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A Critical Ear: Analysis of Value Judgments in Reviews of Beethoven's Piano Sonata Recordings.

Alessandri E, Williamson VJ, Eiholzer H, Williamon A - Front Psychol (2016)

Bottom Line: The outcome is a model of the main evaluation criteria used by professional critics: aesthetic properties, including intensity, coherence, and complexity, and achievement-related properties, including sureness, comprehension, and endeavor.The findings relate directly to current discourses on the role of evaluation in music criticism and the generalizability of aesthetic principles.In particular, the perceived achievement of the performer stands out as a factor that drives appreciation of a recording.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Music, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and ArtsLucerne, Switzerland; Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of MusicLondon, UK.

ABSTRACT
What sets a great music performance apart? In this study, we addressed this question through an examination of value judgments in written criticism of recorded performance. One hundred reviews of recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas, published in the Gramophone between 1934 and 2010, were analyzed through a three-step qualitative analysis that identified the valence (positive/negative) expressed by critics' statements and the evaluation criteria that underpinned their judgments. The outcome is a model of the main evaluation criteria used by professional critics: aesthetic properties, including intensity, coherence, and complexity, and achievement-related properties, including sureness, comprehension, and endeavor. The model also emphasizes how critics consider the suitability and balance of these properties across the musical and cultural context of the performance. The findings relate directly to current discourses on the role of evaluation in music criticism and the generalizability of aesthetic principles. In particular, the perceived achievement of the performer stands out as a factor that drives appreciation of a recording.

No MeSH data available.


Distribution of the seven evaluation criteria among critics, with aesthetic and achievement related criteria grouped together. For each critic, the relative frequency is shown with which each criterion or group of criteria was coded in the text.
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Figure 4: Distribution of the seven evaluation criteria among critics, with aesthetic and achievement related criteria grouped together. For each critic, the relative frequency is shown with which each criterion or group of criteria was coded in the text.

Mentions: In particular, the proportion of Aesthetic, Achievement, and Suitability criteria was similar between critics: on average (median) each critic used in his/her reviews 55.15% (IQR = 50.17–59.45%) of Aesthetic, 30.39% (IQR = 25.56–30.78%) of Achievement, and 18.26% (IQR = 15.37–19.46%) of Suitability judgments (Figure 4).


A Critical Ear: Analysis of Value Judgments in Reviews of Beethoven's Piano Sonata Recordings.

Alessandri E, Williamson VJ, Eiholzer H, Williamon A - Front Psychol (2016)

Distribution of the seven evaluation criteria among critics, with aesthetic and achievement related criteria grouped together. For each critic, the relative frequency is shown with which each criterion or group of criteria was coded in the text.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4814455&req=5

Figure 4: Distribution of the seven evaluation criteria among critics, with aesthetic and achievement related criteria grouped together. For each critic, the relative frequency is shown with which each criterion or group of criteria was coded in the text.
Mentions: In particular, the proportion of Aesthetic, Achievement, and Suitability criteria was similar between critics: on average (median) each critic used in his/her reviews 55.15% (IQR = 50.17–59.45%) of Aesthetic, 30.39% (IQR = 25.56–30.78%) of Achievement, and 18.26% (IQR = 15.37–19.46%) of Suitability judgments (Figure 4).

Bottom Line: The outcome is a model of the main evaluation criteria used by professional critics: aesthetic properties, including intensity, coherence, and complexity, and achievement-related properties, including sureness, comprehension, and endeavor.The findings relate directly to current discourses on the role of evaluation in music criticism and the generalizability of aesthetic principles.In particular, the perceived achievement of the performer stands out as a factor that drives appreciation of a recording.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Music, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and ArtsLucerne, Switzerland; Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of MusicLondon, UK.

ABSTRACT
What sets a great music performance apart? In this study, we addressed this question through an examination of value judgments in written criticism of recorded performance. One hundred reviews of recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas, published in the Gramophone between 1934 and 2010, were analyzed through a three-step qualitative analysis that identified the valence (positive/negative) expressed by critics' statements and the evaluation criteria that underpinned their judgments. The outcome is a model of the main evaluation criteria used by professional critics: aesthetic properties, including intensity, coherence, and complexity, and achievement-related properties, including sureness, comprehension, and endeavor. The model also emphasizes how critics consider the suitability and balance of these properties across the musical and cultural context of the performance. The findings relate directly to current discourses on the role of evaluation in music criticism and the generalizability of aesthetic principles. In particular, the perceived achievement of the performer stands out as a factor that drives appreciation of a recording.

No MeSH data available.