The Three Lacanian Registers of Musical Performance

International Journal of Žižek Studies 11 (3) (2017)
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Of course, music performance has a long “artisanal” history. After all, the training of musicians to perform has been the mainstay of academies and conservatoria for centuries. But the discipline of music performance as part of an academic musicology is a much more recent invention. We argue that it arises some time in the 1960s, when scholars could begin to write comparative histories of performance and think difference choices as to performance style. Against the now sterile authentic/non-authentic, modern/post-modern debates that characterise contemporary music studies, we propose that the various approaches might be classified according to the three Lacanian registers of the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real. We put forward a certain “Real” at stake in performance, although it could never be the basis of any practice, musical manifesto or even properly belong to a history of music performance.



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Rex Butler
Monash University

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Écrits.Jacques Lacan - 1967 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 22 (1):96-97.
Themes in the Philosophy of Music.Stephen Davies - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Themes in the Philosophy of Music.Stephen Davies - 2004 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (4):397-399.

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