Themes in the Philosophy of Music (Paperback)Stephen Davies (author)
Paperback 292 Pages / Published: 05/05/2005
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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 Including two new and previously unpublished pieces, they address both perennial questions and contemporary controversies, such as that over the 'authentic performance' movement, and the impact of modern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. Among the questions that Davies considers are these: How can expressiveness be in a musical work when music experiences nothing? Is music a language of the emotions? How do recorded pop songs and purely electronic pieces differ from works created for live performance? Is John Cage's silent piece, 4'33", music? To what extent is the performer free to create her own interpretation and to what extent is she constrained by the composer's score? Is training in musical technicalities a prerequisite for a full appreciation of musical works and performances? Is an awareness of the socio-historical setting in which a work is created relevant to its appreciation? How does the value of individual musical works go beyond the worth of an interest in music in general? Stimulating and insightful both as individual discussions and as a coherent argument, these essays will be greatly enjoyed by philosophers, aestheticians, art theorists, and musicologists.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 292
Weight: 427 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 17 mm
For those who are already familiar with the combination of argumentative power, conceptual clarity, and humane depth represented by Stephen Davies' writings on music, their high expectations will be handsomely fulfilled by this collection of essays composed between 1980 and 2002. For those who do not know of Davies' work, this collection offers a fine way to become familiar with his writing on the subject. The volume collects pieces ranging over and - for the most part - intricately through, issues of musical ontology, performance, expression, and appreciation. Throughout these inquiries Davies shows, as in his earlier work, that he is particularly adept at sorting out the structure of a debate, presenting positions on all sides and providing the reader with a perspicuous overview of the state of play. * Garry L. Hagberg, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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