Locating beauty in modernism: the concepts of beauty and value in modernist music and art

Chiang, Joanna (2015) Locating beauty in modernism: the concepts of beauty and value in modernist music and art. MMus(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation explores the concepts of beauty and value - particularly aesthetic value - with special attention paid to beauty in relation to modernism and modernist music. Although beauty is, generally speaking, not often regarded as an important aspect of modernism, I hope to show that this is a misconception, and that beauty can in fact be located within modernist music and art. Beauty, I believe, is not a physical quality which can be objectively assessed but is instead subjective, and only ever present within experience and the relationship of subject and object. This distinction between the two main points of view regarding beauty is something that I will address within the course of this thesis. I will question whether or not the subjective/objective divide hinders the recognition of beauty in modernism, and shall consider whether or not these two opposing views are equally valid and, if so, how they might be combined. Furthermore, the relevance and significance of aesthetic value – the value of l’art pour l’art – can at times be called into question due to the fact that l’art pour l’art is, by definition, not a means to any end and is therefore ‘quite useless’.1 I will discuss the idea of art for art’s sake, in addition to considering other ways in which art may be valued. Finally, I will turn to modernism itself and consider why many people find it so difficult to locate beauty in modernism Beauty is a concept which has occupied philosophers and thinkers for centuries and, as this is the case, I have selected the works of only a few key figures to refer to. Ideas about beauty have changed and evolved over time therefore I have chosen to take a broad approach when selecting readings in an attempt to show the wide range of ideas about beauty. The philosophers I have selected span from Plato up until the present day, and show the breadth of the discussion of beauty.

Item Type: Thesis (MMus(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: beauty, modernism, music, modernist music, aesthetics
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Moreda Rodriguez, Dr. Eva
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss J Chiang
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6523
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 10:03
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2015 12:54
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6523

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