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Title: Concept of musicianship
Author: Mulcahy, Karen
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examines the prevalent supposition, within Western culture, concerning the existence of an inherently 'musical' type of human being. It outlines, through its eight chapters, the history and development of the idea and suggests possible reasons for the assumption. The thesis commences by examining musicianship in respect of musical ontology it describes and criticises the notion that the essence of musical performance is necessarily concerned with the reproduction of identifiable works. It then, in chapter two, questions the validity of the hierarchical categorisation of music and musicians in respect to concepts of art, and identifies the economically dictated relativity of such classifications. In chapter three, associations of musicianship with spiritual ideas, such as a natural or numinous realm, are outlined and countered. Chapter four summarises issues of music as a language, in respect of notation, discourse and symbol, which leads into a discussion, in chapter five, of the ways in which music can convey meanings, whether thought of as intrinsic to 'the work itself or as culturally constructed and defined. Chapter six clarifies the epistemological issues of musical experience through an outline of its significance in respect of being intrinsic, phenomenal and experiential. In chapter seven, the identity of the musician is examined through the questions of authenticity, proficiency and cultivation. It describes how and why some musical activities are marginalized and trivialised, and how the education system plays a fundamental role in perpetuating the values and perception of musical performance as being an activity relevant to quite specific types of individuals. The final chapter outlines the functional roles of musical performance in respect of ethics, social coherence and economics. The conclusion evaluates the arguments presented in the thesis and contends that the concept of musicianship, being a characteristic of only certain people, is an ideologically perpetuated myth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available