Philosophy of Music : An Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Philosophy of Music
An Introduction

ISBN 9781315712307
Published January 30, 2015 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Philosophy of Music is for anyone who has ever wondered whether or not music means anything or why some music is thought to be more significant than other music. It is a lively and lucid introduction to the aesthetics of music and to the issues that illuminate musical listening, understanding and practice. The book assumes no philosophical training on the part of its readers, only an interest in music and our reactions to it. It provides an authoritative analysis of the central issues, enlivened with a real sense of enthusiasm for the subject and its importance. At the heart of the book lie three key questions: What is the work of music? Can it have meaning? Can music have value? R. A. Sharpe guides the reader through the philosophical arguments and conceptual debates surrounding these questions while anchoring the discussion throughout to instances and examples from Western classical music and jazz. Unlike some other accounts of the philosophy of music, which view music as a branch of metaphysics, raising questions about sounds, tones and musical movement, Sharpe's approach is problem-orientated and the questions he raises are predominantly questions about the value of music, about the individuality of our assessments and about the way in which we prize music for its power to move us. He argues persuasively, and controversially for a philosopher, that when it comes to music philosophical analysis has its limitations and that one should not be surprised that the aesthetics of music can harbour contradictions and that our judgement of the value of music may be impossible to make internally consistent. This engaging and stimulating book will be of wide interest to music-lovers, critics, practitioners alike as well as students of aesthetics looking for a non-technical treatment of the subject.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Overture and beginnings 2. The work of music 3. Meaning 4. Value Coda Notes Bibliography and discography Index

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