CRITICAL THEORY / CRITICAL MUSIC? A discussion of Charles Ives

Late March, professor STEPHEN BLUM joins CRITICAL THEORY AND THE ARTS and ROBERT HULLOT-KENTOR, the program chair, to discuss the thesis that there is a form of critical theory implicit in the music of Charles Ives. The focus will be Ives’ “Concord Sonata,” (1915/1947), often referred to as “perhaps the most important composition of any American.” Can there in fact be a theory—a critical theory—of society implicit in music? Professor Blum has been teaching the work of Ives at different moments in his career over several decades and early in his career, performed both Ives’ first and second sonatas. Professor Blum’s contemporary specialization as an ethnomusicologist is Iranian music.