A Musical Photograph?

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (1):115-127 (2012)
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We compare William Henry Fox Talbot’s 1835 photographic negative 'Latticed Window (with the Camera Obscura) August 1835' with Richard Beaudoin’s 2009 solo piano work 'Étude d’un Prélude VII -- Latticed Window'. We claim that the score of Beaudoin’s work is a musical photograph of a performance of another musical work, and support the claim by describing their respective photographic and compositional processes, emphasizing the uniqueness of this score in being mechanically counterfactually dependent on its target (a recording of a Chopin prelude performed by Martha Argerich). We then compare Beaudoin’s score with other possible musical photographs, including musical recordings, sonic spectrographs, ordinary musical transcriptions, and typical musical scores. Finally, we consider an argument based on the transparency of photographs.



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Andrew Kania
Trinity University

References found in this work

Definition.Kania Andrew - 2011 - In Theodore Gracyk & Andrew Kania (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 3-13.
Musical recordings.Andrew Kania - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):22-38.
Photography.Nigel Warburton - 2003 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.
What Is a Temporal Art?Jerrold Levinson & Philip Alperson - 1991 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 16 (1):439-450.

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