Download The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue: A Phenomenology of by Bruce Ellis Benson PDF

By Bruce Ellis Benson

While so much books at the philosophy of tune specialise in the construction and copy of tune, Bruce Benson's crisis is the phenomenology of song making as an task. He bargains an intensive thesis that improvization is of basic significance in the interim of tune making. The e-book brings jointly quite a lot of musical examples from classical track, jazz, early song and different genres. Incorporating analytic and continental philosophy, musicology and performance-practice matters, it's a provocative learn for philosophers of artwork and musicologists. It additionally appeals to normal readers; specifically those that practice.

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There are two important features to this (misguided) view of improvisation. ”44 In effect, it is a kind of “composing” done on the spot. Theoretically, we might be able to distinguish the “composition” of improvisation as the act of designating or selecting particular musical features and the “performance” of improvisation as the actual putting into sound of those features. However, practically, the distinction between the two is hardly clear. Since the composing and performing – the selecting and playing – occur simultaneously (or nearly so), it seems hard to say that the performance of these features in no way affects the selection of them (or vice versa).

But, if pieces of music can be described at least partially in terms of “intentions” on the part of a composer, how does the emergence of these intentions actually take place? Whereas for a philosopher or mathematician we would assume that it occurs in a moment of understanding, for a composer we tend to think of it in terms of inspiration. And there is good reason why we think in such terms. Not only has inspiration been a central romantic ideal but also two of our most revered composers appear to have spoken of their own composing in such terms.

To the extent that a creation goes beyond the rules and so is an “original,” it has nothing to fall back on for explanation. It can only point to the new rules that it has indirectly created. Or so goes Kant’s essentially romantic explanation. On the other hand, this account of creation is, for Kant, in strong contrast to his account of discovery. 10 8 9 10 Ibid. 175 [§46]. What to Listen for in Music 23. Critique of Judgment 176–7 [§47]. 38 From Ursprung to Fassung letzter Hand Unlike a poet or composer, Newton was able to explain his discoveries well enough that others could understand how he arrived at them.

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