Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction - download pdf or read online

By Arved Ashby

Recordings at the moment are the first method we pay attention classical track, specially the extra summary varieties of “absolute” instrumental song. during this unique, provocative ebook, Arved Ashby argues that recording know-how has reworked our realizing of artwork track. Contesting the laments of nostalgic critics, Ashby sees recordings as socially innovative and tools of a musical vernacular, but additionally reveals that recording and absolute track truly contain comparable notions of removal sound from context. he's taking inventory of technology's effect on classical track, addressing the questions on the middle of the problem. This erudite but concise research unearths how mechanical replica has reworked classical musical tradition and the very act of listening, breaking down aesthetic and generational limitations and combining classical song into the soundtrack of daily life.

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In other words, it has helped shape and define the sort of thing that music is. Bergson, James, and Rorty count as three theorists who emphasize creative intervention in reality, with senses oriented to present action and creation rather than representation and reproduction. But a specifically textual question arises when the discussion turns to mechanical reproduction: What impact do reproduction and mediation have on the shared meanings, the conveyed “messages,” Introduction / 23 that traditional aesthetics would place at the center of the musical experience?

And this is the reason that traditional institutions of concert art music have declined so markedly in the past several decades: not because recordings have simply displaced concerts, by virtue of their convenience and economy, but because they have brought music more into line with the—increasingly inclusive, ever more invasive—cinematic experience. In comparison with the inflexible concert, the malleable recording allows the listener to see more, fantasize more, and do more mental spatiotemporal roaming.

Listening is for him an arcadian pursuit, one that stands to be “refreshed” in our own time. We should conform to it as a moral example, not the other way around: “The energies of this music are still vital; its value is still inestimable. ”64 Kramer allows no middle ground: we can either connect with the old music on its own old conditions, or suffer its loss and confront the full and utter corruption of modern life; the possibility of Bach, Chopin, or Ravel meaning something to us here, now, and on fresh terms never seems to have occurred to him.

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Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction by Arved Ashby


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