Discursive Power: On Canon, Language, and Music as Dispositif

Valentin Ris


This essay aims to interconnect the aspects of canon, cultural musicology, music and language with the systematic category of dispositif. In a short overview on the disciplinary canon debate, the essay describes the idea of a musical canon and questions its methodological status in musicology. The conclusion is that (aesthetic) value judgements are to be rejected as scientific (consequently rational or intersubjectively reasonable) selection criteria. The second argument draws on Lawrence Kramer’s notion of “constructive description”, which addresses the relation of music and language and helps in understanding the canon as a specific historical agency of different overlapping discourses. In order to outline an integrative ontology for the epistemological interest of cultural musicology, the last section synthesises these arguments in the Foucauldian idea of dispositif

Słowa kluczowe: cultural musicology, methodology, dispositif, ontology, canon

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