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Kognisjon og musikk i grammofonplatelytterens perspektiv
As part of my study of gramophone recordings of Grieg's opus 5 no.3, I describe four stages in the process of music cognition. I point out that sonority is the most immediate impression of any sound, and therefore, most theories on musical cognition go in the wrong direction by using the music score as the ultimate argument in discussions on the interpretation and performance of music. I find Bourdieu's analysis of the three classes in society appropriate, but his characterisations of the petit-bourgeois listener have not taken into account the gramophone records free distribution across social boundaries. It is the number of expressive qualities in a performance that has opened for the diversity of interpretations. In that perspective, the musical work becomes a social construction based on three personalities; the composer, the performer and the listener. For the record listener, the performer comes in front and the tradition «how to perform Jeg elsker Dig!» develops as a combination of renewal of technology and an omission of the score, but not necessarily of the music.
Keywords: Music notation (and) cognition, gramophone records (and) listeners approach
Skriftlighetens vekst og fall i klassisk musikk
In the early Christian church, the spelling of the Word was essential, and this also contributed to making the literacy of music an important element in identifying and structuring Christian societies. Bringing literacy to music had several consequences, in particular the separation of the creator (composer) from the performer (musician). In the Age of Enlightenment, the idea of music as a work of art distinguished the performance from the work. This idea triggered literacy in music where the musical notation became only one of several written sources of knowledge that could contribute to the understanding of music, its works and performances. The reliability of the performance in classical music has become connected to the performers interpretation of the musical score and the literacy of that music. The validity of the performance was connected to the context of the performance. In contemporary (and commercial) language classical music is often identified with its strong connection between specialized social contexts and the literacy of this tradition. The fall of literacy in classical music is partly due to the dominant factor of the gramophone record on musical life in the 20th century. This has caused a new relationship between the music, the performer and the listener. The dissemination of classical music can now transcend the traditional links between musical content and its social context (arenas and status). The importance of the com-poser is reduced, while the performers role and the importance of expressive qualities in the performance are enhanced.
Keywords: Musical literacy, context, classical music, gramophone
Listening to 210 recordings of Grieg's opus 5 no. 3 from 1899-2005, I have selected a small section of the song (bars 10-16), and analysed the singer's choice of expressions of intensity or intimacy. Intensity is defined as a quality where the potentiality of the expression is linked with general, congeneric elements (signs, symbols, gestures). Intimacy is defined as a quality where the actuality of the expression is linked with the performer and the moment of performance. From 1926 a new kind of singer emerged: the gramophone artist using the microphone as his/her main expression tool resulting in intimacy, mostly by performing regular text rhythms in an irregular way (parlando). The concert hall singer did not change his/her style of singing, taking advantage of the studio until the beginning of the 1950s. The tendency of tidying up performances towards more literary correct performances is documented in these recordings up to 1975. Then the intimacy of parlando again becomes the main expression in this section.
Keywords: Gramophone records, intimacy, intensity, parlando, soundscape
På kant med Kant - Et bekjennende essay
Kant can't always be right. There are some aspects of Kant's philosophy that make him unsuitable for the understanding of a musical experience. His contribution to aesthetic theory is developed in the Critique of Judgement (1790), where he investigates the possibility and logical status of "judgements of taste". In this essay, I argue that his exploration of the inherent limits of our knowledge through philosophical reasoning seems to impede an understanding of the musical experience. This experience is a combination of ontological and epistemological procedures that precede a theory in music aesthetics. Taking a connectionist perspective, it seems impossible to isolate the aesthetic judgement from its embodiment. This embodiment makes it necessary to accept an epistemic dimension ahead of every aesthetic judgement. This epistemic dimension is a combination of subjective experiences and the subject's cultural knowledge. Using Kant's theory in music aesthetics might therefore reduce our understanding of the listener's approach to a musical experience.
- Music experience
- aesthetic theory
- Critique of Judgement