In Search of Praxeology of 'Improvised Art'. The Daoist Turn
The following essay is dedicated to free improvisation in music, and specifically to the search for tools to effectively carry out this activity. It concerns music, not in the sense of sound phenomena, but in the sense of creative practice, the method of its creation. That is why we can speak of a praxeology of free improvisation in music. In the case of 'improvised music/art', praxeology is unusually relevant due to the fact that the work/product of this art is not only an artifact coming into existence as the result of a creative process, but it itself is a process. The main thesis I would like to present can be formulated as follows: 'free improvisation in music (and in art generally) is an activity qualitatively different than the artistic practices previously used in Europe. Thus, it demands the finding/development/application of different tools/strategies of acting to generate musical pieces/works of art.' I will try to defend a thesis showing the ontological difference between works of art created in the traditional way for European culture and those works of art which are improvisational. Then, I will show that this difference in ontological status entails the use of different strategies to carry out these works. In the next step, I will indicate the direction in which I intend to go, in search of the aforementioned strategies. For clarity, I will now address a few terminological issues connected with the subject at hand. Henceforth, when I write about tools serving work with music, I have in mind any strategy of acting that can be of service to the playing of musical pieces, that is, in the case of European culture, the reading of sheet music, interpretation, preparation, and presentation. When I write about the 'Daoist Turn' I have in mind the possibility of adapting Daoist strategies of action to the act of free improvisation in music, strategies developed by Daoist philosophers concerning art and human activity in general. It is worth stressing that the specificity of Chinese culture makes a sharp division between different types of philosophies or methods of various schools. The Chinese see the world through a pair of complementary opposites, so the Daoist strategy of behavior was repeatedly adapted by Confucian circles, which resulted in the development of the so-called 'free expression' movement in art.
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