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Sound CommitmentsAvant-Garde Music and the Sixties$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336641.001.0001

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Aesthetic Theories and Revolutionary Practice

Aesthetic Theories and Revolutionary Practice

Nikolaus A. Huber and Clytus Gottwald in Dissent

(p.78) 4 Aesthetic Theories and Revolutionary Practice
Sound Commitments

Beate Kutschke

Oxford University Press

The West‐German avant‐garde music scene of the early 1970s—the period in which the spirit of the New Left manifested itself most intensively in the musical field—was especially marked by the numerous discussions and debates about the nature of political music, its perfection and failures, conducted by musicians and music writers with endless energy and engagement. This chapter throws light on one of these debates: the argument between Nikolaus A. Huber and Clytus Gottwald in 1971–72 about Huber's composition Harakiri. It investigates the terms of the debate, firstly with regard to the musical facts—and in particular a comparison made at the time between Huber's Harakiri and Hans Otte's contemporary piece, Zero—and secondly with regard to the ideas of Theodor W. Adorno, who provided the New Leftist avant‐gardists with politico‐aesthetical ideas.

Keywords:   Nikolaus A. Huber, Clytus Gottwald, Hans Otte, Theodor W. Adorno, political music, New Left, 1970s, avant‐garde music

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