By Lewis E. Rowell
From the rear conceal of this 288 web page booklet: "Roswell attracts intelligently from historical and smooth resources - philosophers, historians, social critics - to boost a dynamic portrait of the essence of track and its position in human existence. all through, the technical and philosophical histories of tune and musical flavor he provides are cogent. One bankruptcy contrasting eastern with Indian musical rules saves the paintings from being thoroughly Western in orientation. the ultimate bankruptcy considers New track. Technical phrases, either philosophical and musical, are explicated with out pedantry; the most obvious pleasure the writer takes in his topic illuminates the textual content. A essentially written and sensitively prepared publication that gives a lot to experts and scholars in addition to proficient laypersons." - Library magazine. And "An impressive contribution to the method of formulating principles approximately track. it's good geared up, cogently reasoned, and extremely readable. Its price lies no longer a lot in any solutions it offers, yet quite in its pointing how one can the right kind questions.....It could function an exceptional resource for different classes in philosophy of tune and musical aesthetics, in addition to for required interpreting for college students of the philosophy of track education." tune Educators magazine.
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Extra resources for Thinking About Music: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Music
Is it, in other words, a symbolof perfection, of revolution, a leitmotif (a boy playing Beethoven's Für Elise in Visconti's film version of Death in Venice)? Semiotic theories of musical meaning are in vogue today and deserve further elaborationif music is a language, surely it is a symbolic language. Questions relating more to the observer 27 If it is real, how can I know so? Can I trust my senses? How accurately do we perceive? 11 28 Can I think music? One can both think music and think about music.
Although we will inevitably need to consider musical problems that have implications for the other arts, it is the special properties of music that present the greatest obstacles to our understanding. Only a few of these can be singled out for discussion. Time: Time is the less explored of music's two primary dimensions; theorists of music have traditionally concerned themselves Page 29 more with questions of pitch organization. The basic facts of beats, rhythmic patterns, meters, and meter signatures do not shed much light on the way in which music unfolds and is perceived in time.
And given the possibility of space exploration and encounter with other civilizations, even this may not be broad enough. Butwhatever one's scale of referenceif there are such universals, it is imperative that we identify them! One must make a start somewhere. Consider the following set and the brief comments appended. We may observe at the start that most of these involve structural features and modes of organizationnot material. tonality: the ability to create focusBeethoven's D minor, color as a dominant hue in a painting, the apparent convergence of lines of parallel columns, a main plot theme or characteristic emotion (Othello's jealousy, Lady Macbeth's ambition, the "star-crossed" love of Romeo and Juliet) tendency: Whether they are natural tendenciesof the body, the look and feel of marbleor tendencies created by context (as in language and music), tendencies cause us to predict, feel expectation, and react when that expectation is gratified or frustrated.