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)
The current conflict between the recording industry and a portion of its customers who are involved in illicit copying of music files arose from innovations involving the compression and electronic distribution of files over the internet. This paper briefly describes some of the challenges faced by the recording industry, and examines some of the ethical issues that arise in various industry and consumer responses to the opportunities and threats presented by these innovations. The paper concludes by highlighting the risks (...) associated with responses that threaten further innovation, ultimately reducing the chances of finding solutions that hold appeal for all parties. (shrink)
This essay explores some aspects of the relation between philosophy and music. First, how music can inspire philosophy; second, how philosophy can inspire music. Mathematics as a middle term between music and philosophy, the idea of wholeness in a musical composition or a philosophical text, music as a mode of thought displaying traits such as logic, coherence, and sense—these are some ways in which music and philosophy may be seen to be connected. Also, composers (...) sometimes have explicit recourse to philosophical ideas in advancing their music, there being prominent examples of this in the twentieth century. Lastly, given there is such a thing as the philosophy of music, might there also be the music of philosophy? (shrink)
Research indicates that people value music primarily because of the emotions it evokes. Yet, the notion of musical emotions remains controversial, and researchers have so far been unable to offer a satisfactory account of such emotions. We argue that the study of musical emotions has suffered from a neglect of underlying mechanisms. Specifically, researchers have studied musical emotions without regard to how they were evoked, or have assumed that the emotions must be based on the mechanism for emotion induction, (...) a cognitive appraisal. Here, we present a novel theoretical framework featuring six additional mechanisms through which music listening may induce emotions: (1) brain stem reflexes, (2) evaluative conditioning, (3) emotional contagion, (4) visual imagery, (5) episodic memory, and (6) musical expectancy. We propose that these mechanisms differ regarding such characteristics as their information focus, ontogenetic development, key brain regions, cultural impact, induction speed, degree of volitional influence, modularity, and dependence on musical structure. By synthesizing theory and findings from different domains, we are able to provide the first set of hypotheses that can help researchers to distinguish among the mechanisms. We show that failure to control for the underlying mechanism may lead to inconsistent or non-interpretable findings. Thus, we argue that the new framework may guide future research and help to resolve previous disagreements in the field. We conclude that music evokes emotions through mechanisms that are not unique to music, and that the study of musical emotions could benefit the emotion field as a whole by providing novel paradigms for emotion induction. (shrink)
Introduction -- The type/token theory introduced -- Motivating the type/token theory : repeatability -- Nominalist approaches to the ontology of music -- Musical anti-realism -- The type/token theory elaborated -- Types I : abstract, unstructured, unchanging -- Types introduced and nominalism repelled -- Types as abstracta -- Types as unstructured entities -- Types as fixed and unchanging -- Types II : platonism -- Introduction : eternal existence and timelessness -- Types and properties -- The eternal existence of properties reconsidered (...) -- Types and patterns -- Defending the type/token theory I -- Unstructuredness and analogical predication -- Musical works as fixed and unchanging -- Abstractness and audibility (again) -- Works and interpretations -- Conclusion and resumé -- Defending the type/token theory II : musical platonism -- Platonism it is : replies to Anderson and Levinson -- The existence conditions of works of music -- Composition as creative discovery -- The nature of the compositional process : replies to objections -- Composition and aesthetic appraisal : a reply to Levinson -- Composition and aesthetic appraisal : understanding, interpretation, and correctness -- Musical works as continuants : a theory rejected -- A theory introduced -- Explicating and motivating the continuant view -- The continuant view and repeatability -- Further objections to the continuant view -- Musical works as compositional actions : a critique -- Currie's action-type hypothesis -- Davies's performance theory -- Sonicism I : against instrumentalism -- Sonicism introduced -- Sonicism motivated : moderate empiricism -- Instrumentation : timbral sonicism introduced -- Scores -- Instrumentation, artistic properties, and aesthetic content -- Levinson's rejoinder -- Sonicism II : against contextualism -- Introduction : formulating contextualism -- Contextualist ontological proposals -- Levinson's doppelgänger thought-experiments -- Artistic, representational, and object-directed expressive properties -- Aesthetic and non-object-directed expressive properties -- Conclusion : the place of context. (shrink)
In this essay, I investigate musical silence. I first discuss how to integrate the concept of silence into a general theory or definition of music. I then consider the possibility of an entirely silent musical piece. I begin with John Cage’s 4′33″, since it is the most notorious candidate for a silent piece of music, even though it is not, in fact, silent. I conclude that it is not music either, but I argue that it is a (...) piece of non-musical sound art, rather than simply a piece of theatre, as Stephen Davies has argued. I end with consideration of several other candidates for entirely silent pieces, concluding that two of these are in fact pieces of music consisting entirely of silence. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: How do we recognize distinct types of emotion in music?
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?
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)
In a recent pair of articles, Aaron Ridley and Andrew Kania have debated the merits of the study of musical ontology. Ridley contends that the study of musical ontology is orthogonal to more pressing concerns over the value of music. Kania rejects this, arguing that a theory of the value of music must begin with an understanding of the ontology of music. In this essay, I will argue that, despite Kania's rejections, Ridley's criticism exposes a false methodological (...) assumption that needs to be addressed—a poorly understood adherence to the priority of ontology, which is the belief that the resolution of ontological disputes must precede our understanding of the evaluation of musical performances. I will argue that there is a central claim at the heart of Ridley's criticisms that must be appreciated—that standard accounts of the ontology of music make unwarranted assumptions about the rigidity of the identification of musical performances—and yet Kania is right to claim that the resolution of some ontological questions will play some role in our evaluation of musical performances. I will argue that part of the disagreement between Ridley and Kania can be resolved by accepting a greatly weakened version of the priority of ontology. (shrink)
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)
Although downloading music through unapproved channels is illegal, statistics indicate that it is widespread. The following study examines the attitudes and perceptions of college students that are potentially engaged in music downloading. The methodology includes a content analysis of the recommendations written to answer an ethical vignette. The vignette presented the case of a subject who faces the dilemma of whether or not to download music illegally. Analyses of the final reports indicate that there is a vast (...) and inconsistent array of actions and underlying feelings toward digital music downloading. The findings reveal inconsistencies between participants’ recommendations (what the subject should do) and their attitudes and opinions on the matter (what they would do in a similar situation). These inconsistencies support the notion that as technology evolves, it creates discrepancies between the way things are and the way the law expects them to be, leaving society in a muddle, trying to reconcile the two. What remains to be seen is whether the discrepancy in the case of music downloading becomes extreme enough that the law changes to accommodate an increasingly prevalent behavior, or whether new business models will emerge to bridge the gap between legality and reality. (shrink)
Bogue provides a systematic overview and introduction to Deleuze's writings on music and painting, and an assessment of their position within his aesthetics as a whole. Deleuze on Music, Painting and the Arts breaks new ground in the scholarship on Deleuze's aesthetics, while providing a clear and accessible guide to his often overlooked writings in the fields of music and painting.
Piracy is the greatest threat facing the music industry worldwide today. This study developed and empirically tested a model examining the antecedents of consumer attitude and behavioral intention toward music piracy behavior. Two types of music piracy behavior, unauthorized duplication/download and pirated music product purchasing, were examined. Based on a field survey in Taiwan, the results showed that attributive satisfaction, perceived prosecution risk, magnitude of consequence, and social consensus are very important in influencing customers attitude and (...) behavioral intention toward two types of music piracy behavior. In addition, singer/band idolization can affect the attitude and behavioral intention in the case of pirated music product purchasing. Perceived proximity was found to affect the attitude and behavioral intention in the case of pirated music product purchasing. However, it only influenced behavioral intention in the case of unauthorized duplication/download. (shrink)
Although contemporary Western culture and criticism has usually valued composition over improvisation and placed the authority of a musical work with the written text rather than the performer, this essay posits these divisions as too facile to articulate the complex dynamics of making music in any genre or form. Rather it insists that music should be understood as pieces that are created with specific intentions by composers but which possess possibilities of interpretation that can only be brought out (...) through performance. (shrink)
This book is an important contribution to the philosophy of music. Whereas most books in this field focus on the creation and reproduction of music, Bruce Benson's concern is the phenomenology of music making as an activity. He offers the radical thesis that it is improvisation that is primary in the moment of music making. Succinct and lucid, the book brings together a wide range of musical examples from classical music, jazz, early music and (...) other genres. It offers a rich tapestry incorporating both analytic and continental philosophy, musicology and performance-practice issues. It will be a provocative read for philosophers of art and musicologists and, because it eschews technicality, should appeal to general readers, especially those who perform. (shrink)
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)
This is a long-awaited reissue of Jerrold Levinson's 1990 book Music, Art, and Metaphysics, which gathers together the writings that made him a leading figure in contemporary aesthetics. Most of the essays are distinguished by a concern with metaphysical questions about artworks and their properties, but other essays address the problem of art's definition, the psychology of aesthetic response, and the logic of interpreting and evaluating works of art. The focus of about half of the essays is the art (...) of music, the art of greatest interest to Levinson throughout his career. Many of the essays have been very influential, being among the most cited in contemporary aesthetics and having become essential references in debates on the definition of art, the ontology of art, emotional response to art, expression in art, and the nature of art forms. (shrink)
Recent philosophy of music in the Anglophone analytic tradition has produced many fine-grained analyses of musical practices within the context of the Western fine-art tradition. It has not for the most part, however, been self-conscious about the normative implications of that orienting tradition. As a result, the achievements of recent philosophical discussions of music have been unnecessarily constricted. The way forward is to enrich the range of musical practices philosophy takes as its target of examination.
First published in 1959, this original study argues that the main characteristic of music is that it expresses and evokes emotion, and that all composers whose music has a tonal basis have used the same, or closely similar, melodic phrases, harmonies, and rhythms to affect the listener in the same ways. He supports this view with hundreds of musical examples, ranging from plainsong to Stravinsky, and contends that music is a language in the specific sense that we (...) can identify idioms and draw up a list of meanings. The book's final section analyzes two symphonies, Mozart's Fortieth and Vaughan Williams's Sixth, to explore the nature of musical inspiration and the process whereby the notes actually convey emotion from composer to listener. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical study of the relations between hearing and thinking about music. The central problem it addresses is as follows: how is it possible to talk about what a listener perceives in terms that the listener does not recognise? By applying the concepts and techniques of analytic philosophy the author explores the ways in which musical hearing may be described as nonconceptual, and how such mental representation contrasts with conceptual thought. The author is both philosopher and (...) musicologist and uniquely combines the perspectives of both disciplines. Exploring the philosophical questions of mental representation in the relatively neglected, nonverbal domain of music, this study is a major contribution to the philosophical understanding of music perception and cognitive theory. (shrink)
During the last few decades, most cultural critics have come to agree that the division between "high" and "low" art is an artificial one, that Beethoven's Ninth and "Blue Suede Shoes" are equally valuable as cultural texts. In Who Needs Classical Music?, Julian Johnson challenges these assumptions about the relativism of cultural judgements. The author maintains that music is more than just "a matter of taste": while some music provides entertainment, or serves as background noise, other (...) class='Hi'>music claims to function as art. This book considers the value of classical music in contemporary society, arguing that it remains distinctive because it works in quite different ways to most of the other music that surrounds us. This intellectually sophisticated yet accessible book offers a new and balanced defense of the specific values of classical music in contemporary culture. Who Needs Classical Music? will stimulate readers to reflect on their own investment (or lack of it) in music and art of all kinds. (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.
This paper is an exploration of how we do things with music—that is, the way that we use music as an esthetic technology to enact micro-practices of emotion regulation, communicative expression, identity construction, and interpersonal coordination that drive core aspects of our emotional and social existence. The main thesis is: from birth, music is directly perceived as an affordance-laden structure. Music, I argue, affords a sonic world, an exploratory space or nested acoustic environment that further affords (...) possibilities for, among other things, (1) emotion regulation and (2) social coordination. When we do things with music, we are engaged in the work of creating and cultivating the self, as well as creating and cultivating a shared world that we inhabit with others. I develop this thesis by first introducing the notion of a musical affordance . Next, I look at how emotional affordances in music are exploited to construct and regulate emotions. I summon empirical research on neonate music therapy to argue that this is something we emerge from the womb knowing how to do. I then look at social affordances in music, arguing that joint attention to social affordances in music alters how music is both perceived and appropriated by joint attenders within social listening contexts. In support, I describe the experience of listening to and engaging with music in a live concert setting. Thinking of music as an affordance-laden structure thus reaffirms the crucial role that music plays in constructing and regulating emotional and social experiences in everyday life. (shrink)
Why are some popular musical forms and performers universally reviled by critics and ignored by scholars-despite enjoying large-scale popularity? How has the notion of what makes "good" or "bad" music changed over the years-and what does this tell us about the writers who have assigned these tags to different musical genres? Many composers that are today part of the classical "canon" were greeted initially by bad reviews. Similarly, jazz, country, and pop musics were all once rejected as "bad" by (...) the academy that now has courses on these and many other types of music. This book addresses why this is so through a series of essays on different musical forms and performers. It looks at alternate ways of judging musical performance beyond the critical/academic nexus, and suggests new paths to follow in understanding what makes some music "popular" even if it is judged to be "bad." For anyone who has ever secretly enjoyed ABBA, Kenny G, or disco, Bad Music will be a guilty pleasure! (shrink)
The music in here--. Music as body ; Music as mind ; Music as heart ; Feeling mind, thinking heart -- --out there--. Music as life ; Music as story ; Music as mirror -- --and everywhere--. Music on the Zen elevator ; The enlightened listener ; Living the waves.
Digitized information and network have made an enormous impact on the music and movie industries. Internet piracy is popular and has greatly threatened the companies in these industries. This study tests Hunt-Vitell’s ethical decision model and attempts to understand why and how people share unauthorized music files with others in the peer-to-peer (P2P) network. The norm of anti-piracy, the ideology of free software, the norm of reciprocity, and the ideology of consumer rights are proposed as four deontological norms (...) related to using P2P systems. The model is tested using a scenario survey with four alternatives; the results indicate that the deontological norm of anti-piracy is not a main factor in affecting P2P users’ ethical considerations regarding sharing files with others. This finding suggests that to protect their property rights, record companies should try to realize the consumer benefits brought via new digital and network technology, instead of simply declaring their intellectual property and resisting the innovations resulting from new technologies. (shrink)
This book is born out of two contradictions: first, it explores the making of meaning in a musical form that was made to lose its meaning at the turn of the nineteenth century; secondly, it is a history of a music that claims to have no history - absolute music. The book therefore writes against that notion of absolute music which tends to be the paradigm for most musicological and analytical studies. It is concerned not so much (...) with what music is, but with why and how meaning is constructed in instrumental music and what structures of knowledge need to be in place for such meaning to exist. From the thought of Vincenzo Galilei to that of Theodore Adorno, Daniel Chua suggests that instrumental music has always been a critical and negative force in modernity, even with its nineteenth-century apotheosis as 'absolute music'. (shrink)
Contemporary scholarship accents incipient theurgical practice for Plotinus; this lends a certain urgency to the question of his acceptance of magic. While use of magic recorded in Porphyry's Vita Plotini has received considerable attention, far less has been done to analyze actual discussion in the Enneads . Examination of key passages brings to light the context for discussion of magic, particularly issues of sympathy, prayer, astrology and divination. Equally important is Plotinus' understanding of the cosmos and role (...) of the heavenly bodies. Plotinus' affirmation of the highest part of the soul as undescended, together with the claim that our soul has a common origin with the World Soul in Soul-Hypostasis, is significant for the relative unimportance he attributes to the role and effect of magic. (shrink)
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)