Some Philosophical Thoughts About Music

I have decided to document a few posts about the philosophy of music. So – to get things going – here are a few questions I am currently thinking about. I would be interested in any responses

Do you agree or disagree with the following questions about music

  • Although appearing as a ‘product’ – it must also be considered as a process?
  • It is separated in some way from the everyday world of experiences?
  • It is made – it does not just happen?
  • Although it can be replicated in recordings, it cannot be recreated in exactly the same form?
  • It should have the capacity to please?
  • It is created for humans – to be experienced through the senses (mainly the ears)?
  • It has unity and somehow seems complete (unless it has been abandoned)?
  • It is created from the perspective of the composers’ perspective of a vision of ‘the whole’?
  • Music becomes mediated the moment our mind listens to sound?

The main things I am considering at the moment, is what is the ontological (the Being) factors of music I am listening to – an how can I get to ‘know’ it (epistemology). In coming weeks i will get into far more depth about this, but for the moment –  time to listen to more music!!

 

About Paul Carr

Academic working at the University of Glamorgan
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2 Responses to Some Philosophical Thoughts About Music

  1. Hi Paul,

    Without thinking about it too much, which is sometimes how I like to play and listen to music, here are some initial responses:

    Although appearing as a ‘product’ – it must also be considered as a process?
    Music as a product is purely a commercial entity designed purposely for the exploitation of IP. The Industry has devised/ is devising ways to convert one process (making) into a product, to then be used as another process (listening). This in itself is could be considered a process.

    It is separated in some way from the everyday world of experiences?
    I don’t believe so. However, although music is often used to create the illusion of escapism, this in itself is an everyday world experience.

    It is made – it does not just happen?
    If we accept the notion that music is organised sound or noise, then it has to be organised by someone or something.

    Although it can be replicated in recordings, it cannot be recreated in exactly the same form?
    I believe that each re-creation will provide a different (however small) emotional response or effect due to many variables.

    It should have the capacity to please?
    Not necessarily. It should be accepted within the given context.

    It is created for humans – to be experienced through the senses (mainly the ears)?
    Music, as I understand it, has been developed to coincide with the human capacity for hearing. Frequency range etc. However, there may be some research/evidence to suggest other species make and/or experience music in some way. Or, at least react to organised vibrations from their senses in a similar way as we react to music.

    Like

  2. Ross Bullitt says:

    10 pence worth –

    Although appearing as a ‘product’ – it must also be considered as a process?
    Music is evolutionary, the meaning of the product defines the process….it’s the eternal wheel
    It is separated in some way from the everyday world of experiences?
    It is an intrinsic part of every day experiences…even footsteps create a beat.
    It is made – it does not just happen?
    Sit around a camp-fire….sometimes music just happens.
    Although it can be replicated in recordings, it cannot be recreated in exactly the same form?
    Depends on the source….and the human element.
    It should have the capacity to please?
    And elicit other emotions such as love, rage, despair
    It is created for humans – to be experienced through the senses (mainly the ears)?
    Good vibrations are for the deaf as well!!
    It has unity and somehow seems complete (unless it has been abandoned)?
    Its unity is derived from its social application and the memory of unity will linger
    It is created from the perspective of the composers’ perspective of a vision of ‘the whole’?
    It may begin with one vision but as others contribute can change measurably
    Music becomes mediated the moment our mind listens to sound?
    Music can be interpreted in different ways from person to person or in different circumstances it can invoke nostalgia. Tastes evolve.

    Like

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