Virtue Or Virtuosity?

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $97.91
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 19%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $97.91   
  • New (4) from $98.04   
  • Used (1) from $97.91   


Drawing upon the past two decades of burgeoning literature in philosophy of music, this study offers a comprehensive, critical analysis of what is entailed in performance interpretation. It argues that integrity and other virtues offset the harm that virtuosity and rigid historical authenticity can impose on the perceptive judgment required of excellent musical interpretation. Proposed are challenging and provocative reassessments of the appropriate roles for virtuosity and historical authenticity in musical performance. Acknowledging the competitive ethos of the contemporary music scene, it details the kind of character a performer needs to develop in order to withstand those pressures and to achieve interpretive excellence. Performers are encouraged to examine and explore the ethical dimension of their art against their responsibilities to the diverse patrons they serve.

Professional and student performers and instructors will appreciate this practical discussion of the ethical challenges performers confront when interpreting musical works. The ethical discourse applies to instrumental performance studies, the history and theory of music, general music pedagogy, and philosophy of music courses.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

O'Dea (philosophy, adjunct, and education, U. of Lethbridge) focuses on the ethical questions performers face in interpreting musical works. Aimed specifically towards students, the author attempts to promote excellence in interpretation by exploring the ethical responsibilities of performers, the diverse patrons they serve, and the challenge this presents to their artistic integrity. Applying an Aristotelian model of ethics to performance, O'Dea discusses ways to develop sagacious musical judgment and combat temptations that undermine it. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

JANE O'DEA is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education and an adjunct member of the Philosophy Department at the University of Lethbridge.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
1. Musical Interpretation 1
2. Turning the Soul toward Excellence: The Character of the Performing Artist 25
3. Virtue or Virtuosity? 39
4. Historical Authenticity: Vice or Virtue? 67
5. Integrity in Musical Performance 93
Conclusion 111
Bibliography 113
Index 119
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)