The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?

The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?

The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?

The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?

Excerpt

Symposium. Skipping over the first definition of the word in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which is ‘a drinking-party’, one soon arrives at this meaning: ‘a meeting or conference for discussion of some subject’. In fact, a typical symposium occupies an intermediate position between what one commonly understands by a ‘meeting’ and a ‘conference’. More ambitious (but also more focused) than the first, less grand (but also less diffuse) than the second, it is an ideal kind of event for the cash-strapped university of today.

The idea of holding a series of Liverpool Music Symposia arose from the coexistence, at this university, of two academic units, the Department of Music and the Institute of Popular Music, which cooperate happily enough in the sphere of undergraduate teaching but rarely find the opportunity to come into direct contact within the scholarly arena. To talk of ‘breaking down barriers’ is unnecessarily melodramatic. What is needed, rather, is a chance to knock ideas about in a common forum and, by so doing, to reach a clearer understanding of both the similarities and the contrasts that exist between the various musical traditions. It is also useful for students of so-called classical music to learn of (and, if appropriate, adopt or adapt) the concepts and terminology of modern popular music studies, just as the reverse must equally be true.

The theme of the first symposium suggested itself almost by chance. Having read Lydia Goehr's recent book The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music, I suddenly realised that the musical work and the varied conception (or, sometimes, non-conception) of it – whether considered diachronically (through history) or synchronically (across the spectrum of musical traditions) – constituted the perfect subject: topical, controversial, multi-faceted and intellectually challenging. From there, the project . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.