In their thought-provoking paper, Legg and Hutter consider a certain abstrac- tion of an intelligent agent, and define a universal intelligence measure, which assigns every such agent a numerical intelligence rating. We will briefly summarize Legg and Hutter’s paper, and then give a tongue-in-cheek argument that if one’s goal is to become more intelligent by cultivating music appreciation, then it is bet- ter to use classical music (such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven) than to use more recent pop music. The (...) same argument could be adapted to other media: books beat films, card games beat first-person shooters, parables beat dissertations, etc. We leave it to the reader to decide whether this argument tells us something about classical music, something about Legg-Hutter intelligence, or something about both. (shrink)
This paper argues that contemporary analytic philosophy of music has characterized historically informed performance practice as compliance-focused, impersonal, and work-centered. The first part of the paper gathers evidence in support of this claim from the works of Julian Dodd, Peter Kivy, James O. Young, Aron Edidin, and Stephen Davies. In the second part of the paper, I reject this received view. Evidence from actual performance practice, as well as from the practitioners’ reflection on their activity, belies the received view outlined (...) in the first part of the paper. I conclude by drawing three methodological lessons from the oversights I attempt to rectify. (shrink)
Istanbul is home to a multimillion dollar transnational music industry, which every year produces thousands of digital music recordings, including widely distributed film and television show soundtracks. Today, this centralized industry is responding to a growing global demand for Turkish, Kurdish, and other Anatolian ethnic language productions, and every year, many of its top-selling records incorporate elaborately orchestrated arrangements of rural folksongs. What accounts for the continuing demand for traditional music in local and diasporic markets? How is tradition produced in (...) twenty-first century digital recording studios, and is there a "digital aesthetics" to contemporary recordings of traditional music? -/- In Digital Tradition: Arrangement and Labor in Istanbul's Recording Studio Culture, author Eliot Bates answers these questions and more with a case study into the contemporary practices of recording traditional music in Istanbul. Bates provides an ethnography of Turkish recording studios, of arrangers and engineers, studio musicianship and digital audio workstation kinesthetics. Digital Traditions investigates the moments when tradition is arranged, and how arrangement is simultaneously a set of technological capabilities, limitations and choices: a form of musical practice that desocializes the ensemble and generates an extended network of social relations, resulting in aesthetic art objects that come to be associated with a range of affective and symbolic meanings. Rich with visual analysis and drawing on Science & Technology Studies theories and methods, Digital Traditions sets a new standard for the study of recorded music. Scholars and general readers of ethnomusicology, Middle Eastern studies, folklore and science and technology studies are sure to find Digital Traditions an essential addition to their library. (shrink)
Many philosophers of music, especially within the analytic tradition, are essentialists with respect to musical experience. That is, they view their goal as that of isolating the essential set of features constitutive of the experience of music, qua music. Toward this end, they eliminate every element that would appear to be unnecessary for one to experience music as such. In doing so, they limit their analysis to the experience of a silent, motionless individual who listens with rapt attention to the (...) sounds produced by either musicians a on stage, a stereo, or a portable device. This approach is illustrated in recent work by Nick Zangwill. Drawing on essentialist assumptions, Zangwill concludes that properly musical experience is effectively disembodied and radically private. While this seems plausible when we consider the essentialists’ paradigm case, Zangwill’s conclusion seems odd once we consider the wide variety of ways that people experience music. One’s body and social situation seem ineluctably enmeshed within the experience of, e.g., hot jazz played in a nightclub, where listeners bob their heads and dance to the music, cheer on the musicians, and socialize with their fellow concertgoers. The question this paper aims to answer is: should we consider this and similar experiences of music properly “musical”? I maintain that we should. Far from the world of pure music that Zangwill and others relegate properly musical experience, I conclude that our musical experiences are fully enmeshed within the somatic, affective, and interpersonal dimensions of human life. (shrink)
How can an abstract sequence of sounds so intensely express emotional states? In the past ten years, research into the topic of music and emotion has flourished. This book explores the relationship between music and emotion, bringing together contributions from psychologists, neuroscientists, musicologists, musicians, and philosophers .
Paul Goguen once said that art is either plagiarism or revolution. That is certainly true of music. From pop to jazz to classical music, there’s a long history of borrowing, lifting, and stealing from other composers, along with other ways of building on their artistic contributions. Here I try to put some order in the complex picture that emerges from such a history, with an eye to the criteria—if any—that underlie the complex ways in which we compare, identify, and categorize (...) musical works. (shrink)
Through the close analysis of musical performance and tradition, the scholarly contributiors to Island Songs provide a global review of how island songs, their lyrics, and their singers engage with the challenges of modernity, migration, and social change uncovering common patterns despite the diversity and local character of their subjects"--Cover p. .
_The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music_ is an outstanding guide and reference source to the key topics, subjects, thinkers and debates in philosophy and music. Over fifty entries by an international team of contributors are organised into six clear sections: general issues emotion history figures kinds of music music, philosophy and related disciplines _The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music_ is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, music and musicology.
Musicians and theorists such as the radiophonic pioneer Pierre Schaeffer, view the products of new audio technologies as devices whereby the experience of sound can be displaced from its causal origins and achieve new musical or poetic resonances. Accordingly, the listening experience associated with sonic art within this perspective is ‘acousmatic’; the process of sound generation playing no role in the description or understanding of the experience as such. In this paper I shall articulate and defend a position according to (...) which an adequate phenomenology of auditory experience must refer to mechanisms of sound generation. This position is shown to follow from a phenomenology of sounds as located events and a physicalist account of auditory properties as features of the temporal development of such events. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Music, Mind, and Morality:Arousing the Body PoliticPhilip Alperson (bio) and Noël Carroll (bio)I. IntroductionIf like Aristotle one agrees that the responsibility of philosophy is to offer as comprehensive a picture of phenomena as possible, then one must admit that sometimes the methods and goals of analytic philosophy stand in the way of getting the job done properly; they may even distort one's findings. This is not said in order (...) to eschew analytic philosophy. It is simply a reminder that sometimes we need to stand back and check to reassure ourselves that the tail is not wagging the dog.One example of where this danger looms is in the philosophy of art. In the eighteenth century the Modern System of the Arts was born.1 It included the practices that we think nowadays are the appropriate inhabitants of art schools and art centers and the legitimate beneficiaries of programs like the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States. These arts included poetry, painting, sculpture, music, dance, and sometimes gardening. These are what we might call the arts with a "capital A."This is a different way of understanding the notion of the arts and the nomenclature from which they derive in Latin and Greek. For Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato, arts were simply any skilled practice. Poetry, for Aristotle at least, was an art, but so were navigation, medicine, and statecraft. And there were, of course, the martial arts. What happens with the emergence of the Modern System of the Arts—otherwise known as the Fine Arts, or the Beaux Arts, or, for us, the Arts with a capital A—is that a subset of the arts in the Greco-Roman sense were selected out and christened as a class unto itself, [End Page 1] different from the other "small a" arts. Whereas once upon a time chemists and painters might have been grouped together in the same guild in virtue of the fact that both types of workers ground substances, such as pigment; with the advent of the Modern System of the Arts, chemists and painters became first and foremost categorically different.However, the consolidation of the class of Arts with a capital A demanded a theoretical answer to the question of what criterion an art form had to meet in order to gain membership in the Modern System of the Arts. The first suggestion was that a candidate practice had to possess the capacity to imitate the beautiful in nature. This was not a definition that had legs. For when absolute or pure instrumental music—or, as Peter Kivy calls it, music alone2 —took center stage as the most important form of music as well as the Art with a capital A to which all the other arts putatively aspired, the criteria for entry into the Modern System of the Arts had to be reconceived. Since music alone could not creditably be described as the imitation of the beautiful in nature (or, for that matter, the imitation of anything else), a new license for practicing Art with a capital A had to be found. And this has become one of the animating tasks of the analytic philosophy of art.But the analytic philosophy of art comes with a certain bias toward discharging this task. It is committed to finding an essentialist answer to resolving the question of what warrants citizenship in the republic of Art (with a capital A). That is, what makes something an Artistic practice or, for that matter, a work of Art such that it is different from other things? What separates the Arts and the artworks from everything else?Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the most popular and recurring proposals here is that the Arts are what are primarily intended to promote aesthetic experience where that has formerly been characterized as disinterested pleasure but, more recently, as experience valued for its own sake. Experience valued for its own sake, of course, is virtually by definition conceptually independent from any other end, whereas the practices that do not belong to the Modern System of the Arts are primarily devoted to securing other ends—useful or utilitarian ends, knowledge... (shrink)