When the word play is used to describe music-making, the implication is that play is a sophisticated phenomenon involving an interaction of so many elements that it is both engrossing and beyond calculation. This definition of play hails from the field of philosophy and is the focus of this article. It is chiefly inspired by Hans George Gadamer’s magnum opus Truth and Method, in which he argues that art is able to communicate shared truths across both time and place via the phenomenon of play. Section I: Play is an illumination of Gadamer’s concept of play as it relates specifically to the performance of music. Quotations from renowned performers and snippets of poetry are woven throughout the essay. Section II: Meaning explores how musical play creates significant experiences via the phenomenon of transformation. The paradigm put forth asserts that meaning is created and shared by composer, performer, and audience.
Green, Chelsea C.
"Permission to Play: Obstacles and Open Spaces in Music-Making,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 18, Article 4.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol18/iss1/4