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What is Social Aesthetics?

Peter Blouw

Published: 2010-08-25

This article briefly summarizes the branch of philosophy concerned with the value and meaning of artworks. It defines social aesthetics as a rich and developing field guided by a number of questions crossing disciplines, and it puts social aesthetics into the context of musical improvisation and ICASP research.

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Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace