Comparing aspects of music historiography
In an attempt to understand the reactions of the New Musicologists to what they called “traditional” music historiography, I hereby narrate the evolution of music historiography (from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 21st century). It is argued that the problem of the new musicologists is how much they were themselves engrossed in German historiography of the 19th century, since the ideas to which they reacted (such as the perfection of a work of art, the cult of the great composer, the dominance of the stable repertoire on music education and music life) meet for the first time in German music historiography of the 19th century. Music historiography of previous centuries and non-German historiography of the 19th century have qualities that new musicology proposed for the renewal of Western music historiography. Indeed, music historiography of the 21st century has already placed the composer at the margins of history again, permitting to hypothesize that music historiography has completed a circle, and that speaking about the “end of music history” (after the end of history [Fukuyama] and the end of art [Danton]) is not incoherent talk.