The Negation of a Negation Fixed in a Form: Luigi Nono and the Italian Counter-culture 1964–1979

Timothy S. Murphy


My goal in what follows is to trace the role of avant-garde music in the rise and development of the Italian counter-culture from the early 1960s until its destruction at the end of the 1970s. Instead of approaching this issue along quantitative, sociological lines, I will focus on one figure whose simultaneous engagement with musical innovation and sociopolitical revolution was exemplary in its intent (though exceptional in its extent): the avant-garde composer Luigi Nono, whose career parallels the rise of the Italian counter-culture during the 1960s and early 1970s. I will also briefly examine how the forcible destruction of the Italian counter-culture in 1979 is reflected in the last phase of Nono’s musical career.


counter-culture; Italy; 1968; 1970s; avante-garde; music; sociopolitical revolution; Luigi Nono

Full Text: