Yes, art can be defined.
Yet watch the context, the cultural and historical period.
Art or arts ? Which art ?
See also Horace, the Roman poet. See also ” craft ” ( as in 19th. c. ” Arts and crafts” ) . etc.
Clear the decks.
Or are we attempting a definition in this 21 st. c. ?
Where we do the defining is also important. eg. Take Ireland and, say, the contemporary art of composed
music. Why do I insist that in Ireland
still today there is hardly a concept, a definition, the possibility of defining composed musical works –
composed by Irish composers – as art,
indeed as Irish art, an art on a level with eg. Irish poetry, film, painting etc.
What are the causes of this blindness, this prejudice, this exclusion of this definition ? Are they dogmatic
? Is it lazy thinking? Could it be lack of
experiencing New Irish Music, is that it ?
Mull this over.
There have in the past been many definitions of art, of musical composition. It´s also worth reflecting a
moment on some of the things we still
today might define composing as:
sicut fumus, like smoke, ethereal – a temporal art, indeed THE time-art par excellence. Ti
me-bending, stretching, sculpting, stitching, overlapping, deluding, defying, conquering.
Composing is hope, utopian, mythic, fighting the good fight.
If “cinis aequat omnia”, still a Frank Corcoran composition will yell and shout and erect its own resistance
to John Montague´s ” – The sea of history /
Upon which we all turn / Turn and thrash / And disappear… ”
Music keens, protests, praises a fightin´ transcendence which potentially can live beyond the grave.
Certainly, music can be defined. Art can be defined.
Irish contemporary music fights for its place in defining Ireland, Irish art, Irish artists.