1st International Congress of Musicology

Athens Goethe Institute, 25-27 February 2002

Paper Abstracts

Nikos Dontas

Discography as a Factor in the Formation of Criteria regarding Musical Life. From the Offer of the Best Viable to the “Best Than True”

My paper centres on the radical changes effected by contemporary musical life of the occidental type, as it developed in the 19th century, the expansion of classical music through various media. Not only as a means of a transmission of the music notated on the stave, but also as a vehicle of a very wide circle of commercial transactions, the gramophone record has altered our way of approaching music, its qualitative and quantitative order, and lastly its very destiny. An attempt will be made to show that differences in recordings made at the beginning of the 20th century and those made at present are not only relevant with regards to developments in technology: in other words, the more recent ones are not only technically more perfect and authoritative than the old ones, but they are also totally different. After a necessary brief historical outline, the places, in which the disc as a product has modified – in a positive or in a negative way – the total musical experience and, as a result, our musical consciousness, will be pointed out.

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