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The Meaning Of Music : A Look At The Concept Of Authenticity

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The Meaning of Music: A Look at the Concept of Authenticity in Music A starting point of looking at the meaning of music is to consider the idea that music has some sort of link between the way it is performed, and those who perform it. This leads to a question of authenticity. Authenticity is a multi-faceted subjective word that can mean different things for different people. Consequently when the term “authentic” is used, I will use it to answer the question of: What does it mean for music to be played authentically? Using “authentic” this way allows me to define it as a mode in which originality functions towards the true meaning of the music 's intent. This definition, as we shall see, does not escape some of the conundrums of musical meaning. In fact, these conundrums might destroy the concept of authenticity as even something that should be talked about in musical theory. In Music, Nicholas Cook claims that musical authenticity is rooted in the subjective way that our thinking about music has meaning for us, as an individual1 Cook 's claim looks at the origins of rock music in the blues, sung and played, by “Black Americans in the deep South.”2 In this frame of view, the music was seen as an authentic expression that came from the soul of the performer.”3 This expressive claim of musical originality sets up a point of contrast with the idea of performances in a tradition of opera 's and concerts, that had been part of the more classical theory of art from
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