Dissonância musical em Nietzsche e Adorno

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Universidade Federal de Goiás


We intend to investigate the role of musical dissonance in the philosophies of Nietzsche and Adorno, with special attention to the works The birth of tragedy and Philosophy of new music. Both philosophers witnessed a period of great radicalization in the use of dissonances in music, and both valued them, beyond their sonorous aspect, as privileged figures to the interpretation of existence. Despite the great distance from the young Nietzsche's conceptions to those of Adorno - roughly from a tragic and existential perspective in Nietzsche to a more psychosocial view in Adorno - it can be said that both, in their philosophies, attributed to dissonance the role of bearers of what is most desirable to man. For the Nietzsche of The birth of tragedy, dissonance, in both Wagner's Germany and tragic Greece, would enable the listener to sense the “superior pleasure” of his fusion with the totality of nature and, at the same time, to affirm the illusory character of permanence of the individuals. Thus, dissonances would condense the “monstrous alliance” between the dionysian and apollonian experiences, a co-presence pointed out as the most remarkable among the effects of the tragedy, which would have allowed the ancient Greeks to rise to the “splendid blend” of perfection. Not surprisingly, the work that Nietzsche elects as a role model for the resurrection of tragedies in modernity, for making that double stimulus of “tragic effect” possible again, is Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, whose unresolved dissonances opened the door to atonal music. And here we meet Theodor Adorno. In his Philosophy of new music, Adorno gives dissonance an expressly utopian meaning, albeit in a negative way: with the passage from free atonality to twelve-tone music, the expressive role previously reserved for dissonance becomes the principle of construction, but in that transition, says the philosopher, “its negativity remains true to utopia: it includes within itself the concealed consonance”. But while the predominance of such sonorities in “new music” opposed the ideological, false character of the harmonious appearance of total society, Adorno realizes that the increasing rigidity of the twelve-tone technique led to a gradual neutralization of that liberating capacity, proper to dissonance, to accommodate and keep as differentiated the individual sounds. Thus, because it was not immune to the most regressive trends in society, present for example in Stravinsky's music, even the most conscious music, represented by the Schoenberg School, could petrify and sink. To make a brief comparison between the conceptions of the two philosophers, we would venture to suggest that, if in the interpretation of the young Nietzsche dissonance entails an unlikely conjunction between illusion and truth, in that proposed by Adorno converge, in its turn, the real and the possible; if in Nietzsche such sonorous derangements also make the listener “sense” the pleasure of reintegrating into nature, in Adorno they would keep alive the promise of happiness, but also the painful awareness that such a promise is broken.



GOULART, Marcelo Tannus. Dissonância musical em Nietzsche e Adorno. 2019. 132 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Filosofia) - Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, 2019.