The Perception of Organ Music
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My considerations to date in terms of the aesthetics of organ music concerned mainly the perspective of the musician, who – when being fluent in his field of art – can be called an artist. In this article I will focus on the second but no less important subject of the aesthetic situation, i.e. the recipient. It is the recipient who is the addressee of a work of art created during the creative process and received in the perception process. It is in the process of perception – i.e. receiving, learning about the work, experiencing its value, understanding it, accepting or rejecting it – that the aesthetic object and the personality of the recipient are shaped. Organ music and its recipients constitute a unique category of music. If we mean an organ recital, then this uniqueness will be slightly smaller; however, if we mean liturgical organ music, then the issue of perception of this music takes on new contexts, becoming unique and requiring special, separate analysis. Using a certain metaphor, there are three “universities” of music performance where a musician will learn how to play well: a church, a pub and a circus. Why? Because – in addition to the formal elements of the musical work – the creator-performer in these three circumstances must specifically take into account the context of the music being performed and the issue of the recipient’s perception. Let us remember that the flourishing of independent music concerts (instrumental recitals in particular) is the domain of the 19th century; previously, music mainly played a functional (liturgical, entertaining) role.
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