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The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?Reality or Invention?$
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Michael Talbot

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238256

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313615

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The Work-Concept and Composer-Centredness

The Work-Concept and Composer-Centredness

(p.168) 8 The Work-Concept and Composer-Centredness
The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?

Michael Talbot

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the existence of a watershed in Western art music located in the decades around 1800. In parallel with the emergence of a modern work-concept, the general public accepted, for the first time, a composer-centred (rather than genre-centred or performer-centred) view of music — a perspective previously associated with practitioners, patrons and connoisseurs. The chapter considers the relevance of composer-centredness to the work-concept and analyses Lydia Goehr's views on the work-concept as detailed in her book The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works. According to Goehr, musical work enters its imaginary museum only because composers have already entered their imaginary Pantheon.

Keywords:   Lydia Goehr, art music, composers, musical work, work-concept, composer-centredness, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works

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