Impurely Musical Make-Believe

In Alexander Bareis & Lene Nordrum (eds.), How to Make-Believe: The Fictional Truths of the Representational Arts. De Gruyter. pp. 283-306 (2015)
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In this study we offer a new way of applying Kendall Walton’s theory of make-believe to musical experiences in terms of psychologically inhibited games of make-believe, which Walton attributes chiefly to ornamental representations. Reading Walton’s theory somewhat against the grain, and supplementing our discussion with a set of instructive examples, we argue that there is clear theoretical gain in explaining certain important aspects of composition and performance in terms of psychologically inhibited games of make-believe consisting of two interlaced game-worlds. Such complex games can accommodate a continuous rich spectrum of congruent modes of listening, which broaches both the formalist-type and the narrativist-type. We conclude that this sort of oblique reading of Walton’s original theory actually complements and completes Walton’s recent theoretic angle concerning thoughtwriting in music by way of affording it with a suitable conception for a mechanism of appropriation for music.
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