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Avior Byron will present a paper on Bronislaw Huberman in the 2010 'The Embodiment of Authority' Conference at Helsinki, Finland.   


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Avior Byron

My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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A response to Lady R: am I really monologic?

Lady R (who wishes at the time being, not to reveal her real identity) wrote: “I enjoy reading all your arguments (with some of which I also agree, but not with the ‘monologic’ tone…) […] you tend to suggest that there is one correct way, which is the so called “new” one. I do agree with you that there is a lot to correct and improve, but that - in addition to the “old” ones, not instead (you should be in a dialogue with the others). Anyhow, it’s good that you steer the minds a little…”

Dear lady R,
Thank you for your comment. I am glad to steer the minds a little. I hope that also other will contribute comments to my posts and to the comments of others, so that a discussion will move forward. I am glad that many people decided to subscribe to my blog. However, I hope to convert more people to be active participators and not just passive readers. I think that the internet gives all of us a precious stage which could contribute to everyone – no matter what your opinions are.

We both know and respect each other for sometime now and we are interested in many similar things. As you know from reading some of my publications, the tone that I use there is different than the one that I use in the blog. The way I see blog writing, is that one can afford to express oneself in a more provocative manner than in an article. A blog is like a diary. One is not expected to be as “politically correct” as in formal publications. My aim is my several last posts, was to question the way Israeli musicologists think about their goals and methods.

What should we write? There can be several answers to this question and mine is not necessarily the right one. I have attacked Schenkerian research although my one PhD supervisor (Prof. John Rink) and one of my PhD examiners (Prof. Jonathan Dunsby) are highly influenced by Schenker’s work. It is a pity that the young Schenkerians in Israel did not respond to my posts. Perhaps they agree with every word… (-; Perhaps they are simply scared or are unable to debate issues of methods publicly. There are up-to-date research methods that are influenced by Schenker. Why no one came to defend them? It seems to me that this is a symptom to the sleepiness in our local quarters.

I do not think that “there is one correct way, which is the so called ‘new’ one” (although I must admit that Prof. Dalia Cohen too, suggested that I am monologic (she did not use this exact term) on our phone call). There are many ways. Yet we should be careful from cheap relativism. Not all ways are equal and they do not all lead to Rome. Some lead to Jerusalem and some lead to boring results. This is way I insist that the most important question is “what are our goals?” After one knows that, one can think about how to get there. The call for papers does not reflect a concern with this question. Perhaps I am wrong and we will see a live discussion on this matter in the forthcoming conference.

If books in Hebrew are supposed to make a lasting effect on Israeli culture than they should be present in the book shops and they should be up-to-date as in other fields.

Don’t forget to vote in the poll on the left side and subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the upper-right form. Is Byron “monologic”? Please feel free to comment on this issue.

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