Dissertation Index



Author: Sundin, Nils-Goran

Title: Aesthetic Criteria for Musical Interpretation: A Study of the Contemporary Performance of Western Notated Instrumental Music after 1750

Institution: University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

Completed: August 1994

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to illuminate performers' and theorists' patterns of aesthetic thinking within musical
interpretation in performance. The study examines in particular the cognitive processes and logic(s) of implementation of interpretational ideals based on phenomenology, hermeneutics, semiotics, formalism, and Schenkerian Vortragslehre.

By means of phenomenological analysis, the study discusses the philosophical, scientific, and musicological grounds for a methodology of interpretation analysis and proposes a theory of interpretation concerned with the relational network of intentional interpretive acts. The objective of this theory is to secure the grounds for description and evaluation of interpretational quality in musical performance. The presented model of interpretation-analysis demonstrates a possibility of founding interpretive decisions on rational argument.

The study identifies three degrees of cognitive decisional abstraction concerned with concreteshaping on different levels: the interpretive (correctness of execution; details of motivic design), the interpretative (apprehensible 'gestalting' of unities), and the interpretational (coherent wholeness in the manifestation of the work's identity in performance). Conscious acts of interpretation allow an interpreting direction either from (expretive) or to (impretive) the subject or the object of the encounter, entailing a election and displacement of the interpreted content.

The application of this scheme in a series of critical analyses of conductors (Celibidache, Ansermet, Furtwangler, Dorati, Blomstedt, Sacher), pianists (Schnabel, Gieseking, Leygraf, Harry), and string players (Menuhin, Lorcovic, Casals) explains how aesthetic positions are implemented via interpretational procedures in concrete performance styles.

Keywords: Performance Aesthetics in Conducting, Philosophy of music, Interpretation, Music Theory and Analysis, Methods and Models in Criticism, Cognitive Analysis and Generative Ideas, Interpretive Styles, Conductors, Pianists, String players

TOC:

I INTRODUCTION: A PHILOSOPHICAL AND AESTHETIC PERSPECTIVE ON MUSICAL INTERPRETATION IN PERFORMANCE
1 Synopsis of Project (MIR) & Aims of Investigation
2 A Concise Theory of Fundamental Relations of Musical Interpretation in Performance
3 The Problem of Science Philosophy: Feyerabend and Phenomenology of Husserl

II THE THEORIST'S PERSPECTIVE
1 The Critical Debate on Interpretation within Aesthetics and Analytical Philosophy
2 A Philosophy of Interpretation in Performance: History of Ideas. Ontology of Reproduction versus Interpretation.
Phenomenology versus Hermeneutics
3 A Phenomenology of Musical Aesthetics
4 The Semiotic Approach and the Logic of Notation
5 Formalism: Modern 'Schools' of Theory on Form and Performance
6 Aesthetic Ideas on Musical Interpretation in Performance
7 The 'Classical' Interpretation Theory: Vortragslehre

III PROBLEMS AND CATEGORIES OF MUSICAL INTERPRETATION
1 Historicity & Actuality
2 Authenticity & Expressivity
3 Identity & Difference
4 Objectivity & Subjectivity

IV PERSPECTIVES ON ACTORS IN MUSICAL LIFE
1 Composers: Schönberg, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Sessions
2 Conductors: (2:1) Ansermet, (2:2) Furtwängler
3 Pianists: Gieseking, Brendel, Fischer, Gould
4 String Players: Violinists and Cellists
5 Critics

V RESEARCH PROCEDURES AND RESULTS
1 Introductory Remarks and Discussion on Methods (MIR I-V)
2 Interpretation Analysis
3 Interviews
4 Special Studies
5 Critics
6 Three Aesthetical Positions (Leinsdorf, Sacher; Dorati, Blomstedt;
Celibidache)

VI CONCLUSION (final theoretical results and suggestions)
1 Summary
2 Conclusions
3 Discussion

VII APPENDIX
1 References
2 Abbreviations and Definitions
3 List of Works Related to MIR (Musical Interpretation Research)--
project and series of publications (MIR vols I-II)
4 Tape-Recordings
5 General Index of Artists (MIR vols I-VI; includes unpublished
documentation)
6 Bibliography

Contact:

Dr. Nils-Goran Sundin, (docent) associate professor
(MBA MD PhD MFA BA)
Radmansgatan 3
S-11425 Stockholm
Tel/FAX +46 8 108052
E-mail: nilsare@gmail.com

Date Listed: 09/24/2010


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