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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Glammogr and the Present Inquiry


Composing fantasy fiction necessarily alters the perspective from which an author considers experience. The following discussion centers on the experience of music, and how said experience may be approached by analysis. All forms of writing may be considered performances, as the present inquiry aims to demonstrate. Writing about music obliges one to craft a musical experience. Thus, presented in writing, the experience of music is not that of the author-as- listener but of the author-as-author, where the latter makes record of an experience which she has constructed in order to make a point. Hence a written description of John Cage’s 4'33" is not equivalent to the experience of 4'33" in a concert hall. One may write “silence,” but one cannot write silence. Rather, the construction in writing of a musical experience (“silence, with some creaking of chairs”) is the composition and performance of said musical experience. Even as musicological writing must describe and criticize compositions and performances and experiences of other writers, description and criticism are themselves performance and composition when they constitute musicological writing.

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