Why Play the Notes? Indirect Aesthetic Normativity in Performance


Authors
Guy Rohrbaugh
Auburn University
Abstract
While all agree that score compliance in performance is valuable, the source of this value is unclear. Questions about what authenticity requires crowd out questions about our reasons to be compliant in the first place, perhaps because they seem trivial or uninteresting. I argue that such reasons cannot be understood as ordinary aesthetic, instrumental, epistemic, or moral reasons. Instead, we treat considerations of score compliance as having a kind of final value, one which requires further explanation. Taking as a model the Humean account of fidelity as an artificial virtue, I sketch a practice-theoretic account of the nature and source of such reasons, one on which we can say that they are, after all, aesthetic, but only indirectly so.
Keywords music  performance  authenticity  reasons  value  practice
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2019.1600563
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