Radical openness: Chord symbols, musical abstraction and modernism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article traces the emergence of the chord symbol in twentieth century musical notation, and discusses its significance both for musical aesthetics and for the development of new musical practices. Using Adorno as a reference point, Abel argues that despite being a product of a reified and conservative conception of musical language, the abstraction involved in the chord symbol has provided the basis for radically new forms of music-making which indicate ways in which the individualistic and hierarchical priorities of the Western art-music tradition might be overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalRadical Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Radical openness: Chord symbols, musical abstraction and modernism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this