Music In The Moment by Jerrold LevinsonMusic In The Moment by Jerrold Levinson

Music In The Moment

byJerrold Levinson

Paperback | November 30, 2007

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What is required for a listener to understand a piece of music? Does aural understanding depend upon reflective awareness of musical architecture or large-scale musical structure? Jerrold Levinson thinks not. In contrast to what is commonly assumed, Levinson argues that basic understanding of music only requires properly grounded, present-focused attention, and that virtually everything in the comprehension of extended pieces of music that suggests explicit architectonic awareness can be explained without positing conscious grasp of relationships across broad spans.

Levinson rejects the notion that keeping music's large-scale form before the mind is somehow essential to fundamental understanding of it. As evidence, he describes in detail the experience of listening to a wide range of music. He defends, with some qualifications, the views of nineteenth-century musician and psychologist Edmund Gurney, author of The Power of Sound, who argued that musical comprehension requires only attention to the evolution of music from moment to moment.

Music theory standardly misapprehends the experience and mindset of most who know and love classical music, concludes Levinson. His book is a defense of the passionate and attentive, though architectonically unconcerned, music listener.

Jerrold Levinson is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Music, Art, and Metaphysics, Music in the Moment, and The Pleasures of Aesthetics, all from Cornell, and the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics.
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Title:Music In The MomentFormat:PaperbackDimensions:196 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.46 inPublished:November 30, 2007Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801474299

ISBN - 13:9780801474293

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Editorial Reviews

"The conundrum of musical understanding has always been problematic because of music's keen relationship to time: it progresses through time, and therefore does not reveal itself inherently holistically. Jerrold Levinson examines this dichotomy most effectively.... Recommended for general readers and all levels of students."

- Choice