New PDF release: Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

By Arved Ashby

Recordings are actually the first means we pay attention classical track, specifically the extra summary varieties of “absolute” instrumental song. during this unique, provocative ebook, Arved Ashby argues that recording know-how has reworked our figuring out of artwork song. Contesting the laments of nostalgic critics, Ashby sees recordings as socially innovative and tools of a musical vernacular, but additionally unearths that recording and absolute track truly contain comparable notions of elimination sound from context. he's taking inventory of technology's impression on classical song, addressing the questions on the center of the problem. This erudite but concise learn finds how mechanical copy has reworked classical musical tradition and the very act of listening, breaking down aesthetic and generational limitations and combining classical tune into the soundtrack of daily life.

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If these thoughts get us a bit closer to understanding musical performance, the even more vexing questions remain: Just what is a recording, and what is its relationship to the performance it contains? Is it a transparent vehicle, or a medium that recontextualizes or even transforms performance? Does it work for or against performers’ concerns, or is it a neutral conduit for interpretive thought? In the next chapter, we will address the fate of a performance’s “necessary otherness” when that particular foreignness can be repeated—and therefore familiarized—ad infinitum.

Here Heidegger uses the term 16 / Introduction “bringing-forth” in the sense of the Greek techne and poiesis. ”44 The main hazard with technology is overlooking technology itself or its pervasiveness. ”45 The Heideggerian notion of technological “bringing-forth” helps our phonographic inquiry on several fronts. First, it shows the congruencies between art music performance and technology, broadly defined: for aesthetician Nelson Goodman, the art music performer “brings” the musical work “forth” into the real world from its Platonic essence.

Printed music scores have been subject to the same thinking, of course, but—to return to a persistent theme of this book—they have ceded more and more of that cultural and textual authority, more and more of that “biblicality,” to recordings. For Western societies, the Bible has served as the original and paradigmatic text—at least since the advent of Protestantism, the disappearance of an interceding glossa ordinaria, and the institutionalization of a vernacular. The first circumscribed and self-standing system of meaning after antiquity that demanded to be widely read in Europe, it served as a model for all later ideas of textual analysis and became the basis for the theories of interpretation called hermeneutics.

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