The Philosophy of Music

The Philosophy of Music : Theme and Variations

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New and distinctive approaches to five central topics in musical aesthetics are provided in this outstanding book. The topics are: understanding, representation, expression, performance and profundity. The theme of the book is the failure of the orthodox view - that pieces of music are more or less self-contained structures of sound - to account for some important features of our musical experience, and to explain why music should matter to us. In exposing and correcting that failure, the book introduces readers to the main problems and positions in the philosophy of music, proposes fresh solutions to those problems, and offers innovative approaches to the philosophy of song, to musical ontology, and to questions about the value of music. Each chapter is built around a single musical work, which provides a focus for the reader. Features * Broad, accessible introductory overview to philosophy of music * Original and stimulating insightsshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 12mm | 358.34g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • mus.exs.
  • 0748609024
  • 9780748609024
  • 1,250,407

About Aaron Ridley

Aaron Ridley is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He is the author of Nietzsche's Conscience: Six Character Studies from the 'Genealogy' (Cornell University Press, 1998), R.G. Collingwood: A Philosophy of Art (Orion Books, 1998) and Music, Value and the Passions (Cornell University Press, 1995) and the co-editor, with Alex Neill, of Arguing About Art (McGraw-Hill, 1995; 2nd edition: Routledge, 2002) and The Philosophy of Art (McGraw-Hill, 1995).show more

Table of contents

The Philosophy of Music: Theme and Variations; Introduction - Music from Mars; Chapter 1 Understanding; Part 1.Background; Part 2.Central Park in the Dark; I. Music and Words; II. Paraphrase; III. Paraphrase and Art; IV. Paraphrase and Music; V. Understanding Ives; Chapter 2 Representation; Part 1. Background; Part 2. La Cathedrale Engloutie; I. Detachable Sounds; II. Cryptographical Conventions; III. Musical Thoughts; IV. Resemblances; V. Putting the Title Last; Chapter 3 Expression; Part 1.Background; Part 2 Cynara; I. The Prejudice Against Song; II. Text and Music; III. Appropriateness; IV. Song as Expressive Music; Chapter 4 Performance; Part 1. Background; Part 2. Chaconne; I. Against Ontology; II. Some Objections; III. 'Authenticity'; Chapter 5 Profundity; Part 1. Background; Part 2. Tapiola; I. The Concept of Profundity; II. Expressive Profundity; III. Outlooks and Attitudes; IV. Two Clarifications; V. Sibelius's Profundity; Conclusion The Other more

Review quote

Ridley's book is both an introduction to philosophy of music generally and an introduction to an individual, pungently flavoured philosophy of music. His arguments are lively and provocative, and to boot, he writes like a dream. This is the kind of book that reminds one why philosophy matters, especially as applied to the things we love most. -- Jerrold Levinson, Professor of Philosophy, University of Marylandshow more

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9 ratings
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