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Musiken, medierna och lagarna: Musikverkets idéhistoria och etablerandet av en idealistisk musiksyn
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art. (Musikvetenskap)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5809-3575
2017 (Swedish)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

According to the philosopher and music historian Lydia Goehr, a widespread view of the musical work as an object whose existence transcends both time and space was established at the turn from the 18th to the 19th century, a view Goehr claims is still valid today:

“most of us tend, like Ho mann, to see works as objecti ed expressions of composers that prior to compositional activity did not exist. We do not treat works as objects just made or put together, like tables or chairs, but as original, unique products of a special, creative activity. We assume, further, that the tonal, rhythmic, and instrumental prop- erties of works are constitutive of structurally integrated wholes that are symbolically represented by composers in scores. Once created, we treat works as existing a er their creators have died, and whether or not they are performed or listened to at any given time” (Goehr, 1992, 2).

Goehr claims further that this view of musical works gained support from the emerg- ing copyright laws of the time. In contrast to Goehr’s thesis, I claim that this view of music — which I choose to call an idealist view of music — which equates the musical work with a rei ed immaterial form, did not emanate until the second half of the 19th century. Whereas the abstract form of the individual work is conceptualized by writ- ers such as Hanslick and A. B. Marx (rather than by Ho mann, as Goehr claims), it is not until the emergence of the elementary communication model — sender (compos- er), message (work), receiver (listener) — that this abstract work becomes fully rei ed. is happens at the turn of the 20th century, as a result of telecommunication and the phonogram, i.e. approximately a hundred years later than Goehr would have us believe.

Why the “idealistic” work concept did not, indeed could not, be conceived before this time is shown in the historical overview that takes as its point of departure the ancient views on inspiration, form and work of Plato and Aristotle. Although form becomes an issue in music theory during the 17th century, the Aristotelian heritage favours universality before originality. Not until Aristotelianism gives way to a mod- ernized Platonism can an idealistic work, along the lines described by Goehr, be fully conceived. Curious as it may seem, the nal development of this “idealistic” work con- cept is largely a result of copyright legislation. e law, not the aesthetics or theory of music, has had the last word in the ontological issue of the musical work — if we agree that a nal word has been uttered yet, that is. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Möklinta, Sweden: Gidlunds förlag, 2017, 2 (reviderad). , p. 225
Keyword [sv]
Musikhistoria, mediehistoria, rättshistoria, medialisering, estetik, upphovsrätt, verk, geni, musikalisering
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64472ISBN: 978-91-7844-853-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64472DiVA: diva2:1176991
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council
Available from: 2018-01-24 Created: 2018-01-24 Last updated: 2018-01-25Bibliographically approved

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