File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1995/nietzsche_Nov9.95, message 11

Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 15:56:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Music, Nietzsche, Rhythm

On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Steven E. Callihan wrote:

> Which raises some interesting questions.  Is Nietzsche simply _the_
> elitist of elitists or a kind of "counter-elitist"?  How to account
> for his anti-authoritarianism?  Is subscribing to the Nietzsche
> mailing list really elitist, and are universities really elitist
> anymore?  Do you have to work in a sweatshop to legitimately turn your
> nose up at opera?  Wasn't one of Nietzsche's plaints that Wagner was
> using cheap tricks to appeal to the masses?  Isn't Wagner, in this
> sense, an "anti-elitist," which is another way of saying a "wannabe"?

Wagner was a "wannabe" in the sense that he craved massive amounts of 
popularity. I wouldn't say he was an intellectual "wannabe," considering 
that few intellectual historians deny that he achieved what he wanted: he 
was one of the greatest cultural figures of the 19th century. Whether you 
see that as a good or a bad thing is another story.

> Wasn't Wagner the first Warholian "mass-celebrity"?  And, in that
> sense, very much like a "pop star"?

Somewhat. How about Goethe, who inspired legions of fans to dress like him,
and even commit suicide Werther-like? Or Napoleon? 

> But, are not both opera and
> classical music "dead languages," not because no one is listening any
> more, but rather because no one is speaking?  Isn't its appeal
> primarily that it is fixed, unchanging, no longer evolving?  Dead? 

Have you heard of Penderecki? Schnittke? Zimmermann? Bernstein? Lutoslawski? 
Shostakovitch? Cage? Ligeti? Glass? JAZZ? 

> Is
> this not what "classical" means?

If you're referring to the "classical" era of music, then yes. Mozart was 
the last classical composer. But most people today use "classical" to 
refer to music played on the classical orchestral instruments, which is 
just as alive and well today as in Mozart's day. 

> Wasn't it in its own day simply
> music?  Is it anymore?

"Simply" music?

John Morgan, Research Secretary   "Poetry must be conceived as a violent  
The University of Michigan         attack on unknown forces, to reduce and
Alzheimer's Disease Research       prostrate them before man."
Center (MADRC)                            --F. T. Marinetti,                          Futurist Manifesto 1909

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