Congetture sulle composizioni non originali PDF Print Email

James O. Young


At one time, a composer who worked within a tradition and borrowed freely from other composers could be thought to be highly creative and even a genius. Handel is the clearest example of such a composer. Starting in the eighteenth century (in Edward Young’s Conjectures on Original Composition) creativity and genius became identified with radical originality. By the early twentieth century this conception of genius was rampant and was influencing musical composition – and not for the better. This essay concludes by arguing that originality, far from being the key to creativity, can be an obstacle to genuine creativity, conceived of as the production of works with high aesthetic value.


James O. Young is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Victoria (Canada). He is the author of Global Anti-realism, Avebury, Aldershot 1995; Art and Knowledge, Routledge, New York and London 2001; Cultural Appropriation and the Arts, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden MA 2008; Critique of Pure Music, Oxford University Press, and more than 50 articles in refereed journals. He has edited Aesthetics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy, Routledge, New York and London 2005; The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden MA 2009 (co-editor: Conrad Brunk); The Semantics of Aesthetic Judgements, Oxford University Press.


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