SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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'The Consummatory': in Experiencing Early Music: A Deweyan Approach to Historically Informed Performance

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In The End of Early Music, Bruce Haynes (a historical performance advocate), following musicologists Richard Taruskin and John Butt and philosopher Lydia Goehr, castigates English-language philosophy of music for starting with Romanticist assumptions that, in creating a concert-hall museum culture that treats the musical work as an object of pure contemplation, depreciate the performer-audience relationship and the value of musical spontaneity.

While most musicologists have relied on analytic philosophy of music, John Dewey’s aesthetics lacks these problems and offers resources for the historical performance movement (HIP): his interactive, temporal conception of the artwork, his criticism of the “museum conception of art,” and his dynamic account of aesthetic experience. I focus on how Dewey’s concepts of the dynamic nature of the artwork and of consummatory experience can illuminate those developments in HIP that have revitalized Baroque music, allowing audiences to experience it as fresh and new.


Felicia Kruse    
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
United States


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