Weber's great story, as is well known, the master narrative into which the content of virtually all the research he ever did was reorganized, is that of the emergence of rationalization-so that it is not surprising to find western music described as one of the peculiar, forced products of this strange new influence (which Weber liked to derive from the rational enclave of monastic life in the Middle Ages). Elsewhere in the same essay he speaks of the "material, technical, social and psychological conditions" for a new style or art or medium; and it is obvious in the passage quoted above that the play of "overdetermination" between these conditions is complex indeed: material influences include, for example, the whole history of technology (and in particular the invention and production of musical instruments). What Weber calls the "technical" factor surely involves script or notation, a matter that in music goes well beyond a simple transcription of sounds and whose categories (tones, keys, etc.) will themselves generate and direct musical innovation. Meanwhile, the social realm, through the space of performance itself, simultaneously forms the public for music and its players alike; whereas the "psychological" confronts us with the whole vexed question of content and of ideology, and indeed ultimately the very problem of value that Weber's own historical analyses are explicitly concerned to suspend or to bracket. Weber notes, for instance, the association of "chromatics" with "passion," but adds: "It was not in the artistic urge to expression, but in the technical means a/expression, that the difference lay between this ancient music and the chromatics which the great musical experimenters of the Renaissance created in their turbulent rational quest for new discoveries, and there with for the ability to give musical shape to ·passion.' "3 In Weber's brief remarks, it would seem that the word passion is meant to name a specific and
historically original new form of psychological experience, so that the vocation of the newer music to express it is not, for Weber, a sign of value, but simply
an item or feature necessary to complete the historical description.

Value here becomes relativized according to the familiar patterns of historicism;
and the value of music is then revealed when a larger, totalizing historical reconstruction of this kind allows us to read it as a fundamental expression of this or that basic cultural type. (It is not of any particular significance in the present
context that Spengler also includes an ideological evaluation of those cultural
types, the Faustian temporal dynamism of the West-including music above
all!-being clearly for him "superior" to the spatial and Apollonian mode of
Greek culture.)

The Frankfurt School, and most notably Adorno himself, sought escape from
this kind of relativism by appealing to a Hegelian conception of aesthetic or formal self-consciousness. The utopian principle of value for these writers lies in
freedom itself and in the conception of music as "the enemy of fate." Yet
Adorno's other principle of evaluation is that of technical mastery, in which the
superiority of a Schoenberg over a Hindemith, say, or a Sibelius, lies in the former's will to draw the last objective consequences from the historical state in
which he found his own raw materials. These two principles, however, are capable, at certain moments in history, of entering into contradiction with one
another, and not least, for Adorno, in the supreme moment of the achievement
of the twelve-tone system itself:

"This technique ... approaches the ideal of mastery as domination,
the infinity of which resides in the fact that nothing heteronomous
remains which is not absorbed into the continuum of the technique. It
is, however, the suppressing moment in the domination of nature, which suddenly turns against subjective autonomy and freedom itself, in the name of which this domination found its fulfillment."