Philosophy of music has flourished in the last thirty years, with great advances made in the understanding of the nature of music and its aesthetics. Peter Kivy has been at the center of this flourishing, and now offers his personal introduction to philosophy of music, a clear and lively explanation of how he sees the most important and interesting philosophical issues relating to music. Anyone interested in music will find this a stimulating (...) introduction to some fascinating questions and ideas. (shrink)
Peter Kivy is the author of many books on the history of art and, in particular, the aesthetics of music. This collection of essays spans a period of some thirty years and focuses on a richly diverse set of issues: the biological origins of music, the role of music in the liberal education, the nature of the musical work and its performance, the aesthetics of opera, the emotions of music, and the very nature of (...)music itself. Some of these subjects are viewed as part of the history of ideas, others as current problems in the philosophy of art. A particular feature of the volume is that Kivy avoids the use of musical notation so that no technical knowledge at all is required to appreciate his work. The essays will prove enjoyable and insightful not just to professionals in the philosophy of art and musicologists, or to musicians themselves, but also to any motivated general reader with a deep interest in music. (shrink)
Modern philosophers generally assume that music is a problem to which philosophy ought to offer an answer. Andrew Bowie’s Music, Philosophy, and Modernity suggests, in contrast, that music might offer ways of responding to some central questions in modern philosophy. Bowie looks at key philosophical approaches to music ranging from Kant, through the German Romantics and Wagner, to Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Adorno. He uses music to re-examine many current ideas about language, subjectivity, (...) metaphysics, truth, and ethics, and he suggests that music can show how the predominant images of language, communication, and meaning in contemporary philosophy may be lacking in essential ways. His book will be of interest to philosophers, musicologists, and all who are interested in the relation between music and philosophy. (shrink)
Serial music was one of the most important aesthetic movements to emerge in post-war Europe, but its uncompromising music and modernist aesthetic has often been misunderstood. This book focuses on the controversial journal die Reihe, whose major contributors included Stockhausen, Eimert, Pousseur, Dieter Schnebel and G. M. Koenig, and discusses it in connection with many lesser-known sources in German musicology. It traces serialism's debt to the theories of Klee and Mondrian, and its relationship to developments in concrete art, (...) modern poetry and the information aesthetics and semiotics of Max Bense and Umberto Eco. M. J. Grant sketches an aesthetic theory of serialism as experimental music, arguing that serial theory's embrace of both rigorous intellectualism and aleatoric processes is not, as many have suggested, a paradox, but the key to serial thought and to its relevance for contemporary theory. (shrink)
Concentrating on the music, politics, and philosophy of Richard Wagner, Lydia Goehr addresses some fundamental questions of German Romanticism: Is all music musical? Is music made less musical by the presence of words? What is musical autonomy? How do composers avoid censorship? How are composers affected by exile? Can music articulate a 'politics for the future'? What is the relation between music and philosophy?
What is music, what is its value, and what does it mean? In this stimulating volume, Roger Scruton offers a comprehensive account of the nature and significance of music from the perspective of modern philosophy. The study begins with the metaphysics of sound. Scruton distinguishes sound from tone; analyzes rhythm, melody, and harmony; and explores the various dimensions of musical organization and musical meaning. Taking on various fashionable theories in the philosophy and theory of music, (...) he presents a compelling case for the moral significance of music, its place in our culture, and the need for taste and discrimination in performing and listening to it. Laying down principles for musical analysis and criticism, this bold work concludes with a theory of culture--and a devastating demolition of modern popular music. "A provocative new study."--The Guardian. (shrink)
Representing Stephen Davies's best shorter writings, these essays outline developments within the philosophy of music over the last two decades, and summarize the state of play at the beginning of a new century. Including two new and previously unpublished pieces, they address both perennial questions and contemporary controversies, such as that over the 'authentic performance' movement, and the impact of modern technology on the presentation and reception of musical works. Rather than attempting to reduce musical works to a (...) single type, Davies recognizes a great variety of kinds, and a complementary range of possibilities for their rendition. (shrink)
This volume contains a selection of essays in translation by the German philosopher and man of letters Ernst Bloch (1885-1977), on the philosophy of music. For Bloch - often simply assimilated to the Marxist tradition, but whose thought shows a strongly individual and idealist cast - music was a primary focus on reflection. His musical knowledge and expertise were of a very high order and he was well acquainted with many of the leading composers and theorists of (...)music of his time in Germany: even divorced from his philosophy his criticism remains of value and significance. Throughout, whether discussing the complex and varied relations between text and music, or questions relating to the 'expressive' as opposed to the 'descriptive' functions of music, Bloch is intent on elucidating and placing musical experience. (shrink)
I. History. Mainwaring's Handel : its relation to British aesthetics -- Herbert Spencer and a musical dispute -- II. Opera and film. Handel's operas : the form of feeling and the problem of appreciation -- Anti-semitism in Meistersinger? -- Speech, song, and the transparency of medium : on operatic metaphysics -- III. Performance. On the historically informed performance -- Ars perfecta : toward perfection in musical performance? -- IV. Interpretation. Another go at the meaning of music : Koopman, (...) Davies, and the meaning of "meaning" -- Another go at musical profundity : Stephen Davies and the game of chess -- From ideology to music : Leonard Meyer's theory of style change -- Sibley's last paper -- In defense of musical representation : music, representation, and the hybrid arts -- Music, language, and cognition : which doesn't belong? (shrink)
While feminist aestheticians have long interrogated gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies in the arts, feminist philosophers still don’t talk much about popular music. Even though Angela Davis and bell hooks have seriously engaged popular music, they are often situated on the margins of philosophy. It is my contention that feminist aesthetics has a lot to offer to the study of popular music, and the case of popular music points feminist aesthetics to some of (...) its own limitations and unasked questions. This essay addresses the paucity of work in feminist philosophy and popular music by (1) applying insights from other areas of feminist aesthetics (the role of gender in the art/craft distinction, concepts of genius and creativity, notions of active spectatorship, etc.) to questions of popular music, and (2) thereby using feminist aesthetics – specifically, Julia Kristea’s notion of female genius and the genius spectator – to critique itself. (shrink)
Robert Sharpe examines the humanist conception of music as a language--as expressive and intelligible--which has been a dominant theory in Western culture. He argues against the view that music is expressive by causing certain states in us. Rather, he contends that our beliefs about music are integral to our appreciation of it. Differences in musical taste are then not just irresolvable differences in sensitivity, but the result of variations in circumstance and upbringing, of associations and ideology.
