Recording, Repetition, and Memory in Absolute Music

Arved Ashby

in Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264793
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945692 | DOI:
Recording, Repetition, and Memory in Absolute Music

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This chapter identifies three approaches to help in sorting out the different functions of recordings as memory objects, studying Jacques Attali and his analysis of “the repetitive economy” of mechanical reproduction and its tendency to stockpile. Next, it discusses Henri Bergson and the complicated dynamic between memory, past, and present moment, and describes the different forms of remembrance represented by recordings. The chapter also studies musical hermeneutics as a critical enterprise that has been changed by the kinds of repetition which are allowed by recordings.

Keywords: recordings; memory objects; Jacques Attali; mechanical reproduction; stockpiling; Henry Bergson; forms of remembrance; musical hermeneutics

Chapter.  12018 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Applied Music

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