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Volume 12 • Number 2

Fall 2005



Beethoven and the Ut Pictura Poësis Tradition


by Stephen Rumph

Apparently, musicology is not the only discipline digging itself out from under German scholarship. Two decades ago a prominent scholar of the eighteenth century entered the following complaint:

We have been victims of a scholarly tradition that was created . . . by the nineteenth century. Our odd periodization stems from it; the eighteenth-century expert goes home at midnight at the end of the century before another expert takes over the next morning with a new mindset stocked with scholarly constructions about German romanticism and the fantasies of nineteenth-century academia. Our chief problem with the eighteenth century is still the nineteenth century.

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