Imagining Things: Mind Into Music (And Back Again)


in Imaginative Minds

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264195
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734540 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Imagining Things: Mind Into Music (And Back Again)

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This chapter discusses the inherent limits of all the imaginative models for music, from analyses to sketches to scores, and the gap that opens up between them and the real-time experience of the composers, the performers, and the listeners. Drawing examples from the composer Roger Reynolds and from a recent piano project investigating the performance of contemporary piano music, this chapter argues that imaginative models of music are fully understood not as attempted comprehensive specifications, but as spurs or prompts that initiate improvisatory acts which bring the piece into a performable entity. Within this context, music constitutes a model of how people can work hand in hand towards a common goal yet maintain their autonomy. Music shows how individual imagination is consummated in social action.

Keywords: imaginative models; music; Roger Reynolds; spurs; prompts; improvisatory acts; social action; scores; sketches

Chapter.  8029 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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