David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Axiomathes 6 (2):211-226 (1995)
In the last two decades an increasing number of musicians, musicologists and philosophers in the United States of America have dealt with questions of philosophy of music on a phenomenological basis. F. Joseph Smith certainly deserves mention as one of the first and most innovative of these authors. Sections 1 and 2 of the paper sketch a portrait of Smith against the background of the current situation in America, where there is a strong awareness of the need to overcome the present limits imposed by historical musicology in order to develop a new phenomenological approach. Section 3 expounds Smith's critique against traditional theory of musical form and his attempt to redefine musical form on the basis of Husserl's treatise on passive synthesis. This, in the author's opinion, is Smith's most important contribution to a phenomenologically oriented philosophy of music. Finally, section 4 tries to draw some critical conclusions concerning Smith's work, with special regard to the merits and demerits of his idea of phenomenology as applied to music.
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