (Perne) and a modern one (Fuller) – the dominance of an implicit value frame in New Musicology is being assessed, a frame which can be described with the help of the historicist notions of empathy and individuality. The central symptom of this is the fact that the dialogue with a text is modelled on the dialogue with another person (“Otherness”). The author proposes the abandonment of the person metaphor in the understanding of our dialogue with a text, as well as a fresh approach to the hermeneutic circle based on the acceptance of the constitutive asymmetry in the text – interpreter relation, always on behalf of the latter.

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