Chapter

The Central Claim

Lydia Goehr

in The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works

Published in print October 1994 | ISBN: 9780198235415
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597503 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198235410.003.0005
The Central Claim

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Identifies the philosophical content of the claim that the work concept began to regulate musical practice at a particular point in history. The ontological picture presupposed by the historical investigation of the musical work is made explicit: rather than treating the work as an object, the investigation asks what sort of a concept the work concept is. Five claims are made about the concept of a musical work. (1) It is an open concept with original and derivative employment. (2) It is correlated to the ideals of a practice. (3) It is a regulative concept. (4) It is projective. (5) It is an emergent concept. It is argued that the work concept came to regulate musical practice around 1800, that music came at this time centrally or predominantly to be packaged in terms of works. The claim entails neither that the work concept is inappropriately applied to productions of music prior to 1800 nor that the concept has remained fixed since 1800.

Keywords: emergent concept; historical approach; identity; projective concept; regulative concept; work concept

Chapter.  13757 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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