1st Edition

The Ontology of Music Groups Identity, Persistence, and Agency of Creative Groups

Edited By Ludger Jansen, Thorben Petersen Copyright 2025
    312 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume examines the ontology of music groups. It connects two fascinating areas of philosophical research: the ontology of social groups and the philosophy of music.

    Interest in questions about the nature of music groups is growing. Since people are widely familiar with music groups, the topic is particularly well-suited for introducing issues in social ontology. Being comparably small-scale and temporary, music groups also provide an excellent case-study for those who think that social groups are analyzed best by considering small groups. The present volume provides a comprehensive overview of the topic and seeks to establish the ontology of music groups as a distinct field of philosophical research. The chapters, written by leading scholars working on social ontology, revolve around four core themes:

    1. The identity of music groups
    2. Variations between different kinds of music groups
    3. The persistence and longevity of (different kinds of) music groups
    4. Various characteristics of music groups, including their rational and emotional aspects, as well as their creative abilities

    The contributors consider these themes across a wide range of music groups, including popular music groups, rock bands, alternative acts, hip hop crews, choirs and classical orchestras.

    The Ontology of Music Groups will appeal to scholars and advanced students working in social ontology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of music.

    1.  Music Groups and Social Ontology Ludger Jansen and Thorben Petersen

    2. The Will to Gig. The Social Ontology of Bands Ludger Jansen

    3. Once More, With Feeling! A Joint Commitment Account of Musical Groups Michel Lara

    4. Bands, Personas, and The Evaluative Import of (Some) Social Ontology Ley David Elliette Cray

    5. A Radical Interpretation of Bands as Variable Embodiments Daniele Porello

    6. On the Persistence of Alternative Rock Bands Giulia Lasagni

    7. The Ontology of The Band Enrico Terrone

    8. Listen to The Band! A Study on The Ontology of Popular Music Groups Thorben Petersen

    9. Teaming Up: What Do Collaborations in Rap Music Tell Us About Musical Groups? Daniel Weger

    10. The Handover Band: Constitutive and Temporal Ontology of Classical Ensembles Peter Simons

    11. Group Survival Factors Joshua Rust and Anna Strasser

    12. Music Groups as Rational Agents Jörg Phil Friedrich

    13. On Band’s Collective Authorship of Songs Nicolas Kleinschmidt


    Ludger Jansen is Cusanus Professor of Philosophy at the Philosophical-Theological College in Bressanone (Italy), and supernumerary professor at the University of Rostock (Germany), where he is principal investigator of a research project on the philosophy of biomimetics. His main research interests are metaphysics, ontology and the philosophy of science.

    Thorben Petersen teaches philosophy at the University of Bremen, Germany. He obtained his PhD from The University of Bremen with a work on the nature of time. Thorben has published on various topics in the philosophy of time, including papers in Metaphysica, Philosophical Studies and The Australasian Journal of Philosophy.