Week 3/Digital and Mechanical Reproduction in Music/Mark Signaigo

When reading about the differences between original and copied pieces of art, the thing that kept popping into my head was Music. I understand the idea of an original work having an aura and (possibly because I was conditioned to believe so) I believe there is a difference between an original painting and a replica.
Music, on the other hand, sets a different circumstance, because it is not a tangible object. The sheet music inked on the page may be but you can make very strong arguments that it is not itself the artwork. The song, once originally performed by a band or orchestra, is then gone forever. The invention of the Phonograph, and eventually through the evolution, CDs and MP3s, allow for the preservation in exact form of a particular musical piece. While you can easily argue that no recording would measure up to witnessing the piece played live, the actual recording will bring you much closer to the artist’s intent than simply reading the sheet music or hearing somebody else play it.
The other interesting aspect is that when a sculptor finishes chiseling, when a painter finishes brushing, their pieces then become complete. They are done, that’s it, they become relatively static and pass through time. Music, on the other hand, is more living and fluid if the artist desires. The Model T was the model T, it was designed, produced and remained. A musical piece however can be continually edited, changed, played differently in different places and time to reflect the evolution of the artist, the times, or anything else that inspires the artist along the way.
In this way one can argue that technological reproduction actually furthers the art forms of music in allowing it to truly live, age and evolve as the artist does. In perhaps no other art form is this possible. Artists can go through phases which can be demonstrated across a timeline of pieces by progressions and periods, but nowhere else can one piece so evolve and grow.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.