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.
Antithetical Arts constitutes a defence of musical formalism against those who would put literary interpretations on the absolute music canon. In Part I, the historical origins of both the literary interpretation of absolute music and musical formalism are laid out. In Part II, specific attempts to put literary interpretations on various works of the absolute music canon are examined and criticized. Finally, in Part III, the question is raised as to what the human significance of absolute music is, if it (...) does not lie in its representational or narrative content. The answer is that, as yet, philosophy has no answer, and that the question should be considered an important one for philosophers of art to consider, and to try to answer without appeal to representational or narrative content. (shrink)
The last of Hume's five requirements of the ‘‘true judge in the finer arts’’, is that he be ‘‘cleared of all prejudice……'. I argue here that, lurking in this innocuous-sounding requirement of the true judge, is a complexity that reveals a significant tension in Hume's argument. It is that tension that I want briefly to explore.
I suggest in this paper that Professor Peacocke has given an elegant and, it seems to me, successful account of how we hear in music, metaphorically, various extra-musical properties, among them the much vexed expressive ones. I argue that what Peacocke now must do, as the next step in his project, is to tackle the normative question of when, particularly in the case of absolute music, we are justified in hearing in the music what, on his account, we can hear (...) in it. (shrink)
It is agreed on all hands that both fictional narratives and the familiar genres of classical music possess an inner structure that both can be perceived and be appreciated aesthetically. It is my argument here that this inner structure plays a crucially different role in fictional narrative than it does in classical music, confining myself here to 'absolute music' (which is to say, pure instrumental music without text, programme, dramatic setting, or other 'extra-musical' content). The argument, basically, is that whereas (...) the sophisticated listener to the absolute music repertory is keenly, consciously aware of the inner structure, the sophisticated reader of fictional narrative, the principal exemplar being the novel, is not so aware. Therefore, whereas musical structure directly contributes to aesthetic satisfaction, narrative structure contributes only indirectly (which is not to deny that, at times, the reader is consciously aware of narrative structure, and that, at such times, it does contribute directly to aesthetic satisfaction). (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)
James Shelley argues that the perception of beauty, as Hutcheson characterizes it, in the first of the two treatises that comprise the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, that is, the Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design, is not what I called in The Seventh Sense, ‘non-epistemic’ perception but, rather, ‘epistemic’ perception through and through. Having studied Shelley's arguments with care, and consulted the relevant primary sources yet again, I am still convinced that (...) the best reading of Hutcheson's second Inquiry, in the first edition of 1725, has Hutcheson espousing a non-epistemic account of our perception of what he calls ‘absolute beauty’. And so I argue in the present paper. (shrink)
Is there such a thing as the perfect performance of a musical work? It is the thesis of this paper that there is not. The thesis is advanced as the implication or concomitant of an already developed view of musical performance in the Western tradition, outlined in my book, Authenticities (1995).
I have argued previously that the art of absolute music, unlike, for example, the art of literature, is not capable of profundity, which I characterized as treating a profound subject matter, at the highest artistic level, in a manner appropriate to its profundity. Stephen Davies has recently argued that there is another way of being profound, which he calls non-propositional profundity, and for which chess provides his principal example. He argues, further, that absolute music also exhibits this non-propositional profundity. I (...) argue in the present paper that Davies's attempt to rescue profundity for absolute music will not work, because it does not allow what I take to be the crucial distinction between great works of absolute music that are profound and great works of absolute music that are not. In other words, it has the unwelcome implication that all great works of absolute music are profound works. (shrink)
Now reissued with substantial new material, The Seventh Sense is the definitive study of the aesthetic theory of the great eighteenth-century philosopher Frances Hutcheson, and its huge influence on British aesthetics. Peter Kivy's book is a seminal work on early modern aesthetics, and has been much in demand since going out of print some years ago; this new edition brings the book up to date with the addition of eight essays that Kivy has written on the subject since 1976.
How to Forge a Musical Work’, I argue that the best way to view an attempted forgery of a lost autograph that accidentally duplicates the lost original is as a ‘version’, not a ‘forgery’, although I acknowledge the plausibility of Jerrold Levinson's alternate view, that it remains a forgery nevertheless. John Dilworth, in his article, ‘A Representational Theory of Artefacts and Artworks’, defends Levinson's ‘intuition’ against mine. In the present article I argue that our ‘intuitions’ here are divided, as they (...) are in the case of fictional literary works that accidentally turn out to be ‘true’, where some would say that what we have is still ‘fiction’, others that it is ‘accidental history’. (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.
After the publication of my book Authenticities in 1995 I began toreceive criticisms of it based on the growing currency of the phrase ‘the historically informed performance’, which was supposed to be describing a kind of musical performance that differed significantly from the kind that had been known previously as the ‘historically authentic performance’ and which had been the object of my critique in the book. The argument was that the historically informed performance was different enough from the historically authentic (...) one to evade my critique while enough like it to retain its ‘historical spirit’. Through a series of analyses of the concept of the historically informed performance, I tentatively conclude in the present paper that, construed one obvious way, the concept does indeed evade my critique, but at the cost of losing, so to speak, its historical credentials and, construed in another obvious way, the concept of the historically informed performance simply collapses into the concept of the historically authentic performance. In neither case is philosophical progress made, but what we are involved with here is a classic case of what the late Charles Stevenson called a ‘persuasive definition’. (shrink)
Peter Kivy presents a selection of his new and recent writings on the philosophy of music--an area to which he has been one of the most eminent contributors. In his distinctively elegant and informal style, Kivy explores such topics as musicology and its history, the nature of musical works, and the role of emotion in music, and does so in a way that will attract the interest of philosophical and musical readers alike. Most works are published here for the first (...) time, each one unique and accessible, making this collection a delight both to followers of Kivy's work and to first-time readers. (shrink)
Since the beginning of the eighteenth century the philosophy of art has been engaged on the project of trying to find out what the fine arts have in common and, thus, how they might be defined. Peter Kivy's purpose in this accessible and lucid book is to trace the history of that enterprise and argue that the definitional project has been unsuccessful. He offers a fruitful change of strategy: instead of engaging in an obsessive quest for sameness, let us explore (...) the differences between the arts. He presents five case studies, three from literature, two from music. With its combination of historical and analytic approaches this is a book for a wide range of readers in philosophy, literary studies, music, and non-academic readers with interests in the arts. (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)