What Is It to Compose a Musical Work?

Grazer Philosophische Studien 58 (1):203-221 (2000)
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The paper deals with the question whether musical works are created or discovered. In the preliminaries some ontological presuppositions concerning the nature of a musical work setting the stage for the whole debate and the Creationist and Platonist views are discussed. The psychological concepts of creation and discovery are distinguished from their ontological counterparts and it turns out that only the ontological ones are relevant in this context and that the Creationist arguments fail to prove the point in question. Finally it is argued that there is not necessaryly a conflict between the positions of the creationist and the Platonist, if they are construed in an appropriate way. The Creationist view that to compose is to create and the Platonist that to compose is to discover are compatible, at least if creation is understood in a quite natural and common sense way.

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Maria Elisabeth Reicher
Aachen University of Technology

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References found in this work

The creation problem.Harry Deutsch - 1991 - Topoi 10 (2):209-225.
The ontological status of the esthetic object.Richard Rudner - 1949 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 10 (3):380-388.
Discovery and creation in music.Donald Walhout - 1986 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 45 (2):193-195.

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