"Music is perhaps the art that presents the most philosophical puzzles. Unlike painting, its works often have multiple instances, none of which can be identified with the work itself. Thus, the question of what exactly the work is is initially more puzzling than the same question about works of painting, which appear (at least initially) to be simple physical objects. Unlike much literature, the instances of a work are performances, which offer interpretations of the work, yet the work can also be interpreted independently of any performance, and performances themselves can be interpreted. This talk of ‘interpretation’ points to the fact that we find music an art steeped with meaning, and yet, unlike drama, pure instrumental music has no obvious semantic content. This quickly raises the question of why we should find music so valuable. Central to many philosophers' thinking on these subjects has been music's apparent ability to express emotions while remaining an abstract art in some sense."

 

1. What Is Music?

1.1 Beyond ‘Pure’ Music

1.2 The Definition of ‘Music’

2. Musical Ontology

2.1 The Fundamentalist Debate

2.2 Higher-level Ontological Issues

2.3 Scepticism about Musical Ontology

3. Music and the Emotions
3.1 Emotions in the Music

3.2 Emotions in the Listener

4. Understanding Music

5. Music and Value

 


Via Amira