What is the difference between a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and the symphony itself? What does it mean for musicians to be faithful to the works they perform? To answer this question, Goehr combines philosophical and historical methods of enquiry. She describes how the concept of a musical work emerged as late as 1800, and how it subsequently defined the norms, expectations, and behavior characteristic of classical musical practice. Out of the historical thesis, Goehr draws philosophical conclusions about the (...) normative functions of concepts and ideals. She also addresses current debates amongst conductors, early-music performers, and avant-gardists. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to the esthetics of music. Aesthetics, which were of prime importance in thinking about music in the nineteenth century, are today sometimes suspected of being idle speculation. Yet judgments about music and every sort of musical activity are based on aesthetic presuppositions. Carl Dahlhaus gives an account of developments in the aesthetics of music from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. He combines a historical and systematic approach. Central themes in (...) class='Hi'>music are grouped together to illustrate both the historical course of events and a systematic unity of the essential elements in the aesthetics of music. For this edition, the late Carl Dahlhaus provided an annotated bibliography. William Austin has added books for the English-speaking reader, and has also supplied notes to the text to help the student. (shrink)
Mozart's skull -- The case of the purloined partitur -- A tale of two authenticities -- Ancient authenticities -- Operatic authenticity -- Messiah's message -- Is nothing sacred? -- Sound in sound -- Music, science, and semantics -- Authorial intention and the pure musical parameters -- Leonard Meyer's sonata.
Machine generated contents note: 1. Preparing the ground; 2. Early influences and movements; 3. Dialectic, negation and binary oppositions; 4. Boulez, Adorno and serial critique; 5. Deduction and the scientific model; 6. Serialism and structuralism; 7. Post-structuralist encounters; 8. Boulez, difference and repetition; 9. Expanding the virtual; 10. Continuity and discontinuity of space and time; Conclusion; Bibliography.
"The scholarship of Michael Spitzer's new book is impressive and thorough. The writing is impeccable and the coverage extensive. The book treats the history of the use of metaphor in the field of classical music. It also covers a substantial part of the philosophical literature. The book treats the topic of metaphor in a new and extremely convincing manner."-Lydia Goehr, Columbia University The experience of music is an abstract and elusive one, enough so that we're often forced to (...) describe it using analogies to other forms and sensations: we say that music moves or rises like a physical form that it contains the imagery of paintings or the grammar of language. In these and countless other ways, our discussions of music take the form of metaphor, attempting to describe music's abstractions by referencing more concrete and familiar experiences. Michael Spitzer's Metaphor and Musical Thought uses this process to create a unique and insightful history of our relationship with music--the first ever book-length study of musical metaphor in any language. Treating issues of language, aesthetics, semiotics, and cognition, Spitzer offers an evaluation, a comprehensive history, and an original theory of the ways our cultural values have informed the metaphors we use to address music. And as he brings these discussions to bear on specific works of music and follows them through current debates on how music's meaning might be considered, what emerges is a clear and engaging guide to both the philosophy of musical thought and the history of musical analysis, from the seventeenth century to the present day. Spitzer writes engagingly for students of philosophy and aesthetics, as well as for music theorists and historians. (shrink)
Musical Perceptions is a much-needed text that introduces students of both music and psychology to the study of music perception and cognition. Because the book aims to foster a closer interaction between research in the science and the art of music, both psychologists and musicians contribute chapters on a wide range of topics, including the philosophy of music; research in musical performance; perception of melody, tonality, and rhythm; pedagogical issues; language and music; and neural (...) networks. With their unique ability to introduce musical and psychological concepts to first-time students in the area, Rita Aiello and John Sloboda have edited a volume that will be popular with undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in the perception, psychology, and aesthetics of music. They have prefaced each chapter with an introduction to the chapter's research. This book will also be useful to cognitive and physiological psychologists and music theorists interested in music perception. (shrink)
Bloch's Teppich : an initial approach -- On the genealogy of the Teppich metaphor before Bloch -- The conceptual constellation of Bloch's musical philosophy -- Entering Bloch's musical system -- Wagner's animal lyricism -- Bloch's vision of the armored men, or the limits of enlightenment -- The achievement of symphonic authenticity -- Epilogue : an atheism of presence and absence.