Alexander Rehding. 2009. Music and Monumentality: Commemoration and Wonderment in Nineteenth-Century Germany. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Kim, Ji Young

Music and Monumentality remains a thought-provoking book that traverses familiar territory with a fresh perspective. Rehding's project is at once modest and ambitious: modest in that it makes no claims to comprehensiveness, ambitious in the scope and gravity of the questions raised. The result is that its treatment of the material is not always commensurate to the magnitude of the issues at stake. Nevertheless, the book stands as a laudable attempt to capture the contingency of historical phenomena. Both the concept of monumentality and the objects that sustain it are embedded in an intricate web of relationships that cannot be easily disentangled. Put another way, Music and Monumentality stands as an eloquent symptom of the early twenty-first -century condition: a disturbed, fragmented collective memory that may only apprehend the nineteenth century as a collection of souvenirs



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Columbia University
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March 23, 2015