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)
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?
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)
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 Including two new and previously unpublished pieces, they address both perennial questions and contemporary controversies, such as that over the 'authentic performance' movement, and the impact of modern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)
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)
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)
The article deals with the problem of the disciplinary identification of thephilosophy of music education. It explores alternative approaches to thephilosophy of music education and its relation to musical pedagogy. On thebasis of this analysis an account of the philosophy of music education as aphilosophical discipline is suggested and its specific function identified.
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)
The Consolations of Philosophy by Boethius, whose English translators include King Alfred, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Queen Elizabeth I, ranks among the most remarkable books to be written by a prisoner awaiting the execution of a tyrannical death sentence. Its interpretation is bound up with his other writings on mathematics and music, on Aristotelian and propositional logic, and on central themes of Christian dogma. -/- Chadwick begins by tracing the career of Boethius, a Roman rising to high office under (...) the Gothic King Theoderic the Great, and suggests that his death may be seen as a cruel by-product of Byzantine ambitions to restore Roman imperial rule after its elimination in the West in AD 476. Subsequent chapters examine in detail his educational programme in the liberal arts designed to avert a threatened collapse of culture and his ambition to translate into Latin everything he could find on Plato and Aristotle. -/- Boethius has been called `last of the Romans, first of the scholastics'. This book is the first major study in English of a writer who was of critical importance in the history of thought. (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)
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.
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.
Philosophers of music (and also music theorists) have recognized for a long time that research in the sciences, especially psychology, might have import for their own work. (Langer 1941 and Meyer 1956 are good examples.) However, while scientists had been interested in music as a subject of research (e.g., Helmholtz 1912, Seashore 1938), the discipline known as psychology of music, or more broadly cognitive science of music, came into its own only around 1980 with the (...) publication of several landmark works. Among the most important of these were The Psychol- ogy of Music (1980), a collection of papers edited by the psychologist Diana Deutsch, and A Generative Theory of Tonal Music (1983) by music theorist and composer Fred Lerdahl and linguist Ray Jackendoff. These works and others made possible the first attempts to apply scientific research to philosophical issues concerning music (e.g., Raffman 1993, DeBellis 1995). Since the 1980’s, of course, a great deal of research has been done in cognitive science, philosophy, and music. For philosophers, there are perhaps three topics with respect to which findings in the cognitive sciences are most likely to be germane—the nature of musical understanding, the role of emotions or feelings in music, and the evaluation of musical works. This brief overview will describe some of the scientific research that has been done on these topics, and then indicate how it might be philosophically significant. (shrink)
Designed to introduce music students and musicians to the vitality of music philosophical discourse, Philosophical Perspectives on Music explores diverse accounts of the nature and value of music. It offers an accessible, even-handed consideration of philosophical orientations without advocating any single one, demonstrating that there are a number of ways in which music may reasonably be understood. This unique approach examines the strengths and advantages of each perspective as well as its inevitable shortcomings. From the (...) pre-Socratic Greeks to idealism, through phenomenology, and on to contemporary socio-cultural critiques, this wide-ranging survey examines the views of selected influential thinkers in sufficient detail to permit their voices to be personally and meaningfully experienced. Striving to portray philosophy as an intriguing dialogue rather than a dogmatic source of definitive answers, it invites readers to become full participants in an ongoing process of philosophical debate with vital contemporary relevance and extensive practical significance. Examining what music is, how it works, and what music is good for, this book encourages musicians to join in important conversations that shape both the ways they practice their art and the ways in which they and others understand it. Accessible to students with little or no background in musicphilosophy, Philosophical Perspectives on Music provides the foundation for applied or professional philosophies while also introducing readers to the richness of the philosophical quest. Ideal for philosophy of music and philosophy of music education courses, it is also enlightening reading for students of musicology, music theory, and music performance. Featuring interdisciplinary dialogue, this insightful text addresses issues common to the concerns of all musicians. (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 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)
A historically feminized profession, education in North America remains remarkably unaffected by feminism, with the notable exception of pedagogy and its impact on curriculum. The purpose of this paper is to describe characteristics of feminism that render it particularly useful and appropriate for developing potentialities in education and music education. As a set of flexible methodological tools informed by Gilles Deleuze's notions of philosophy and art, I argue feminism may contribute to education's becoming more efficacious, reflexive, and reflective (...) of the values of its participants. Its impetus involves ‘feminist imperative(s)’ to help in the sense articulated by Elizabeth Grosz: to provoke thought, challenge, and problematize. (shrink)
What do Pythagoras, Plato, Newton, and Wittgenstein have in common with Jack and the Beanstalk, David and Goliath, the Hare and the Tortoise, and Formula 1 auto racing? Hearing is the clue, and musical science the answer. In his revolutionary sequel to The Concept of Music (OUP, 1990), Robin Maconie uncovers the hidden role of musical acoustics in the formulation of key concepts of science and philosophy from ancient Greece to modern times.
This study explores the relationship between the poetic language of Donne, Herbert, Milton, and other British poets, and the choral music and part-songs of composers including Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Weelkes, and Tomkins. The seventeenth century was the time in English literary history when music was most consciously linked to words, and when the mingling of Renaissance and 'new' philosophy opened new discovery routes for the interpretation of art. McColley offers close readings of poems and the musical settings (...) of analogous texts, and discusses the philosophy, performance, and disputed political and ecclesiastical implications of polyphony. She also enters into current discourse about the nature of language, relating poets' use of language and composers' use of music to larger questions concerning the arts, politics and theology. (shrink)
Philosophy, Music and Emotion explores two contentious issues in contemporary philosophy: the nature of music´s power to express emotion, and the nature of emotion itself. It shows how closely the two are related and provides a radically new account of what it means to say that music "expresses emotion." Geoffrey Madell maintains that most current accounts of musical expressiveness are fundamentally misguided. He attributes this fact to the influence of a famous argument of the nineteenth-century (...) critic Hanslick, and also to the dominant "cognitivist" approach to the nature of emotion, which sees the essence of emotion to be the entertaining of evaluative judgments and beliefs. This book argues that the cognitivist account of the nature of emotion is false and should be replaced with a conception of emotions as states of feeling. Central to this bold analysis is a new account of two closely connected mental states, desire and pleasure, and their role in human motivation. (shrink)
Apparitions takes a new look at the critical legacy of one of the 20th century's most important and influential thinkers about music, Theodor W. Adorno. Bringing together an international group of scholars, the book offers new historical and critical insights into Adorno's theories of music and how these theories, in turn, have affected the study of contemporary art music, popular music, and jazz. The essays review the impact of Philosophy of New Music a fter (...) World War II, examine Adorno's struggle to adapt his aging philosophy to the new music of the 1950s and 1960s, and trace his influence on recent composers. Several essays in this volume also re-evaluate Adorno's controversial contribution to the study of popular music and jazz, as well as his theories of mass media and mass culture in the context of an increasing consolidation of corporate and political power in the entertainment industry. This volume will be indispensable for both scholars and students of Adorno, who seek a historical context and a critical assessment of some of his most influential as well as most contested writings on music. (shrink)
A fascinating and hugely original book that explains how a vexing technical puzzle was solved, making possible some of the most exquisite music ever written. From the days of the ancient Greeks, the creation of music was thought to be governed by divine and immutable mathematical certainties. But over time skeptics came to understand that those rules limited harmonic possibilities. In Temperament , we see the traditionalists and the innovators battling across the centuries, engaging great thinkers like Newton, (...) Kepler, and Descartes as well as musicians, craftsmen, church leaders, and heads of state. At the heart of their dispute is the question of how the tones of a musical scale should be selected. The breakthrough came in the eighteenth century, when the modern keyboard was given perfect musical symmetry through a tuning of equal temperament, each pitch reliably equidistant from the ones that precede and follow it. This tuning allows a musical pattern begun on one note to be duplicated when starting on any other; it creates a musical universe in which the relationships between tones are reliably, uniformly consistent--a universe of greatly expanded possibility, one that allowed Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, and all those who followed to compose the piano music we listen to today. Stuart Isacoff relates the story of the reinvention of the piano--a story that encompasses social history, religion, philosophy, and science as well as musicology--in a concise and sparkling narrative. Temperament is a jewel of a book. (shrink)