British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (4):345-362 (2003)

Andy Hamilton
Durham University
Recording has transformed the nature of music as an art by reconfiguring the opposition between the aesthetics of perfection and imperfection. A precursor article, ‘The Art of Improvisation and the Aesthetics of Imperfection’, contrasted the perfectionist aesthetic of the ‘work-concept’ with the imperfectionist aesthetic of improvisation. Imperfectionist approaches to recording are purist in wanting to maintain the diachronic and synchronic integrity of the performance, which perfectionist recording creatively subverts through mixing and editing. But a purist transparency thesis cannot evade the fact that the recorded image is crafted; against creative editing, however, the imperfectionist ideal of the ‘complete take’ is humanistic and anti-mechanistic, and not mere Romantic illusion. The article concludes with a discussion of the question of the artistic status of recording, and contrasts the possibility of a non-acousmatic sound art with the essentially acousmatic art of music.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjaesthetics/43.4.345
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,607
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Improvisation in the Arts.Aili Bresnahan - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (9):573-582.
Musical Recordings.Andrew Kania - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):22-38.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Aesthetics.Harold Osborne - 1972 - London: Oxford University Press.
The Art of Improvisation and the Aesthetics of Imperfection.A. Hamilton - 2000 - British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (1):168-185.
Music, Art, and Metaphysics.Jerrold Levinson - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Ideas About Art.Kathleen Kadon Desmond - 2011 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Mag Uidhir on Performance.P. D. Magnus - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (3):338-345.
Music and the Aural Arts.Andy Hamilton - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (1):46-63.


Added to PP index

Total views
61 ( #190,755 of 2,533,634 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #163,878 of 2,533,634 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes