Events Calendar

Music Graduate Colloquium: Daphne Tan

Friday, March 22, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Talbot College (TC)
Room: 101
graduate colloquium

Presented by Graduate Studies in Music, the Don Wright Faculty of Music Graduate Colloquium series includes lectures by distinguished guests, Western faculty members, and senior graduate students on all fields of research and creative activity in music.

Daphne Tan (University of Toronto)
“A Philosophy through Music?: Viktor Zuckerkandl on Heinrich Schenker”

Viktor Zuckerkandl (1896–1965) is best known for Sound and Symbol (2 vols., 1956, 1971), a project that was first received as “a music philosophy in reverse” (Carl Dahlhaus) and promoted as “a philosophy through music” (Princeton University Press blurb). Zuckerkandl’s assertions about musical experience—concerning time and space, memory, and repetition—have found their way into various contemporary writings in anthropology, neuroscience, ethnomusicology, and music theory. Yet a central aspect of Sound and Symbol and many of Zuckerkandl’s other works has been little discussed: the dissemination of Heinrich Schenker’s ideas. A highly regarded student of Schenker, Zuckerkandl emigrated to the United States around the time of the Austrian Anschluß. But while many of Schenker’s better-known émigré disciples taught aspiring professional musicians, Zuckerkandl taught generalists in the humanities and delivered lectures to experts in other fields. This paper examines his adaptation of specialized scholarship for a broad audience.

Drawing on unpublished archival materials alongside published sources, I’ll focus on Zuckerkandl’s music analyses of Beethoven’s opp. 57 and 26. These analyses are largely consistent with Schenker’s, but they emphasize the metaphysical foundations of the theory while downplaying its mechanics. Further, I’ll show that Zuckerkandl promotes Schenker’s theory as a tool for perceiving organic structure and for distinguishing “genius” from lesser talent. I explore how Zuckerkandl’s approach runs counter to the familiar narrative of Schenker’s “Americanization,” while perhaps offering a fuller understanding of the spirit behind Schenkerian technique. Finally, I’ll question whether Zuckerkandl’s project is exclusively philosophical after all.

All Colloquium series events take place on selected Fridays in Talbot College 101 at 3:30 pm. (unless otherwise noted). Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend!

For FAQ, parking and other useful patron information visit

End time approximate.

Audrey Yardley-Jones - Graduate Program Assistant
519-661-2111 ext. 85354
Event Type:

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software