A Matter of Representation
- Nicholas Cook
‘A Matter of Representation’ begins with two models of art: the ‘picture’ theory of classical aesthetics and the theory of affects. Music of the Western ‘art’ tradition, conceived within the guiding metaphor of the imaginary museum and expressed in a notation of unparalleled comprehensiveness, is designed for reproduction. It is designed to be heard as a ‘performance of’ something that already exists and has its own identity and history, and to derive its meaning from being a ‘performance of’ it. It concludes that both composition-based and reception-based approaches to music are needed, for the two work in a kind of counterpoint.