Aesthetic experience in music: case studies in composition, performance and listening

Wilkins, Suzanne Mary (2013) Aesthetic experience in music: case studies in composition, performance and listening. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis explores the roles of the composer, listener and performer in the construction of aesthetic experience and develops new theories in order to elucidate these roles. It uses a series of six diverse case studies to show how these relationships can shape the experience created in the reception of music. In so doing, it sees the creation of musical experience as an intersubjective phenomenon. The theories explored within this work suggest new and different foci on the relationships between the roles within musical
production and reception and greatly expand existing understanding of how music is communicated meaningfully and how cultural value is attributed to certain musical works. These theories are all constructed using the concept of the chain of communication which includes the relationships between composers, listeners and performers.

The first chapter uses two case studies to investigate musical listening through an empirical investigation into Johann Sebastian Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and a
reception-based examination of Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. In the second chapter, musical composition is studied through examinations of a variety of works by Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert. Finally, Chapter Three looks at musical performance through case studies on the work of the Early Music ensemble Red Priest and Procol Harum’s song ‘A Salty Dog’.

The approaches used to examine the case studies are taken from a variety of fields and areas, ranging from music psychology to myth-studies. In this way, this work fills a gap in musicological understanding of aesthetic experience, as it combines research from a variety of fields to further elucidate musical experience: an approach which has not previously been used within musicology. In so doing, this work examines how experience can be shaped and how it is subject to historical and cultural conditioning.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > ML Literature on music > ML3800 Philosophical and societal aspects of music. Physics and acoustics of music. Physiological aspects of music > ML3845 Aesthetics
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 08:28
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015 11:51

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