Critiquing Oneself Back into Business?

Post-Factual Narcissism in Musicology

  • Wolfgang Marx University College Dublin
Keywords: critical musicology, historical musicology, age of post-truth, moral relativism


This essay investigates what I regard as the two main challenges for historical musicology today: where it might be heading in the age of post-critical musicology and how it should react to the age of post-truth whose perceptual and moral relativism paired with its a priori rejection of expertise represents a fundamental challenge to all academic pursuits – a challenge so serious that it needs to be addressed by musicology as much as by all other disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Juxtaposing critical musicology and what many call “the music itself” I will undertake this discussion following the structure of the most dialectical of all musical forms, the sonata form – albeit with the proviso that the resulting synthesis cannot consist of the tonic asserting its primacy at the expense of the dominant; there will have to be a more equitable outcome.

How to Cite
Marx, W. (2024). Critiquing Oneself Back into Business? Post-Factual Narcissism in Musicology. European Journal of Musicology, 22(1), 1–14.