On Musical Performance as Play

Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 23 (46) (2013)
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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to complete, and build on, the theories of a certain number of scholars, chiefly philosophers of previous generations, and a few eminent performers of classical music who all bring to the fore the essential link between music and play. Because of their impulse value and appealing character, tones and other elements of the performance could generate a playful attitude in the musicians. Play is understood as a reciprocal interaction with something that plays with the player: indeed, tones play with the musicians and, reciprocally, the musicians play with them. While engaging in a musical play, they draw on the remarkable creative abilities of their body, namely its spontaneity, sensibility, and “imaginative” anticipation. The satisfaction provided by the playful activity comes, in part, from the possibility of experiencing the body as a source of creative power and original performance

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Making Music Together: A Study in Social Relationship.Alfred Schütz - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.

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