But for now, I'm bothered by something I read today in Harold Fiske's Understanding Musical Understanding. On pages 25-26, Harold writes,
[Sculpture can be observed by any angle and for as long as the viewer desires.] Not so for music, where 'viewing' time for music is controlled exclusively by the performer. And once over, returing to the room in which the performance occurred would not afford continued experience with the same work. Once the piece is over, it is over. Even playing the piece again (a recording for example) does not represent a continued experience with the piece but rather a different experience, though it is the same music being listened to.
First of all, I don't believe the performer controls all aspects of the performance time. Besides the instructions of the composer, there are constraints placed on the performer(s) by cultural expectations, acoustic limitations of the venue, and general perceptual limitations. And the listener does have control of what performance aspects to which s/he pays attention. This attention is a main part of Fiske's thesis that musical time is very different from clock time, thus the listener does control his/her musical time experience.
But the second thing is more troubling, that rehearings are different experiences rather than a continued experience. It is troubling, because part of me agrees that rehearings (whether a physical rehearing or a mental replay) are indeed different experiences. The listener has different knowledge by the time of the replay, etc. But the two hearings share a commonality of the schemata of the performance. The order of the notes, the timings, the timbres are all the same, just as a sculpture keeps the same physical features. So I really want to say that the rehearing is a continuation of the experience of the piece, just as when I revisit the sculpture it continues my experiences with that artwork, even though I have different knowledge from the last time I experienced it. What say you? Is a rehearing a completely new experience, or is it a continuation of the same musical experience?