Virtual Works – Actual Things

Essays in Music Ontology

Edited by Paulo de Assis and contributions by David Davies, Andreas Dorschel, Lydia Goehr, Kathy Kiloh, Jake McNulty, Gunnar Hindrichs, and John Rink

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Beyond musical works: new perspectives on music ontology and performance

What are musical works? How are they constructed in our minds? Which material things allow us to speak about them in the first place? Does a specific way of conceiving musical works limit their performative potentials? Which alternative, more productive images of musical work can be devised?

Virtual Works Actual Things addresses contemporary music ontological discourses, challenging dominant musicological accounts, questioning their authoritative foundation and moving towards dynamic perspectives devised by music practitioners and artist researchers. Specific attention is given to the relationship between the virtual multiplicities that enable the construction of an image of a musical work and the actual, concrete materials that make such a construction possible. With contributions by prominent scholars, this book is a wide-ranging and fascinating collection of essays, which will be of great interest for artistic research, contemporary musicology, music philosophy, performance studies and music pedagogy alike.

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Contributors: David Davies (McGill University, Montreal), Andreas Dorschel (University of the Arts Graz), Lydia Goehr (Columbia University, New York), Kathy Kiloh (OCAD University, Toronto), Jake McNulty (Columbia University, New York), Gunnar Hindrichs (University of Basel), John Rink (University of Cambridge)

Paulo de Assis

Virtual Works—Actual Things
Paulo de Assis

Locating the Performable Musical Work in Practice: A Non-Platonist Interpretation of the “Classical Paradigm”
David Davies

Towards a General Theory of Musical Works and Musical Listening
Gunnar Hindrichs

The Work of the Performer
John Rink

Music as Play: A Dialogue
Andreas Dorschel

What Anyway Is a “Music Discomposed”? Reading Cavell through the Dark Glasses of Adorno
Lydia Goehr

Three Responses to Lydia Goehr’s Essay “What Anyway Is a ‘Music Discomposed’?”
Lydia Goehr
Response 1
What Is a Music Dis-discomposed?
Kathy Kiloh
Response 2
Krenek, Cage, and Stockhausen in Cavell’s “Music Discomposed”
Jake McNulty
Response 3
Stanley Cavell’s “Music Discomposed” at 52
Paulo de Assis

The International Orpheus Academy for Music and Theory 2016: Concerts and Installations

Notes on Contributors


Format: Edited volume - free ebook - PDF

192 pages

8 black & white images

ISBN: 9789461662521

Publication: July 10, 2018

Series: Orpheus Institute Series

Languages: English


Paulo de Assis is artist researcher (pianist, composer, music philosopher) and research fellow at the Orpheus Institute.