Music as an Aesthetic Experience Essay

1318 Words Apr 28th, 2006 6 Pages
The introduction of Donald J. Funes' book Musical Involvement addresses the topic of music as an aesthetic experience. The preface to the introduction is the realization that truly listening to music requires an active response, and this type of listening is not innate. All throughout the day we are bombarded with music and every day sounds, most of which remain in our periphery. It can be difficult to focus on a single event such as a concert, lecture or any other situation that requires a quite environment because we can attend to around seven sensory inputs at any one time, including our internal conversations. Suddenly our periphery senses can become distracting to the point where they detract from the single auditory source we are …show more content…
To set aside any preconceived notions or associations about the work so that it may be enjoyed only for impractical reasons. Looking at something as an aesthetic object goes against any ideas of practicalities because it is highly improbably to enjoy something purely for itself if it is looked at with the potential of something else in mind. Another condition to the aesthetic attitude is adopting a sympathetic awareness, a willingness to experience all types of music because no style is superior to another. In the chapter on "Perception" in Lewis Rowell's Thinking about Music, he discusses traditional problems of aesthetics for the listener. Although Rowell and Funes discuss similar ideas about aesthetic listening, the purpose of Rowell's work is not to teach the listener how they should listen to music. Similar to an argument Funes makes, Rowell comments that even though some authors feel that there is an ideal way to listen, it is a good idea to understand that there is a range of possible listening experiences. The first problem Rowell discusses are the varying modes of perception. He sets the scene for exploring the listening experience with asking the question "What am I doing". This question involves several other component questions that basically range around the listeners background in understanding music and how that might affect their experience. These questions only seem

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