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Philosophy of musiclocked

  • Lydia Goehr,
  • F.E. Sparshott,
  • Andrew Bowie
  •  and Stephen Davies

Extract

Short and long discussions of music saturate the history of Western philosophy. Similar discussions of philosophy saturate the history of Western music. Yet referring to ‘the philosophy of music’ often surprises academics and laypersons alike. Some declare they did not know there was such a subject; perhaps that is because there have been few devoted philosophers of music. If one were to list known philosophers solely devoted to music, or known musicians devoted to philosophy (a devotion that in much earlier times would still have kept them in the class of musicians), one might not come up with a single name. However, were one to name philosophers and musicians who have contributed to the subject, one could produce a seemingly unending list and a list of the greatest names: Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Boethius and so on through to the present. Most philosophical engagement with music has taken place in the context of (...

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