The Reception of "Art for Art's Sake" in Japan: Case Study of a Classical Music Festival Audience

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 3:50 PM
Room: Booth 66
Oral Presentation
Ayaka KAWAMOTO , Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the idea of “Art for art’s sake” is received in contemporary Japan from the perspective of music and the human body. The concepts art and artist are typically described as relatively new conceptualizations that originated from modern European societies. In pre-modern societies, musicians were usually not regarded as artists, but rather as artisans who produced their work based on orders received from patrons. Therefore, their work was not regarded as art but as extensions of rituals or worship practices. However, during the modern period, a movement started that viewed these activities as art. It appears that the ideal of Art for art’s sake provided impetus to this movement. In this study, we therefore attempted to determine the reception of Art for art’s sake in contemporary Japan. Research data were collected using a survey of the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, which is one of the most famous music festivals in Japan.

 The analysis focused on factors that oriented people toward the ideal of Art for art’s sake, and the results demonstrated the following major findings. First, people who attended the festival because of their relationships rather music interest tended to demonstrate an orientation toward Art for art’s sake. Second, participants who were closely involved with classical music indicated a strong orientation toward Art for art’s sake. Third, people who were introduced to classical music by listening to it with media, such as televisions or radios also indicated a strong orientation toward Art for art’s sake. The results indicate that as people consume music through media rather than their bodies (e.g. playing musical instruments or attending music concerts), their musical consumption become individualized and their perspective on the ideals of art more purified.