This article explores questions of aesthetic expression and meaning in song, focusing in particular on the enigmatic dynamics involved in song’s combination of abstract and lyrical dimensions of import. These questions are especially overt and actively debated in flamenco, where an ideology of authenticity and suffering, akin to that in African-American genres such as blues or rap, implies that a singer must draw on certain profound biographical experiences rather than universal emotions. However, the accounts of various performers suggest alternate expressive processes in which singers of any background can use a certain sort of role-playing to generate actual emotions that are transmuted into aesthetic expression.

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Aesthetics Commons



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