109 | CCN: 35280

Aesthetics and Rhetoric

“Music to Hear”: On the Philosophy of Music

Instructor: Ramona Naddaff,

4 Units

Thinking about the intellectual, affective and neurological experiences, the meaning and value, and the aesthetics of music has occupied an important position in modern and contemporary philosophical writings. Central to the philosophy of music is an attempt to define music insofar as it is an art form and practice, akin to but different from other arts, such as drama, literature, painting, sculpture, to name but a few examples. This course will explore varying definitions of music in 19th-21st century philosophy. We will read—among other philosophers, novelists, critics and musicologists—Plato, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Barthes, and Adorno’s philosophical writings on music. Finally, we will have the occasion to listen to specific musicians, both high and low, and explore the contexts of their work, concentrating on the historical and political dimensions of the practice, performance and art of making music.