In the philosophy of music and in musicology, aprt from ethnomusicology, there is a long tradition of focus on musical compositions as objects of inquiry. But in both disciplines, a body of recent work focuses on the place of performance in the making of music. Most of this work, however, still takes for granted that compositions, at leas in Western art music, are the primary objects of aesthetic attention. In this paper I focus on aesthetic attention to the performing activity itself. I begin by roughly characterizing what is involve in attending to the performing activity of musical performers. I then argue that such attention is essential to the full appreciation of the central compositions of the Western art music canon. Finally, I argue that, often enough, recordings provide a suitable vehicle for this sort of attention; listeners to recordings can use them to listen to musical performance.

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Aesthetics Commons



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