Notes for a phenomenology of musical performance

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In recognizing the wide range of sensuous perception and at the same time the originary capacity of aesthetic experience, Mikel Dufrenne has shown us the rich capabilities of phenomenology. It is in that spirit that this essay explores musical performance. Music is a multiple art. Its many traditions, forms, genres, and styles, its large variety of instruments and sounds, and its diverse uses and occasions make it difficult to speak of music as a single art form. There are, nonetheless, certain common characteristics that all musics share in the ordering of successive sounds and silences in movement, pattern, and studied length. And, of course, these sounds and silences must be devised and generated, usually by a person but increasingly by other means, especially electronic. Finally, music has its contexts, the particular occasions when it is produced and heard. Perhaps there is indeed a generic musical art, a common ground where all these disparities come together.
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Archival date: 2017-08-10
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