Surrealist Music

Surrealist music is music which uses unexpected juxtapositions and other surrealist techniques. Discussing Theodor Adorno, Max Paddison (1993, 90) defines surrealist music as that which "juxtaposes its historically devalued fragments in a montage-like manner which enables them to yield up new meanings within a new aesthetic unity," though Lloyd Whitesell says this is Paddison's gloss of the term (Whitesell 2004, 118). Anne LeBaron (2002, 27) cites automatism, including improvisation, and collage as the primary techniques of musical surrealism. According to Whitesell, Paddison quotes Adorno's 1930 essay "Reaktion und Fortschritt" as saying "Insofar as surrealist composing makes use of devalued means, it uses these as devalued means, and wins its form from the 'scandal' produced when the dead suddenly spring up among the living" (Whitesell 2004, 107 and 118n18).

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Early Surrealist Music
... In the 1920s several composers were influenced by surrealism, or by individuals in the surrealist movement ... to coin the term surrealism, and George Antheil who wrote that, "The Surrealist movement had, from the very beginning, been my friend ... In one of its manifestos it had been declared that all music was unbearable—excepting, possibly, mine—a beautiful and appreciated condescension" (LeBaron 2002, 30–31) ...

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