Faculty Chat: Music, Form, and Criticism

Is musical criticism the mere expression of personal opinion, or can judgments be meaningfully made about a work’s goodness or badness (both as a piece of music and as a cultural object)? In a recent Faculty Chat, core faculty members Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Rebecca Ariel Porte sat down to discuss music, form, and the possibilities of criticism, engaging particularly with the musical writings of Theodor Adorno. On what grounds can a musical work be judged? Are form and the unique work separable from the cultural conditions of their creation? Can Benny Goodman and his “swinging” take on the classics be redeemed? After a musical prelude, the conversation starts in earnest at 0:54.