Living the Work: Meditations on a Lark

Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (1):89-106 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


It is widely assumed that there is a blanket norm requiring the performer to present the work “in the best light possible,” and that the performer “make the ends of the work his own” or “live the work” in performance. Through careful consideration of a particular performance, I suggest that this is an inadequate conception of a performer’s obligations. I argue that the form of identification between performer and work commonly propounded by philosophers, musicologists, music teachers, and performers alike is illuminated by what I take to be an exemplary metaphor deployed by Roger Scruton: the life in music. The problems with requiring a performer to identify with and affirm a work are made vivid by careful consideration of the requirements of “living the work,” or understanding the “life in tones.” I argue that this call for identification and affirmation ultimately denies the performer the capacity for critical interpretation and amounts either to a denial of modernity or to a desire to step behind it.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,503

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Foucault’s Cartesian Meditations.Edward F. Mcgushin - 2005 - International Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):41-59.
The Meditations and the Ancient Art of Living.John Sellars - 2012 - In Marcel van Ackeren (ed.), A Companion to Marcus Aurelius. Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 453-464.
Descartes' Meditations: A Critical Guide.Karen Detlefsen (ed.) - 2012 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The Cambridge Companion to Descartes’ Meditations.David Cunning (ed.) - 2014 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations, Books 1-6.Christopher Gill (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
The Lark and the Tortoise.Joseph Agassi - 1989 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 19 (1):89-94.


Added to PP

93 (#134,647)

6 months
2 (#302,601)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jonathan A. Neufeld
College of Charleston

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references