Virtue Or Virtuosity?

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
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 (booknews.com)
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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.

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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
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