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Imaginative Minds$
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Ilona Roth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264195

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264195.001.0001

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Imagining Things: Mind Into Music (And Back Again)

Imagining Things: Mind Into Music (And Back Again)

(p.122) (p.123) 6 Imagining Things: Mind Into Music (And Back Again)
Imaginative Minds


British Academy

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

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