Conferenza ART - Stefano Marino - Università di Bologna
ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) Philosophical Seminar
Prof. Stefano Marino
(Università di Bologna)
November, 11th at 4 p.m.
Improvisation in Pop-Rock Music
Improvisation is a fundamental and unavoidable aspect of human experience in general, a specific trait of human practices, often linked to expertise or competence, that displays itself at various levels in all dimensions of life. Unless we believe in the totally predetermined character of all events, every action seems to imply, to a greater or a lesser degree, contingency and the possibility of facing the surprising, the unknown, the unforeseen and the unexpected. The performance of any action involves elements of improvisation, and hence the latter can be understood as a human ability and practice by no means limited to art but rather rooted in life as such. Anyway, if improvisation is a genuinely human practice and a true component of human experience in general, it can be nevertheless argued that it is particularly significative in the performing arts that the specific features of improvisation manifest themselves in the perhaps clearest way and become fully explicit, thus facilitating also a philosophical understanding of this practice. In the broad, variegated and articulated realm of the arts, music is surely one of the artistic practices in which improvisation plays a major role and represents a common and basic feature of music throughout the world. Although improvisation has played a constitutive role in the development of music as such throughout the world in all ages and all places, if we focus on contemporary music it is probably jazz that, right or wrong, is usually considered as involving the most highly developed improvisation, i.e. in our time it is probably jazz that is commonly viewed by most listeners as the paradigm example of improvisation. However, jazz is only one among the many different musical genres in which improvisation plays a significant role, and in my lecture I will stress the significance improvisation had and has – at different levels, in different ways and to higher or lower degrees – in the context of so-called ‘pop-rock music’, with an approach that attempts to unite different insights deriving from both critical theory and somaesthetics, and with examples ranging from King Crimson and Frank Zappa to Nirvana and still other bands.
Stefano Marino is Associate Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Bologna. His main research interests are critical theory, hermeneutics, pragmatism, aesthetics of fashion and music. He has authored several monographs, has translated into Italian books of Adorno and Gadamer, and has co-edited various volumes and special issues of journals.
ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) is a periodic philosophical seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences of the University of Turin and the PhD Program FINO.
Prof. Alessandro Bertinetto (University of Turin).
Prof. Federico Vercellone (University of Turin).
Dr. Paolo Furia (University of Turin).
Dr. Lisa Giombini (University Rome 3).
Dr. Gregorio Tenti (FINO Doctoral School).
Dr. Alice Iacobone (FINO Doctoral School)
ART addresses different topics of the contemporary debate in Aesthetics: philosophy of beauty, philosophy of the arts, theory of sensory experience, philosophy of image and imagination, and history of aesthetics.
ART is supported by:
Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sulla Morfologia Francesco Moiso (CIM)
Centro di Ricerca Interdipartimentale di Logica, Linguaggio e Cognizione (LLC)
Centro Studi Arti della Modernità