LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Repeats

From:

Dave Lampson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 4 Mar 2000 16:42:38 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (114 lines)

Ian Crisp wrote:

>Dave Lampson wields a mighty sledgehammer to demolish what I regard as a
>fairly small and simple argument:

However small and simple, it seems to resist mightily the weight of logic.

>Perhaps I, and others who have argued for this kind of relativism, should
>have written about "the range of C20 ways of listening", rather than
>implying that there was some specific C20 way common to all listeners and
>distinct from that associated with any other time-period.

Let's try this for a third time.  That differences exist is a fact.
That we have virtually no knowledge of how these differences affect
perception of a musical experience is also a fact.  Therefore, while we
know that differences exist, we can not reasonably draw any conclusions
as to what performance practice may or may not be appropriate for any
given situation.

>But Dave then appears to argue that as both centuries encompass a
>wide variety of response to music, there is no difference between them
>and any distinction the relativists propose must be fallacious.

See paragraph above.  We can't hear music in exactly the same way that
someone in 1750 heard it, and they couldn't have possibly heard music in
the same way we here it.  Now what?  Do we take the repeat or not?

>>...though we might agree that there are differences in perception, we
>>do not have any idea how these differences (either across the centuries,
>>or across the miles, or across cultures) affect our reactions to music.
>>We simply don't know how the brain processes music, nor do we have
>>anything beyond anecdotal evidence for how past musical experience affect
>>the brain's interpretation of either familiar or unfamiliar musical
>>information.
>
>Every word right on the mark, but I fail to see the relevance.  I argue
>that a certain amount of historical distance means that there are an
>unknown number of undefined and possibly undefinable ways in which the
>generalised experience of later listeners and earlier listeners hearing the
>same music cannot be mapped onto each other, because the later listeners
>have experiences not available to the earlier ones (and, come to that, the
>earlier one's mind-sets were partially formed by ideas and experiences now
>gone and not shared by the later ones).

Actually, you do seem to see the relevance.  As you state, our musical
experiences affect us in an "unknown number of undefined and possibly
undefinable ways".  This is exactly my point.  Because we can't
characterize these things, we can't draw any specific conclusions.

>>For these reasons ... I think the statement that we can't hear music
>>as they once did is simply meaningless when trying to come to grips
>>with specific performance choices.
>
>I agree that, by itself, it cannot guide specific choices - and I don't
>recall that either I or anyone else suggested that it did.

Check the archives.  The fact that we don't listen as they once did was
brought into the discussion about performance practice, specifically
repeats.  That's why we're here.  Again.

>The grounds for making those choices will be many and various, and
>ultimately based on the aesthetic responses of modern and living
>audiences, not ancient and dead ones.

Who has ever argued otherwise?

>>Sort of a "we can't ever be really, really sure what any composer intended
>>in their heart, so what the heck, if it feels good just do it!" attitude.
>
>Personally I have no problem with that, as long as significant variations
>are clearly labelled as such and not passed off as something they are not.
>But it is a considerable distortion of the position I and a few others have
>been proposing.  We can be sure of what a composer intended, to the extent
>that he left clear indications.

Once again I'll have to refer you to the archives.  What has been proposed
here over and over again is that the score, even those indications explicit
in the score, are not necessarily what the composer intended.  Perhaps the
composer made a mistake, or stupidly followed convention and mindlessly put
the repeat in there.  I don't feel that I have distorted what appears to me
to be a profoundly lackadaisical approach to the music, one that seems at
odds with what some of us feel helps makes classical music special.  Mind
you, I'm not proposing a prison term for the offense, just don't ask me to
respect the philosophy.

>>Once you buy into this, all counter-arguments are instantly negated.
>
>Not at all.  All possibilities become open, which to my mind is a far more
>attractive notion than the alternative.

All possibilities for the performer are open (they always have been,
actually).  What the relativistic argument does do is to make any further
historically-oriented discussion of performance practice irrelevant.  It's
like an anti-HIP neutron bomb.  :-)

>The only simple and convenient thing here is to shrug off all
>responsibility for understanding and decision-making by palming it off onto
>the crumbling shoulders of the long-decomposed composer who lived his life
>in a different world.  Try to understand him by all means, but don't give
>the dead power to make choices for the living.  Like it our not, that's
>ours (for a while) to do the best we can with, then to pass on to others.

I must admit that the extreme hostility towards composer and score
crystallized in Ian's statements above is baffling and even a little
frightening to me.  There also seems to be an implied distrust of the
ability of performer and listener to make reasonable choices, especially
if those choices coincide with the composer's instructions.  In this
paragraph Ian has demonstrated the connection between the argument for
audience relativism and anti-HIP sentiment far more clearly than I have
so far been able.

Dave
[log in to unmask]
http://www.classical.net/

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager