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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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?
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
I read Sara Kofman's work on Nietzsche, Charles Mills' _The Racial Contract_, and Kodwo Eshun's Afrofuturist musicology to argue that most condemnations of "faking it" in music rest on a racially and sexually problematic fetishization of "the real.".
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 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 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)
What is postmodern music and how does it differ from earlier styles, including modernist music? What roles have electronic technologies and sound production played in defining postmodern music? Has postmodern music blurred the lines between high and popular music? Addressing these and other questions, this ground-breaking collection gathers together for the first time essays on postmodernism and music written primarily by musicologists, covering a wide range of musical styles including concert music, jazz, film (...)music, and popular music. Topics include: the importance of technology and marketing in postmodern music; the appropriation and reworking of Western music by non-Western bands; postmodern characteristics in the music of Górecki, Rochberg, Zorn, and Bolcom, as well as Björk and Wu Tang Clan; issues of music and race in such films as The Bridges of Madison County, Batman, Bullworth, and He Got Game; and comparisons of postmodern architecture to postmodern music. Also includes nine musical examples. (shrink)
Melopoetics, the study of the multifarious relations between music and literature, has emerged in recent years as an increasingly popular field of interdisciplinary inquiry. In this volume, noted musicologists and literary critics explore diverse topics of shared concern such as literary theory as a model for musical criticism, genre theories in literature and music, the criticism and analysis of texted music, and the role of aesthetic, historical, and cultural understanding in concepts of text/music convergence. These fourteen (...) essays - united here not by a common ideology but by common subject matter - demonstrate how musical and literary scholarship can combine forces effectively on the common ground of contemporary critical theory and interpretive practice. The concluding essay by interdisciplinary historian Hayden White locates this ambitious enterprise of contemplating 'music and text' in the larger context of intellectual history. (shrink)
The Cultural Study of Music is an anthology of new writings that will serve as a basic textbook on music and culture. Increasingly, music is being studied as it relates to specific cultures-not only by ethnomusicologists, but by traditional musicologists as well. Drawing on writers from music, anthropology, sociology, and the related fields, the book both defines the field-i.e., "What is the relation between music and culture?"-and then presents case studies of particular issues in world (...) musics. This book would serve as an introductory textbook for the cultural study of music, an area that is increasingly being taught at the upper-level undergraduate and graduate level. Plus it would appeal to scholars in all areas of music, reflecting the latest and most up to date thinking on the complex issues surrounding how music and culture interrelate. (shrink)
With a characteristically broad and provocative treatment, Dahlhaus examines a single music-aesthetical idea from various historical and philosophical viewpoints. "Essential reading for anyone interested in the larger intellectual framework in which Romantic music found its place, a framework that to a remarkable degree has continued to shape our image of music."--Robert P. Morgan, Yale University Carl Dahlhaus (1928-1989) is the author of a highly influential body of works on the foundations of music history and aesthetics.
Other people's music -- Musical animals -- What's involved in sounding human? -- Cross-cultural understanding -- The music of language -- Musical synesthesia -- A song in your heart -- Comfort and joy -- Beyond ethnocentrism.
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)
Recent encounters with structuralist and poststructuralist critical theory, linguistics, and cognitive sciences have brought the theory and analysis of music into the orbit of important developments in present-day intellectual history. Without seeking to impose an explicit redefinition of either theory or analysis, this book explores the limits of both. Essays on decidability, ambiguity, metaphor, music as text, and music analysis as cognitive theory are complemented by studies of works by Debussy, Schoenberg, Birtwistle and Boulez.
What is consciousness? Why and when do we have it? Where does it come from, and how does it relate to the lump of squishy grey matter in our heads, or to our material and social worlds? While neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists, historians, and cultural theorists offer widely different perspectives on these fundamental questions concerning what it is like to be human, most agree that consciousness represents a 'hard problem'. -/- The emergence of consciousness studies as a multidisciplinary discourse addressing these (...) issues has often been associated with rapid advances in neuroscience-perhaps giving the impression that the arts and humanities have arrived late at the debating table. The longer historical view suggests otherwise, but it is probably true that music has been under-represented in accounts of consciousness. Music and Consciousness aims to redress the balance: its twenty essays offer a timely and multi-faceted contribution to consciousness studies, critically examining some of the existing debates and raising new questions. -/- The collection makes it clear that to understand consciousness we need to do much more than just look at brains: studying music demonstrates that consciousness is as much to do with minds, bodies, culture, and history. Incorporating several chapters that move outside Western philosophical traditions, Music and Consciousness corrects any perception that the study of consciousness is a purely occidental preoccupation. And in addition to what it says about consciousness the volume also presents a distinctive and thought-provoking configuration of new writings about music. (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.
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)
Music and listening, music and consciousness -- Conceptualizing consciousness -- The phenomenology of everyday music listening experiences -- Absorption, dissociation and trancing -- Musical and non-musical trancing in daily life -- Imaginative involvement -- Musical and non-musical trancing : similarities and differences -- Experiencing life and art : ethological and evolutionary perspectives on -- Transformations of consciousness -- Everyday music listening experiences reframed.
Because music communicates extra-propositionally, philosophers often use musical concepts and metaphors to discuss implicit and/or affective knowledges. Music is a productive means to philosophically analyze affect, but only when these analyses are grounded in rigorous studies of actual musical works and practices. When we don’t ground our study of music in musical practices, works, and theories, “music” just becomes a mirror of whatever assumptions and biases we already have. I show how the overly-abstract treatment of (...) class='Hi'>music and sound in Jean-Luc Nancy’s Listening leads to significant philosophical and political problems. By following his musical metaphors all the way through, I show how his theory of listening naturalizes maleness/masculinity, and, like liberal multiculturalism, values “difference” only as a way to re-center whiteness and patriarchy. As an alternative, I use R&B/electropop singer Kelis’s 2010 single “Acapella” (sic) to develop an alternative account of music, affect, and the politics of difference. (shrink)
What is music for? How does it work? What can it teach us? Intuitively, we feel there must be answers to such questions, but they tend to be scattered throughout a wide range of different areas of study, from acoustics to music history, from psychology to composition. In this brilliant and thought-provoking book Maconie seeks the answers to these and other fundamental questions about music, integrating music and appropriate scientific research in a new evaluation of his (...) topic. In so doing, he argues passionately for a reappraisal of music, not as mere entertainment, but as something basic to our experience of listening and communicating in sound, and an art which has exerted a profound influence on society. (shrink)
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)
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.
This paper aims to clarify certain aspects of the connections between music and (word) language alluded to in various manuscript passages by Wittgenstein. Three points are emphasized: (1) Wittgenstein’s willingness to speak of music as a language; (2) the importance of context; (3) the possibility of distinguishing various ways of explaining our hearing certain sequences of sounds as expressive of gestures or states of mind etc. Several attempts at elucidating the idea of understanding music lead to the (...) realization that, according to Wittgenstein, a prior grasp of his notion of a language-game is required to make headway in this area. (shrink)
Composers with disabilities and the critical reception of their music -- Musical narratives of disability overcome : Beethoven -- Musical narratives of disability accommodated : Schubert -- Musical narratives of balance lost and regained : Schoenberg and Webern -- Musical narratives of the fractured body : Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók, and Copland -- Disability within music-theoretical traditions -- Performing music and performing disability -- Prodigious hearing, normal hearing, and disablist hearing.
The famous quip "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like" sums up many people's ideas about how to judge a work of art; but there are inherent limitations if we rely on immediate impressions in judging what should be enduring products of our culture. While some might criticize this as a return to "elitism," Joshua Fineberg argues that without some way of determining intrinsic value, there can be no movement forward for creators or their audience. (...) He draws on contemporary thought about "Design space" and "Universal Grammar" to show how intrinsic values can be rediscovered. He then looks at the importance of multimedia in allowing multiple points of entry for the discovering of new works, finally showing how the composer can "Design music for human beings"--creating a kind of art that can preserve the research agenda of conceptual work without renouncing the understanding of human listeners and performers embodied by craft. Classical Music: Why Bother? will intrigue all listeners of contemporary music, students of musical thought, and composers-but it will also interest students of contemporary aesthetics. It answers the age-old question "How can we bring a new audience to contemporary art?" - and challenges both the creators and their audience to broaden their ideas about what is valuable and lasting in today's culture. (shrink)
The recorded musical text -- Recording, repetition, and meaning in absolute music -- Schnabel's rationalism, Gould's pragmatism -- Digital mythologies -- Beethoven and the iPod Nation -- Photo/phono/pornography -- Mahler as imagist.
This book provides a collection of some 400 passages on music from early Christian literature - New Testament to c. 450 AD - newly translated from the original Greek, Latin, and Syriac. As there are no musical sources of the period, music historians must rely upon remarks about music in literary sources to gain some knowledge of early Christian liturgical music. This volume makes a large and representative collection of the material conveniently available. The passages are (...) arranged chronologically and regionally in eleven chapters with brief commentary. An introduction sets out the major subjects and themes of the original source material. (shrink)
These free-wheeling, often exhilarating dialogues—which grew out of the acclaimed Carnegie Hall Talks—are an exchange between two of the most prominent figures in contemporary culture: Daniel Barenboim, internationally renowned conductor and pianist, and Edward W. Said, eminent literary critic and impassioned commentator on the Middle East. Barenboim is an Argentinian-Israeli and Said a Palestinian-American; they are also close friends. As they range across music, literature, and society, they open up many fields of inquiry: the importance of a sense of (...) place; music as a defiance of silence; the legacies of artists from Mozart and Beethoven to Dickens and Adorno; Wagner’s anti-Semitism; and the need for “artistic solutions” to the predicament of the Middle East—something they both witnessed when they brought young Arab and Israeli musicians together. Erudite, intimate, thoughtful and spontaneous, Parallels and Paradoxes is a virtuosic collaboration. (shrink)
The tears of Odysseus -- History : music gives voice to the ineffable -- Tears, chills, and broken bones -- The music itself -- Explaining strong emotional responses to music I -- Explaining strong emotional responses to music II -- The sublime, revisited -- Conclusion : values.
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 (...) class='Hi'>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)
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 music philosophy, 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)
Introduction : music and abstraction -- Music and fantasy -- German romanticism and music -- Negative poetics : on skepticism and the lyric voice -- Rethinking the scale of literary history -- Mozart, Bach, and musical abjection -- Moods at mid-century : Handel and English literature, 1740-1760 -- Passion and love : anacreontic song and the roots of romantic lyric -- Haydn's whimsy : poetry, sexuality, repetition -- Non Giovanni : Mozart with Hegel.
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)
Music theorists of almost all ages employ a concept of "Nature" to justify observations or statements about music. The understanding of what "Nature" is, however, is subject to cultural and historical differences. In tracing these explanatory strategies and their changes in music theories between c. 1600 and 1900, these essays explore (for the first time in a book-length study) how the multifarious conceptions of nature, located variously between scientific reason and divine power, are brought to bear on (...)music theory and how they affect our understanding of music. (shrink)
Bringing together an international collection of experts, this work explores various philosophical issues surrounding modern music recordings. With perspectives from practicing musicians, musicologists, sound artists, and recordings engineers, this reference asks how theoretical issues related to their work relate to the context of making and using recordings. Additional questions asked by this study include What kind of “spatiality” is generated through recordings, and by what means? What is the nature of “recorded space”? Do recordings reflect musical reality or create (...) one? and What are the philosophical bases of an “ethics” of recording? (shrink)
An outline topography of musical accessibility. What is musical accessibility? ; Society, atonality, psychology -- Accessibility discourse in rock, and cultural change. Case study 1 : 'Prog' rock/punk rock : sophistication, directness and shock ; Zeitgeist : accessibility in flux -- A valiant failure? : new art music and the people. Case study 2 : Vaughan Williams' national music in context ; Art music, vernacular music and accessibility -- Accessibility, identity and social action. Case study 3a (...) : Accessibility in action : Bahia, Brazil ; 3b : Samba in Wales : how is adopted music accessible? -- Part five. Themes. Some key concepts. (shrink)
This translation of this classic text contains a balance of cultural and biological considerations. While arguing for the strong influence of exposure and of formal training on the way that music is perceived, Frances draws on the literature concerning the amusias to illustrate his points about the types of cognitive abstraction that are performed by the listener.
Postmodernism is a term that has been used extensively to describe general trends and specific works in many different cultural contexts, including literature, cinema, architecture and the visual arts. This introduction clarifies the term and explores its relevance for music through discussion of specific musical examples from the 1950s to the present day, providing an engagement between theory and practice. Overall, this book equips students with a thorough understanding of this complex but important topic in music studies. It: (...) • outlines and addresses the problems of defining what we mean by postmodernism • explores when postmodernism begins • engages with a broad range of literature and reference sources, inviting wider reading and thinking • uses specific musical examples to present ways of interpreting music that can be defined as postmodernist. (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)
Ranging chronologically from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and thematically from Latin to vernacular literary modes, this book challenges standard assumptions about the musical cultures and philosophies of the European Middle Ages. Engaging a wide range of premodern texts and contexts, from the musicality of sodomy in twelfth-century polyphony to Chaucer's representation of pedagogical violence in the Prioress's Tale, from early Christian writings on the music of the body to the plainchant and poetry of Hildegard of Bingen, the (...) author argues that medieval music was quintessentially a practice of the flesh. The book reveals a medieval world in which erotic desire, sexual practice, torture, flagellation, and even death itself resonated with musical significance and meaning. In its insistence on music as an integral part of the material cultures of the Middle Ages, the book presents a revisionist account of an important aspect of premodern European civilization. (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)
Contemporary or traditional? Blended or seeker? Pop or "classical"? Chorus or hymn? Combo or organ? Questions concerning music in worship abound these days. Is there a practical way to deal with these issues? In Music and Ministry: A Biblical Counterpoint, Calvin Johansson looks to God's Word for principles foundational to music ministry. Weaving together great scriptural truths, he establishes the need for a "directional balance" between pastoral contextualization and prophetic purity. In a time of facile musical accommodation (...) of the gospel to culture, Dr. Johansson suggests that a heightened concern for musical style and quality is in order—not for the sake of music, but for the sake of the gospel. (shrink)
Music, according to Sufi teaching, is really a small expression of the overwhelming and perfect harmony of the whole universe--and that is the secret of its amazing power to move us. The Indian Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), the first teacher to bring the Islamic mystical tradition to the West, was an accomplished musician himself. His lucid exposition of music's divine nature has become a modern classic, beloved only by those interested in Sufism but by musicians of (...) all kinds. (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)
This volume looks at the symbiotic relationship between the philosophical inquiry into the presuppositions of musical interpretation and the interpretation of particular musical works by musicians. Characteristically, interpreters of music entertain philosophical views about musical interpretation. For example, an interpreter's decision whether to play one or another version of a piece, whether to use one instrument or another, whether to emphasize certain elements, depends in part upon certain convictions of a philosophical nature. An interpreter's resolution of such questions will (...) involve views about what a musical work is--for example, whether it is fully embodied in a score, how strictly all markings should be respected, what pertinence historical research has for interpretations, and how decisive the known or reconstructed intentions of a composer may be. These nineteen previously unpublished essays address a cluster of interrelated questions about the definition, grounds, and nature of musical interpretation. The contributors investigate the aesthetic, cultural, and historical aspects of interpretation as well as fundamental distinctions such as those between a work and its interpretation, musical and non-musical phenomena, and musical meaning and linguistic meaning. (shrink)
The question of emotion in music is addressed from a linguistic perspective, providing a typology of statements that can be made about that topic. In particular, it is analyzed how an interlocutor could react to such statements uttered by another person, and whether or how the content of the statements could be refuted by the listener, and possibly corroborated by the speaker. Furthermore, it is briefly discussed which theories of emotion in music are compatible with the respective types (...) of statement and what illocutionary and perlocutionary function they may serve. (shrink)
The Topos of Music is the upgraded and vastly deepened English extension of the seminal German Geometrie der Töne. It reflects the dramatic progress of mathematical music theory and its operationalization by information technology since the publication of Geometrie der Töne in 1990. The conceptual basis has been vastly generalized to topos-theoretic foundations, including a corresponding thoroughly geometric musical logic. The theoretical models and results now include topologies for rhythm, melody, and harmony, as well as a classification theory (...) of musical objects that comprises the topos-theoretic concept framework. Classification also implies techniques of algebraic moduli theory. The classical models of modulation and counterpoint have been extended to exotic scales and counterpoint interval dichotomies. The probably most exciting new field of research deals with musical performance and its implementation on advanced object-oriented software environments. This subject not only uses extensively the existing mathematical music theory, it also opens the language to differential equations and tools of differential geometry, such as Lie derivatives. Mathematical performance theory is the key to inverse performance theory, an advanced new research field which deals with the calculation of varieties of parameters which give rise to a determined performance. This field uses techniques of algebraic geometry and statistics, approaches which have already produced significant results in the understanding of highest-ranked human performances. The book's formal language and models are currently being used by leading researchers in Europe and Northern America and have become a foundation of music software design. This is also testified by the book's nineteen collaborators and the included CD-ROM containing software and music examples. (shrink)
While Billy Budd's beauty has often been connected to his innocence and his moral goodness, the significance of the musical character of his beauty—what I will argue is the site of a struggle for political expression—has not been remarked upon by commentators of Melville's novella. It has, however, been deeply explored by Britten's opera. Music has often been situated at, or just beyond, the limits of communication; it has served as a medium of the ineffable, of unsaid and unsayable (...) truths (and lies), of an expressive power beyond language and reason. It is this expressive but communicatively problematic role that Billy embodies and that Billy Budd sets into political motion. In this essay, I would like to suggest that Billy's musical beauty can only be fully appreciated, and assumes full significance, when considered within the context of the various conceptions of beauty, and corresponding conceptions of authority, presented in the novella and in the opera. In particular, I will argue that Billy's beauty is a modern one that calls for the active participation of its audience. (shrink)