“The brilliance of perfection” or “pointless finish”? What virtuosity means to musicians.

Ginsborg, Jane (2018) “The brilliance of perfection” or “pointless finish”? What virtuosity means to musicians. Musicae Scientiae, 22 (3). pp. 454-473. ISSN 10298649

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The concept of virtuosity has been explored by music historians and theorists from disciplines ranging from aesthetics and anthropology to semiotics. Its history goes back to ancient times, although it is often thought to culminate in the 19th century with Liszt and Paganini. Many historical sources quote well-known performers and composers but little is known as to how music students and professional musicians define virtuosity today, and what it means to them as performers and audiences. The present study was exploratory, employing a mixed methods approach. A total of 102 musicians provided open-ended responses to a short questionnaire. A keyword-in-context analysis of content was undertaken, followed by a more in-depth thematic analysis. Five main themes emerged: characteristics of virtuosity; relationship between virtuosity and (“magical”) music making; aspirations towards virtuosity; how virtuosity is achieved; and communication. Responses from students and professionals were compared and are discussed with reference to historical and current theoretical models.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Depositing User: Thomas Wise
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 16:20
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2019 10:49
URI: http://repository.rncm.ac.uk/id/eprint/46

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