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Music and art week 2

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  • 1. Department for Continuing Education Music and Art Marilou Polymeropoulou marilou.polymeropoulou@music.ox.ac.uk Week 2 - The work of art pt. 1 http://musicandartoxford.wordpress.com/Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 2. “To see something as art requires something the eye cannot decry - an atmosphere of artistic theory, a knowledge of the history of art: an artworld” A. Danto (in Frith 2002:249) “To grasp the meaning of music is to hear something not simply present to the ear. It is to understand a musical culture, to have a scheme of interpretation” S. Frith (ibid)Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 3. Developing an evaluation methodology • Issue: diverse aesthetic theories • 1. Structuring an analysis model using ontology (description) • II. Applying sociocultural extensions (context) • III. EvaluationWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 4. Previously • Aristotle’s ontology • Definition of art • Introduction to aestheticsWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 5. The work of art pt.1 • On listening: the art of music and sound • What is music? • Music aesthetics • The evaluation and appreciation of musicWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 6. • Hearing is spherical, vision is directional • Hearing immerses its subject, vision offers a perspective • Sounds come to us, but vision travels to its object • Hearing places us inside an event, seeing gives us a perspective on the event • Hearing is a sense that immerses us in the world, vision is a sense that removes us from it Jonathan Sterne, 2003, Cultural Theory of the sensesWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 7. “Music may be what we think it is; it may not be. Music may be feeling or sensuality, but it may also have nothing to do with emotion or physical sensation. Music may be that to which some dance or pray or make love; but it’s not necessarily the case. In some cultures there are complex categories for thinking about music; in others there seems to be no need whatsoever to contemplate music. What music is remains open to question at all times and in all places. This being the case, any metaphysics of music must perform and cordon off the rest of the world from a privileged time and place, a time and place thought to be one’s own. Thinking - or even rethinking - music, it follows, is at base an attempt to claim and control music as one’s own.” Philip V. BohlmanWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 8. Music in the sciences • Acoustics: Sound waves perceived (mainly) by humans, frequencies • Architecture: space and acoustics • Computer science: music-making software, programming languages • Mathematics: music as structures, forms and patterns • Neuroscience: effect of music on human brain • Anthropology: music as culture • Sociology: sounds that are experienced as music by certain societies • Economics: music industry, mass-production, business strategiesWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 9. Music in the arts and humanities • History and archaeology: functional music, artifacts, historical musicology • Education: music as a learning tool • Media and communications: cultural studies, broadcasting, critical theory • Linguistics: music as a language • Literature: hybridity of music • Law: intellectual property, copyright • Philosophy: aesthetic theories, what is music?Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 10. Brief music history • Ancient: social activity, ceremonial, “functional”. Seikilos Epitaph oldest musical example • Early/medieval: liturgical, sacred music, flourished in Church. Oral tradition/songs of trobadours, trouveres and minnesaenger. Forms (motet, conductus, discantus, ballade, rondeau) • Renaissance: polyphony. Counterpoint, Palestrina, German chorales, organ music, modal and tonal music • Baroque: Improvisation. Well temperament. • Classical: Vocal music. Sonata, symphony, concerto • Romantic: orchestra. Expressions and emotions. Construction of national musics. • 20th century music: modern, postmodern, experiments with tonality and forms, atonality, jazz, noise, minimalism, serialism, electronic music, folk, pop, rock, bluegrass, blues, disco, funk etcWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 11. Ancient Greek pottery, Music LessonWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 12. St. John’s hymn 8th Century Naming the notesWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 13. Jan Miense Molenaer, Family portrait 1635Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 14. U2, 2011Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 15. Importance of technology • Musical instruments • Performance practices • Printing • Recording • ReproducingWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 16. Music aesthetics • 18th century: theories of beautiful, sublime, and genius. Kant’s criticism on music: beautiful but trivial • “The astonishment, amounting almost to terror [Fear], the awe and sacred thrill [Happiness] of devout feeling, that takes hold of one when gazing upon the prospect of mountains ascending to heaven, deep ravines and torrents raging [Anger] there, deep-shadowed solitudes that invite to brooding melancholy [Sadness], and the like - all this, when we are assured of our own safety, is not actual fear. Rather is it an attempt to gain access to it through imagination, for the purpose of feeling the might of this faculty in combining the movement of the mind thereby aroused with its serenity [Tenderness], and of thus as the latter can have any bearing upon our feeling of well-being. (Kant [1790] 1989, pp. 120-1) the sublime as a constellationWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 17. Musical sublime • Burke: beauty is a matter of straightforward pleasure. Sublimity: ambivalent appreciation, pleasure related to fear • Interpretation of Kant’s aesthetic theory as musical aesthetics • Beethoven, Hoffmann wrote, is the “sublimest” of composers: his music “induces terror, fright, horror and pain.” It “awakens that endless longing which is the essence of romanticism,” “opens the realm of the colossal and immeasurable,” and “leads the listener away into the wonderful spiritual realm of the infinite.”Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 18. Musical aesthetics • 19th century: expression of ideas, images, emotions, situations. • Schopenhauer’s criticism on music as the greatest art: has the capacity to represent the metaphysical organisation of reality. • Direct expression of emotions/moods/ feelings (Tolstoy’s communication theory) • Hanslick: music related to its representational function (formalism).Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 19. Aesthetic theories of the Romantic era Formalists Anti-formalists (Wagner) (Hanslick) musical form as means to appreciation of other artistic ends. musical form/design Historical determinismWednesday, 25 January 2012
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  • 22. Musical aesthetics • 20th century: Modernism, music autonomy, higher and lower music, post modernism • Stravinsky: the composer’s apprehension of forms. No meanings in music, rather, looking for them = distraction from the musical experience • Babbitt: only specialists understand contemporary music • Adorno: high+low division dependent on mass-production. Criticism on culture industry • Kivy: analytic philosophy centering on the nature of emotional expressiveness in music. Authenticity in performance. • DeNora, Demers: social effects of music, cultural aesthetics of noiseWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 23. • ExamplesWednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 24. Cultural listening • Music as culture • Listening as performance: from concert halls to iPod • The artwork context (Danto) • Composer’s statement of intentions • Perception: social effect of music (often not related to the composer’s intentions)Wednesday, 25 January 2012
  • 25. Evaluation Starting point: repeated listening 1. Sociocultural context 2. Composer’s intention 3. Genre 4. Form 5. Performance 6. Medium 7. Social perception 8. Expression of ideas/concepts 9. Emotions - depending on the sociocultural context/ composer’s intentions 10. compositional techniquesWednesday, 25 January 2012

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