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Novecento e postmodernità nella critica musicale di Fedele d’Amico. Riflessioni sul metodo storiografico di un corso universitario

Raffaele Pozzi


The article examines a university course held in 1978 by the music critic Fedele d’Amico (Rome, 1912 - Rome, 1990) at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Rome La Sapienza. The course offers a reading of the twentieth century, through the analysis of the main movements and composers of the first half of the century, highlighting the historiographical method and the teacher’s critical positions. The historiographical method of Fedele d’Amico attempts to identify the dominant character of the twentieth century through a comparison with nineteenth-century music. This character resides, according to d’Amico, in the general tendency of 20th century composers to be «anti-nineteenth century», to mark the discontinuity with respect to the previous century. In the more radical experiences of modernity represented above all by expressionism, dodecaphony and the serial avant-garde of the Darmstadt mouvement, d’Amico underlines the destruction of the linguistic character of music which, according to him, is the foundation of understanding in musical listening. The author, emphasizing the reductionism of some of d’Amico’s statements, avoids a generic charge of conservatism by relating them to the crisis of modernism and to the spread, in the criticism of the arts during the seventies, of a new postmodern image of the twentieth century.


Composers of music; Fedele d’Amico; Historiographical method; Linguistic character of music; Music criticism

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2019-020-pozz


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi