The Oxford Handbook of Western Music and Philosophy (OXFORD HANDBOOKS SERIES) [1 ed.] 0199367310, 9780199367313

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Table of contents :
List of contributors
Introduction • Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson
1. Historical Musicology and Philosophy • Julian Johnson
2. Music Theory and Philosophy • Alexander Rehding
3. Ethnomusicology and Philosophy • Ellen Koskoff
4. Analytic Philosophy of Music • David Davies
5. Continental Philosophy of Music • Christopher Norris
6. Ancient Greece • Armand D’Angour
7. The Middle Ages • Elizabeth Eva Leach
8. The Early Modern Period • Bruce R. Smith
9. The Enlightenment • Tomás McAuley
10. The Nineteenth Century • Andreas Dorschel
11. The Twentieth Century • Tamara Levitz
12. Epistemologies • Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert
13. Ethics • Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen
14. Phenomenology • Simon Høffding
15. Ontology • Charles O. Nussbaum
16. Theology • Jeremy Begbie
17. Philosophy of Language • Hanne Appelqvist
18. Hermeneutics • Lawrence Kramer
19. Deconstruction • Naomi Waltham-Smith
20. Posthumanism • Gary Tomlinson
21. Improvisation • Bruce Ellis Benson
22. Composition • Joseph Dubiel
23. Performance • Paul Thom
24. Listening • Marcel Cobussen
25. Vocal Music • Freya Jarman
26. Electronic Music • Joanna Demers
27. Popular Music • Theodore Gracyk
28. Blacksound • Matthew D. Morrison
29. Jazz • Garry L. Hagberg
30. Opera • Michael Fend
31. Absolute Music • Sarah Collins
32. Consciousness • David Clarke
33. Evolution • Stephen Davies
34. Expression • Mark Evan Bonds
35. Gender • J. P. E. Harper-Scott
36. The Ineffable (and Beyond) • Carolyn Abbate and Michael Gallope
37. Meaning and Autonomy • Max Paddison
38. Meaning and Scepticism • Paul Boghossian
39. Mercy • Martha C. Nussbaum
40. Nature • Stephen Decatur Smith
41. Making Sense • Andrew Bowie
42. Society • Michael Gallope
43. Space • Andrew Kania
44. Time • Christopher Hasty
45. Authenticity • Julian Dodd and John Irving
46. Beauty • Nick Zangwill and Stephen Hinton
47. Emotion • Michael Spitzer and Derek Matravers
48. Enchantment • Scott Burnham and Gordon Graham
49. Expectations • Jenny Judge and Bence Nanay
50. Galant Music • Jean-Luc Nancy, trans. Naomi Waltham-Smith and Jerrold Levinson, with an introduction by Naomi Waltham-Smith
51a. Perception • Christopher Peacocke
51b. Response to Christopher Peacocke: Perception • Nicholas Cook
52a. Subjectivities • Susan McClary
52b. Response to Susan McClary: Subjectivities • Jeanette Bicknell
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T h e Ox f o r d H a n d b o o k o f


The Oxford Handbook of





1 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries. Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. © Oxford University Press 2021 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reproduction rights organization. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress ISBN 978–0–19–936731–3 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Printed by Sheridan Books, Inc., United States of America


Acknowledgementsxi List of contributorsxiii

Introduction Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson


PA RT I   M A P P I N G T H E F I E L D 1. Historical Musicology and Philosophy Julian Johnson


2. Music Theory and Philosophy Alexander Rehding


3. Ethnomusicology and Philosophy Ellen Koskoff


4. Analytic Philosophy of Music David Davies


5. Continental Philosophy of Music Christopher Norris


PA RT I I   H I S TORY 6. Ancient Greece Armand D’Angour


7. The Middle Ages Elizabeth Eva Leach


8. The Early Modern Period Bruce R. Smith


9. The Enlightenment Tomás McAuley


vi   contents

10. The Nineteenth Century Andreas Dorschel


11. The Twentieth Century Tamara Levitz


PA RT I I I   P H I L O S OP H IC A L T R A DI T ION S A N D P R AC T IC E S 12. Epistemologies Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert


13. Ethics Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen


14. Phenomenology Simon Høffding


15. Ontology Charles O. Nussbaum


16. Theology Jeremy Begbie


17. Philosophy of Language Hanne Appelqvist


18. Hermeneutics Lawrence Kramer


19. Deconstruction Naomi Waltham-Smith


20. Posthumanism Gary Tomlinson


PA RT I V   M U SIC A L T R A DI T ION S A N D P R AC T IC E S 21. Improvisation Bruce Ellis Benson


22. Composition Joseph Dubiel


contents   vii

23. Performance Paul Thom


24. Listening Marcel Cobussen


25. Vocal Music Freya Jarman


26. Electronic Music Joanna Demers


27. Popular Music Theodore Gracyk


28. Blacksound Matthew D. Morrison


29. Jazz Garry L. Hagberg


30. Opera Michael Fend


PA RT V   K E Y C ON C E P T S 31. Absolute Music Sarah Collins


32. Consciousness David Clarke


33. Evolution Stephen Davies


34. Expression Mark Evan Bonds


35. Gender J. P. E. Harper-Scott


36. The Ineffable (and Beyond) Carolyn Abbate and Michael Gallope


37. Meaning and Autonomy Max Paddison


viii   contents

38. Meaning and Scepticism Paul Boghossian


39. Mercy Martha C. Nussbaum


40. Nature Stephen Decatur Smith


41. Making Sense Andrew Bowie


42. Society Michael Gallope


43. Space Andrew Kania


44. Time Christopher Hasty


PA RT V I   C OL L I SION S A N D C OL L A B OR AT ION S 45. Authenticity Julian Dodd and John Irving


46. Beauty Nick Zangwill and Stephen Hinton


47. Emotion Michael Spitzer and Derek Matravers


48. Enchantment Scott Burnham and Gordon Graham


49. Expectations Jenny Judge and Bence Nanay


50. Galant Music Jean-Luc Nancy, trans. Naomi Waltham-Smith and Jerrold Levinson, with an introduction by Naomi Waltham-Smith


contents   ix

5 1a. Perception Christopher Peacocke


51b. Response to Christopher Peacocke: Perception Nicholas Cook


52a. Subjectivities Susan McClary


52b. Response to Susan McClary: Subjectivities Jeanette Bicknell





This large-scale project has been under way for a number of years and more people have been involved at various stages than it is possible to recount here. Building on the rich history that we highlight in the Introduction, dialogue between musicologists, philosophers, and scholars in a range of related disciplinary areas has, since 2010, flourished at the particular meeting point that has been the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group (RMA MPSG). It was at this group’s conferences, bristling with ideas, debates, and passion, that the initial seeds for the current Handbook were sown. All three of the main Handbook editors have been immersed in these events from the  start: McAuley and Nielsen as founding RMA MPSG committee members, and Levinson as advisory board member and, in 2017, as keynote speaker. We thus express our gratitude here to the institutions that have made these conferences happen, notably the Royal Musical Association, the British Society of Aesthetics, and the Departments of Music and of Philosophy at King’s College London, but also the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Music & Letters Trust, the Mind Association, the University of Nottingham, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, the University of Hull, Cambridge University (both the Faculty of Music and the Margaret Beaufort Institute for Theology), the University of London’s Institute for Musical Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, and Birkbeck, University of London. We are also grateful to the many associated groups that supported the conferences, whether by organizing individual panels or by collaborating on whole events. Amongst the numerous individuals whose work made the conferences possible, we thank our many previous co-organizers and colleagues—not to mention our successors—on the committee of the RMA MPSG, and offer particular thanks to Susan Bagust, John Deathridge, Víctor Durà-Vilà, and Michael Fend, whose encouragements formed the cornerstone of the group’s foundation. That said, for all its historical, practical, and emotional roots in the RMA MPSG, this Handbook remains a free-standing project, one that reflects the collective goals, values, and aspirations of its individual authors and editors, rather than those of any particular organization. We also note appreciatively the work of music and philosophy study/­interest groups in the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory, and of the British Society of Aesthetics and the American Society for Aesthetics, which have formed natural homes for the work of many scholars represented in the pages that follow. Given the wide scope of the present volume, we took the unusual decision to have its chapters peer-reviewed individually by readers expert in each given area. As such,

xii   acknowledgements thanks are owed to a veritable army of anonymous reviewers, scholars who gave generously when their time was already significantly in demand. We are deeply grateful for all of the invaluable feedback and suggestions for improvements: the Handbook would not have reached its current state without them. Our work has been very ably supported by Rachel McCarthy and Anika Babel, who provided editorial assistance during the final months of the project, and by Oliver Chandler, who helped to set numerous music examples. A very special thanks goes to Ariana Phillips-Hutton, who started work on this project as an editorial assistant, but whose outstanding contribution to the project grew through its final years to a position where the title of Associate Editor seemed more fitting. Finally, none of the editorial assistance would have been possible without generous support from the University of Cambridge (Returning Carers Scheme), University College Dublin, and the University of Oslo. The editorial work of McAuley was itself generously supported by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Rowena Anketell, whose meticulous final copyedit improved the text in innumerable places, and to the dedicated staff at Oxford University Press, in particular to Suzanne Ryan, whose enthusiasm, encouragement, and wisdom allowed this project to happen, and to Lauralee Yeary, who answered more practical queries than was reasonable with patience and grace. Many other individuals have offered invaluable encouragement and advice at various stages of the project, notably: Mark Evan Bonds, Andrew Bowie, Michael Gallope, Sarah Hibberd, Kathleen Higgins, Stephen Hinton, Julian Johnson, Frank Paul Silye, Elizabeth Swann, and Benjamin Walton. More essential still, though with considerable overlap, has been the outstanding work of our various authors, not to mention their patience in seeing the book into print. Finally, we note with appreciation that there has for some years now already existed a high-quality Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. Though the present book is significantly different in its aims, we share freely our admiration for that earlier project, and acknowledge with gratitude the role it has played in helping the field of music and philosophy to grow and to mature. We also thank Theodore Gracyk and Andrew Kania, the editors of that 2011 volume—both of whom have generously contributed to the present Handbook—for their good humour and encouragement.

List of Contributors

Carolyn Abbate, Harvard University Hanne Appelqvist, University of Helsinki Jeremy Begbie, Duke University and University of Cambridge Bruce Ellis Benson, University of St Andrews and University of Vienna Jeanette Bicknell, Independent Scholar Paul Boghossian, New York University Mark Evan Bonds, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Andrew Bowie, Royal Holloway, University of London Scott Burnham, City University of New York David Clarke, Newcastle University Marcel Cobussen, Leiden University Sarah Collins, University of Western Australia Nicholas Cook, University of Cambridge Ian Cross, University of Cambridge Armand D’Angour, University of Oxford David Davies, McGill University Stephen Davies, University of Auckland Joanna Demers, University of Southern California Julian Dodd, University of Leeds Andreas Dorschel, University of the Arts, Graz Joseph Dubiel, Columbia University Michael Fend, King’s College London Michael Gallope, University of Minnesota Theodore Gracyk, Minnesota State University, Moorhead

xiv   list of contributors Gordon Graham, Princeton Theological Seminary Garry L. Hagberg, Bard College J. P. E. Harper-Scott, Royal Holloway, University of London Christopher Hasty, Harvard University Stephen Hinton, Stanford University Simon Høffding, University of Oslo and University of Southern Denmark John Irving, Guildhall School of Music & Drama Freya Jarman, University of Liverpool Julian Johnson, Royal Holloway, University of London Jenny Judge, New York University Andrew Kania, Trinity University Ellen Koskoff, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University Elizabeth Eva Leach, University of Oxford Jerrold Levinson, University of Maryland Tamara Levitz, University of California, Los Angeles Derek Matravers, The Open University Tomás McAuley, University College Dublin Susan McClary, Case Western Reserve University Matthew D. Morrison, New York University Bence Nanay, University of Antwerp Jean-Luc Nancy, The European Graduate School Nanette Nielsen, University of Oslo Christopher Norris, University of Cardiff Charles O. Nussbaum, University of Texas at Arlington Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago Max Paddison, Durham University Christopher Peacocke, Columbia University and Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London Ariana Phillips-Hutton, University of Cambridge

list of contributors   xv Alexander Rehding, Harvard University Stephen Decatur Smith, Stony Brook University Bruce R. Smith, University of Southern California Michael Spitzer, University of Liverpool Paul Thom, University of Sydney Elizabeth Tolbert, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University Gary Tomlinson, Yale University Naomi Waltham-Smith, University of Warwick Nick Zangwill, University College London

I n troduction Tomás M c Auley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson

Meeting Points Among its many achievements, music has often been a catalyst for philosophical engagement and thought.1 Whether regarded as a perplexing object, a morally captivating force, an ineffable entity beyond language, an idealized and idealizable creation, or the most embodied and humanly engaging sonic art form, music has captured philosophically inclined minds since time immemorial. The traffic, however, has never been one-way: philosophy has long provided a catalyst for musical engagement and thought. Musicians of all stripes have drawn on philosophy as a source of inspiration and encouragement. Further, scholars of music through the ages have turned to philosophy for insight into both music and the worlds that sustain it. One way to conceptualize this rich history is as a series of meeting points between these two overlapping yet distinct spheres of human activity. As a result of these meeting points, the scholarly community can today draw on a massive legacy of interaction between music and philosophy. The aim of this Handbook is to draw together and drive forward key debates at the heart of this legacy. In common with the aims of the Oxford Handbook series as a whole, each essay sets out to “evaluate the current thinking on a field or topic, and make an original argument about the future direction of the debate.” Naturally, each author has chosen to interpret this remit slightly differently, and so each essay finds its own place on the sliding scale between coverage and contention. Yet all essays exhibit something of both, and the purpose throughout remains not only to summarize debates, but also to move them forward. The word “and” in the title of this Handbook is crucial to its dialogic aims. The “of ” in the common phrase “philosophy of music” can suggest a certain sense of possession: music and its elements are seen as objects in need of definition from philosophy. The “and” in the title of this Handbook, by contrast, does not seek to exclude philosophical

2   Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson insights into music, but allows equally for musical insights into philosophy, and avoids any connotation of a superior discipline. In so doing, it pays full respect to ongoing work in the philosophy “of ” music—and seeks to represent that work to the fullest possible extent—yet sees such work as but one part of the broader interdisciplinary field of music and philosophy. Beyond this broad orientation, we do not attempt to define “music and philosophy”: to capture its essence or to set its boundaries.2 Rather, we intend for the Handbook as a whole to provide—by implication and alongside its more explicit goals—such a definition, one comprising numerous perspectives and infinitely richer than a small team of editors could provide alone, even whilst it remains inevitably incomplete. That said, the shape of the final Handbook remains palpably tied to decisions that were made early on as to its structure and scope. With that in mind, what follows is an overview of the Handbook that attempts not to summarize each individual essay, but rather to share the reasoning behind the choices of topics and groupings that determine its particular topography.

An Overview of the Handbook Mapping the Field: The Handbook starts with a set of five essays that aim to “map” the field of music and philosophy. They do so by introducing the topic from the perspective of the three main subdisciplines of music studies (with chapters on Historical Musicology, Music Theory, and Ethnomusicology) and the two main orientations towards contemporary philosophy (Analytic Philosophy and Continental Philosophy). We recognize that these divisions reflect historical tensions that are often specific to particular geopolitical regions, and that are increasingly being called into question. The distinction between historical musicology and music theory, for example, is characteristic of, though by no means exclusive to, North American music studies in particular, and even there belies often-fluid boundaries between these endeavours. The distinction between historical musicology and ethnomusicology, in turn, must answer to competing claims that either all music scholars (Cook 2008) or no music scholars (Amico 2020) could or should self-identify as practising some form of ethnomusicology.3 More disputed still is the division between analytic and continental philosophies, a division that, as many have pointed out, confuses methodology with geography. The result is what Bernard Williams once called, in a remark cited tellingly by Tamara Levitz later in this Handbook, “a strange cross-classification—rather as though one divided cars into frontwheel drives and Japanese” (Williams 1996, 25). One might also ask why work from (particular parts of) one continent should deserve the label “continental” any more than that from any other continent. Yet for all their faults, these divisions continue to guide much current work in each discipline, as reflected in the departments in which different scholars work, the journals in which they publish, and the societies with which they affiliate themselves. Within a

Introduction   3 North American context at least, the latter is perhaps the most straightforwardly revealing: for all their open-mindedness and attempts at rapprochement, the American Musicological Society, the Society for Music Theory, and the Society for Ethnomusicology remain three distinct bodies—as do the American Society for Aesthetics (broadly analytic in orientation) and the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (devoted to continental philosophy). Rather than ignore these divisions, we chose to commission a set of essays that take a self-conscious and critical approach to each tradition and we are grateful to the authors of these essays for tackling their topics with such sensitivity and grace. We also acknowledge that much relevant work comes from outside any of the subdisciplines of music studies and philosophy, whether from practising musicians who might eschew, or be denied the opportunity for, any kind of academic orientation, or from scholars in disciplines such as film studies, sound studies, media studies, art ­history, literature, cultural studies, ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, performance studies, and intellectual history. Yet the five overlapping areas mapped here have  nonetheless remained a primary focal point for a very significant amount of recent work. History: If the Handbook started with a present-day road map to the field of music and philosophy, it now provides a different kind of road map, one that reaches back to the past, by charting the history of music and philosophy. This history, spanning more than two millennia, does not aim to be comprehensive, but rather seeks to highlight a set of key meeting points between music and philosophy through time. Some of these essays, namely those on Ancient Greece and The Middle Ages, follow cultural-temporal divisions that are common across all of this volume’s cognate disciplines. As this set of essays moves from the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries, however, they follow standard period divisions not of the European history of concert music, with its focus on Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, but rather of Western intellectual and literary history, with essays on The Early Modern Period and The Enlightenment. Its final two essays move to century periodizations—The Nineteenth Century and The Twentieth Century—yet do so again with the aim of drawing out key meeting points within these centuries, rather than seeking to construct narratives that start or stop artificially at the turn of each century. Philosophical Traditions and Practices: Having begun with a set of essays highlighting the importance of disciplinary and subdisciplinary differences, the volume now continues with two sets of essays that highlight traditions and practices that, taken as a whole, bear no particular allegiance to any particular discipline, often cutting across or between them. The first, Philosophical Traditions and Practices, ranges from topics that might be seen as subdisciplines of philosophy (Epistemologies, Ethics, Ontology, Philosophy of Language, Hermeneutics) to those that would more naturally seem to be approaches to philosophy as a whole, or perhaps even in some cases partner disciplines to philosophy (Phenomenology, Theology, Deconstruction, Posthumanism). Though some of these (say, Deconstruction) might seem to fall easily on one side of a perceived analytic–continental divide, others (say, Ethics or Ontology) represent topics that are, in

4   Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson their own ways, equally central to both traditions. Others (notably Posthumanism and Hermeneutics) reach beyond this division to embrace the terrain of literary, cultural, and critical theory. Musical Traditions and Practices: The second of these sets of essays shifts its focus from philosophical to musical traditions and practices. It starts with a quartet of essays on musical process and experience: Improvisation, Composition, Performance, and Listening. It continues with an overview of some key musical genres or approaches to music-making: Vocal Music, Electronic Music, Popular Music, Blacksound, Jazz, and Opera. To a large extent, these essays comprise philosophically oriented examinations of each tradition or practice. As such, this part might come closest to an overview of “the philosophy of music” as it is usually practised. Yet even here, the musical traditions and practices are frequently understood as sources from which philosophy might take inspiration, rather than simply as objects for philosophy to examine. Key Concepts: In terms of sheer number of essays, the next part, Key Concepts, is the largest. It is also the most diverse. Many of these essays have a strong historical bent, yet bring the histories that they uncover into dialogue with more recent work (Absolute Music, Expression, Making Sense, Mercy, Nature, Society). Another (Evolution) extends its focus back further still to music’s prehistory. Several engage in particular the vexed question of music’s potential political power (Gender, The Ineffable (and Beyond), Absolute Music). Another focus is on interactions between music, philosophy, and the “hard” sciences (Consciousness, Evolution). An unintentional but fortuitous pairing is the inclusion of a pair of essays on Space and Time. In two cases (Meaning and Autonomy, Meaning and Scepticism), the focus is not on a single concept, but rather a pairing of concepts—though in reality, if not quite to the same extent, all of the essays in this part range beyond any single concept. Collisions and Collaborations: This whole project is intended as a kind of dialogue. It deliberately sets essays from diverse disciplinary traditions alongside one another, in the hope that such collisions might inspire further collaboration. Yet the Handbook finishes with a set of essays that embody this purpose in an especially explicit way, in that they are all collaborative endeavours by two authors from differing disciplinary backgrounds. This collaboration takes a variety of forms. Several essays (Authenticity, Emotion, Expectations) are co-written such that they present a single joint perspective on their topic even whilst that perspective ranges more widely than would otherwise have been possible. Scott Burnham and Gordon Graham’s essay on Enchantment speaks with a single voice, yet notes at its outset the ways in which different parts of the essay highlight the contribution of each author. Two other pieces (Perception, Subjectivities) take the form of essay and response. Finally, one piece, Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay on Galant Music, started as a solo-authored essay written in French, but involved an act of translation (by Naomi Waltham-Smith and Jerrold Levinson), to which was added a substantial introduction (by WalthamSmith), such that the final product seemed ideally suited as a contribution to this part of the Handbook.

Introduction   5

Scope and Lacunae We are conscious that we have attempted to cover a vast range of topics—a total of fiftytwo essays, involving sixty-two authors, and spread across all areas of music and philosophy. Yet the more comprehensive a volume like this is, the more glaring its omissions. For all our attempts at inclusion, in other words, we remain aware that the Handbook contains numerous lacunae. One such lacuna that goes to the heart of the Handbook is the inclusion of the word “Western” in its title. This word was not, in fact, present in the initial proposal that we submitted for this project. That proposal was for, more simply, The Oxford Handbook of Music and Philosophy. Its proposed contents were broadly similar to those of the present volume, except that it included an additional part entitled “Geographies” that aimed to introduce the field of music and philosophy from the perspective of six different continents. As one of the anonymous peer reviewers of the original proposal correctly noted, however, the proposed volume still remained largely focused on Western musics and Western philosophies. As such, our attempts to provide a global perspective—wellintentioned though they may have been—risked tokenizing (or worse still, ghettoizing) the very perspectives they sought to highlight. Better, we thought, to be upfront about this; to admit that our own editorial expertise lay primarily in the musics and philosophies of the West; to avoid the pretence that the topics covered would be representative of music and philosophy everywhere; and to respect the uniqueness and complexity of alternate traditions by refusing to collapse them into a Western framework. We do this with the aspiration that future research in music and philosophy will continue to become more attentive to the unique worlds of non-Western musics and philosophies. Except: non-Western? The very objectionability of this term—a term that suggests that a majority of the world’s cultures can grouped into a single whole and defined by what they are not—highlights issues of talking about Western music and Western philosophy, or indeed any kind of Western culture. The case against talking about “Western” culture has recently been made powerfully by Kwame Anthony Appiah in the final chapter of his widely read 2018 book The Lies that Bind, itself based on Appiah’s 2016 BBC Reith Lectures. Here, Appiah notes that the now-predominant conception of the West first emerged in the early years of the Cold War, in the form of a “Plato-to-NATO” narrative of Western culture. In this narrative, “Western culture was, at its core, individualistic and democratic and liberty-minded and tolerant and progressive and rational and scientific” (Appiah 2018, 201). As Appiah goes on to observe, however, these values are neither exclusive to “the West” nor ubiquitous within it. Indeed, notes Appiah, from a longer historical perspective, these values were, on the whole, entirely foreign to premodern Europe. In our use of the term “Western,” then, we reject any sense that so-called Western values might be somehow superior to those of other cultures. On the contrary, a number of essays in this Handbook highlight the complicity of Western cultures with oppressive

6   Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson and unjust regimes of power and of colonial power in particular. More fundamentally, we also reject any sense that any such set of uniquely Western values might exist in the first place. Rather, we use the term “Western” to refer to a broad and varied set of musical and philosophical traditions clustered historically around Europe and the North Atlantic. With this in mind, we recognize that much recent scholarship has replaced talk of Western and non-Western with that of a Global North and a Global South. We note with appreciation that, in comparison to their forebears, these terms are both more inclusive and more attentive to the economic inequalities that have emerged in the wake of colonialism. Although almost all of the regions discussed in the present volume fall within the Global North, however, that term also customarily encompasses a number of regions that, for the most part, lie outside the remit of the present volume, notably Russia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. Further, as Martin Müller (2020) has noted, this North–South division comes with its own exclusions, leaving too little room in particular for many formerly Communist countries. As such, we do not use those terms here. Ultimately, and in common with many areas of study in the humanities and social sciences, the field of music and philosophy has yet to develop a truly inclusive vocabulary for global comparativism. In the meantime, we use the term “Western” only with reluctance, and in full awareness that, the proclivities of Eurocentric map-drawers aside, no place on the planet is ultimately, in purely geographical terms, any further east or west than any other. Within the broad, difficult realm of the “Western,” we have aimed for a diverse coverage of topics and approaches. In particular, we have taken care to avoid a volume that leans excessively on a small number of canonical composers of Western concert music. Rather, we have included essays on topics such as Jazz, Popular Music, and Electronic Music. Yet we have not sought to make canonical figures off-limits either; on the contrary, we have aimed to highlight their historical significance and ongoing influence. Michael Fend’s essay on Opera, for example, makes sure to include the likes of Wagner and Verdi; Christopher Hasty’s essay on Time pauses to dwell on the opening of one of Beethoven’s most temporally perplexing string quartets (Op. 132); and Scott Burnham and Gordon Graham draw their study of Enchantment together with an analysis of Chopin’s Prelude No. 7 in A major. As with music, so too with philosophy. That is, we have taken care to avoid a volume that relies excessively on a small number of canonical thinkers. In particular, we have consciously avoided the common approach of dedicating whole essays to particular historical philosophers. Yet we have endeavoured nonetheless to include reference to vitally important figures such as Kant (whose critique of instrumental music is discussed in Max Paddison’s essay on Meaning and Autonomy), Schopenhauer (a foundational figure in Alexander Rehding’s critical introduction to Music Theory), Hegel (brought into dialogue with more recent theorists in Stephen Decatur Smith’s essay on Nature), and Derrida (central to Naomi Waltham-Smith’s essay on Deconstruction), even whilst placing these thinkers alongside figures, such as Du Bois (a key thinker in Michael Gallope’s essay on Society), who have remained for too long on the margins of both music studies and philosophy.

Introduction   7 More importantly still, we have sought to include a variety of viewpoints on these issues. Matthew D. Morrison, for example, argues in his essay on Blacksound that the very concept of a musical work “was developed in relation to, not apart from, ideologies of race and racism that took hold during the three centuries of slavery that helped to construct Western empires and their cultural productions.” And Tamara Levitz opens her historical essay on The Twentieth Century by suggesting that a reliance on canonical works of philosophy “allows ‘great texts’ to float in an immaterial void that masks white privilege, structural inequality, and difference.” Yet in his essay on Gender, J. P. E. HarperScott argues with equal conviction that it is “only by a radical return to the canon that a progressive future for musicology can be carved out from the proliferating identitarian logic of capitalist postmodernity.” Our intention here is neither to privilege nor to censure any of these viewpoints; rather, our concern as editors is simply to note, with gratitude, that each of these essays—in common with all of the contributions to this Handbook—remains self-aware, self-critical, and an important milestone in pulling such debates together and propelling them forward. Even amidst this diversity, however, we acknowledge wholeheartedly that the volume contains gaps. Notably, amidst the broad reach of “the Western,” the volume privileges dominant trends in anglophone scholarship, with a particular focus on English-, German-, and French-speaking musicians and philosophers. This bias is not, of course, the fault of any individual contributor. Nor is there any essay included herein that we would not gladly include were we to start this project from scratch. Yet, with hindsight, it remains a source of regret that, amongst much else, the Handbook does not include more coverage of thinkers from the critical perspective of what Stefano Harney and Fred Moten have called “black study” (Harney and Moten  2013; see also, inter alia, Crawley 2017); that women composers are not more fully represented; and that Latinx scholarship does not feature more prominently. On all of these fronts, we hope that future work will take these lacunae as a spur to continue to build an ever more inclusive music-philosophical community. Further, even insofar as the volume seeks to range across those troublesome divisions in music studies (historical musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology) and philosophy (analytic philosophy and continental philosophy), it does so with a certain unevenness. Within music studies, essays from historical musicology are in a clear majority, and the majority of philosophers with whom they engage hail from the continental tradition. Yet in terms of essays written by philosophers, these tend strongly towards essays by thinkers in the analytic tradition. This is perhaps not surprising: after all, the analytic tradition has made a significant contribution to music-philosophical discourse over the past half-century, and there is plenty of substance and inspiration to be drawn from that work. Lest this Introduction seem in danger of going too far in the direction of self-­criticism, let us conclude by stating clearly that we are delighted with the variety of approaches that are covered in this Handbook—and delighted in particular to be crossing those divisions within music studies and philosophy that have all too often splintered the field. We are also pleased with the balance we have struck between including well-established

8   Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, and Jerrold Levinson scholars and upcoming thinkers of a younger generation. As such, we hope that the essays in this Handbook will, both individually and collectively, encourage further dialogue among all those interested in music and philosophy, regardless of their disciplinary background, career stage, or any other factor. We hope, in other words, that meeting points between music and philosophy will continue to prosper, to multiply, and to diversify—and that this Handbook might play a small part in that process.

Notes 1. For extremely helpful comments on earlier versions of this Introduction, our thanks go to Michael Gallope and Ariana Phillips-Hutton. 2. It is worth noting that one of the editors has already published a short overview of various possible relationships between music and philosophy (Levinson 2009). 3. Among the many responses to these debates, see in particular those included alongside the original publication of Amico  2020, namely Fox  2020, Schulz  2020, and WalthamSmith 2020.

Works Cited Amico, Stephen. 2020. “ ‘We Are All Musicologists Now’; or, The End of Ethnomusicology.” Journal of Musicology 37, no. 1 (Winter): 1–32. Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 2018. The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Creed, Country, Colour, Class, Culture. London: Profile. Crawley, Ashon T. 2017. Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility. New York: Fordham University Press. Cook, Nicholas. 2008. “We Are All (Ethno)Musicologists Now.” In The New (Ethno) Musicologies, edited by Henry Stobart, 48–70. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. Fox, Aaron  A. 2020. “Divesting from Ethnomusicology.” Journal of Musicology 37, no. 1 (Winter): 33–38. Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2013. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions. Levinson, Jerrold. 2009. “Philosophy and Music.” Topoi 28 (2): 119–123. Müller, Martin. 2020. “In Search of the Global East: Thinking Between North and South.” Geopolitics 25 (3): 734–755. Schulz, Anna. 2020. “Still an Ethnomusicologist (for Now).” Journal of Musicology 37, no. 1 (Winter): 39–50. Waltham-Smith, Naomi. 2020. “For Transdisciplinarity.” Journal of Musicology 37, no. 1 (Winter): 51–62. Williams, Bernard. 1996. “Contemporary Philosophy: A Second Look.” In The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, edited by Nicholas Bunnin and E. P. Tsui-James, 25–37. Oxford: Blackwell.

pa rt I


chapter 1

Histor ica l M usicol ogy a n d Phil osoph y Julian Johnson

Whose Musicology? Which Philosophy? Musicology is not quite sure what it is; but then, that has been the case for a while. More than thirty years ago, Joseph Kerman suggested that “thinking about music seems to be undergoing a rather rapid change just now” (Kerman 1985, 9). But this self-doubt has far more ancient roots; it has to do with an irresolvable antinomy at the heart of our urge to bring together mousikē and logos. On the one hand, as the editors of a recent ­collection of essays put it, “it is impossible not to speak of music, for language and music are inextricably linked” (Chapin and Clark 2013, 1); on the other, this compulsion is ­provoked by the incommensurability of one to the other, a non-continuity masked by the neologism musicology and largely ignored by the academic discipline it names. Of course, thinking, speaking, and writing about music have ancient roots, appearing in diverse forms from speculative theory to scientific investigation, philosophical inquiry to music criticism, treatises on techniques of composition, performance, instrument manufacture, and tuning systems to histories, encyclopedias, and dictionaries of music. The academic discipline of musicology, as we understand the term today, however, is of more recent origin. Its first journal, Vierteljahrsschrift für Musikwissenschaft, was founded in 1885. The first issue included Guido Adler’s foundational article, “Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft,” in which he outlined the shape of the discipline that would determine it for many decades. The scientific study of music, in Adler’s definition, took as its object not only the history of music but also its wider (non­historical) theorization in terms of acoustics, aesthetics, psychology, and physiology.

12   Julian Johnson Whereas, in Adler’s system, the subdivision “musicology” (Musikologie) denoted the study of music from outside the European art music tradition, the French used the term musicologie to refer to the whole field of possible study equivalent to Adler’s Musikwissenschaft. Grand historical surveys from the later nineteenth century, such as the Histoire de la musique (1869–76) by François-Joseph Fétis, sometimes included the study of folk music and non-European music, but these soon gave way to the more specialized study of “comparative musicology” or, a half-century later, “ethnomusicology.” Though the legacy of these divisions persists, in its current form musicology largely resists both the systematic sweep of Adler’s model and its hard subdivisions. In the absence of any unitary definitions today we generally accept the pragmatic reality that contemporary musicology is simply the work pursued in musicology departments and through musicological publications by professional musicologists. Depending on your point of view, this suggests either a valuable diversity of approaches and objects of study, or an increasingly contested field. For the purposes of this volume, the discipline finds itself with three faces (historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory), a division made partly according to the object of study and partly based on methodologies, although plenty of musicological work regularly crosses the divisions these imply, or takes place outside of them altogether.1 That said, it is worth pausing on the distinction made between historical musicology and ethnomusicology because it has to do with fundamental ideas about how we think about music. Put very broadly, historical musicology takes its primary object to be musical works, while ethnomusicology takes its primary object to be people who participate in cultures of music-making. The latter approach is characterized by a musical ethnography which, as Henry Stobart puts it, “requires researchers to become familiar with, document, and analyse how people involved in the creation, performance, and reception of music go about their lives, and how they make, talk, and think about music” (Stobart 2009, 104). By such a definition, ethnomusicology’s lean towards anthropology complements historical musicology’s lean towards works and their history.2 But the methodological distinction is not absolute. By inverting the same terms, a traditional view of historical musicology might be given as one which requires researchers to become familiar with, document, and analyse musical works in terms of their creation, performance, and reception, and how they relate to the lives of the people they involve. One starts with people and their material practices (including musical ones), the other begins with musical works and explores outwards through music-making to people and their wider material lives. One tends to privilege oral traditions, the other, scripted music. Both aim at understanding better how human beings make sense of the world through music; they simply move in different directions. At a conference held in 2001, Nicholas Cook famously declared “we’re all (ethno) musicologists now,” a thought-provoking summing-up of his argument that the wider turn to cultural contexts in historical musicology and music theory amounted to “a kind of ‘ethnomusicalization’ of the discipline” as a whole, central to which had been the performative turn in musicology and an approach that “shifts the emphasis from the meaning that is encoded in music to the meaning that is performed by it” (Cook 2008, 50–55).

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   13 At the same meeting, Jim Samson similarly suggested that the usual subdisciplinary divides “may soon have outlived their usefulness,” advocating that historical musicology (traditionally understood as centred on the study of musical works) might learn to foreground practices more, and that ethnomusicology might attend more to the status of the aesthetic (Samson 2008, 23). The convergence between the two approaches was underlined by the anthropologist Michelle Bigenho in her explanation of why she resisted calling herself an ethnomusicologist: “constructing music participation as a privileged realm,” she suggested, “works hand in hand with an ethnocentric ideology that affords music an autonomous space” (Bigenho 2008, 29). In other words, the very idea of music as a separate and special realm of anthropological activity has its roots in an idea of the autonomy of the aesthetic derived from Western musical practices. The move within historical musicology, from the study of texts and composers to “music as cultural practice,” to borrow a title from Lawrence Kramer, has been widely understood under the rubric of the New Musicology of the 1980s and 1990s in which Kramer was himself a central figure.3 This is partially true, though it is important to remember that in a wider historical and geographical context historical musicology has always included questions of philosophical, political, psychological, and cultural meaning (witness the work of Max Weber, Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Carl Dahlhaus, Janós Maróthy, and Georg Knepler, among many others). The “new” is, of course, perennial to a modernity as defined by a sense of historical time rather than mythic or natural time, and historical musicology is no exception.4 Taking a longer view quickly makes clear the pattern of pendulum swings that have shaped the discipline: too much emphasis on an intra-musical, formalist approach produced a pendulum swing to music as cultural practice and extra-musical meanings; too narrow a world-view defined by Western art music produced a corrective swing to the global perspectives of world music and popular music studies. To outsiders these are surely positions within a larger field, not exclusive binaries—the multiple faces of a multiple cultural practice—and it is certainly more accurate to talk about the to and fro of the disciplinary pendulum, or the ebb and flow of intellectual tides, than any notion of historical progress. Our -ologies are no more true today than last year, or fifty, or a hundred years ago. To believe otherwise would mean (re)investing the humanities with a model of technological progress, to imagine that we take part in a project that moves ever closer to discovering “the truth” about music. It would make musicology like the all-too-logical Golaud in Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande; as his demands for a statement of “la verité!” become increasingly frustrated to the point of violence, Mélisande, like music itself, can only remain mute in the face of such uncomprehending questions. It is precisely in this gap that the most recalcitrant but productive questions of historical musicology are to be found, in the tension between mousikē and logos, between embodied musical encounters and the linguistic discourses by which we attempt to engage them. Considering how that gap is approached, through the interaction of historical musicology and philosophy, is the focus of this chapter. Its argument will be that just as music, in all its ungraspable diversity, challenges the nature of musicology, so too does it challenge any philosophy of music. Specifically, my focus is the category of the

14   Julian Johnson aesthetic—an idea whose status is fragile today, even within historical musicology.5 I use the term broadly to designate the space of an experiential encounter with music that is neither subsumed nor explained away by approaches to music as cultural practice, social history, anthropology, sociology, cognitive science—or philosophy. Entangled in all of these spheres, it also resists them. Nothing is more short-sighted in the politics of contemporary musicology than the idea that a concern with the aesthetic is itself ideological or outdated; nothing is more pressing, if music is not to become the mute object of the social sciences, than a thinking about music (to say nothing of an experience of music) that makes space for the aesthetic. Without this, the silent Mélisande is simply bullied into submission by the violent rationalism of Golaud. One might think that the very existence of a philosophy of music—as of art more ­generally—acknowledges that the stakes of such questions are high, that the aesthetic has to do with ways of knowing the world (ourselves included). But such a position is by no means obvious in practice. It is fair to say that until quite recently historical ­musicology’s engagement with philosophy has been patchy in the extreme and generally bracketed away as a further subdivision of the discipline. Undergraduate courses are more likely to be called “The Aesthetics of Music” or “Musical Aesthetics” than “The Philosophy of Music,” implying that such approaches arise within and from musical practices rather than philosophy as such, a disciplinary starting point that few musicologists can claim with any authority.6 It is not insignificant that such studies have most often reflected the same historical focus that shapes a historical musicological approach to the Western art music tradition more generally. The major textbooks of musical aesthetics have thus been broad historical surveys built around substantial passages extracted from original texts, mapping the unfolding of a historical idea of music—­ witness those written and edited by Bujic (1988), Fubini (1991), Katz and Dahlhaus (1987–93), LeHuray and Day (1981), and Lippman (1986–90,  1992). This contrasts strongly with most work pursued in the ­philosophy of music by philosophers, shaped around the development of thematic and conceptual arguments rather than historical reflection. But both approaches have in common that they leave music essentially untouched. Historical surveys of aesthetics (who said what and when) are not generally connected with contemporary musical practice and have little impact on the rest of the discipline, while contemporary philosophical inquiries tend not to speak beyond the discipline of philosophy itself (in the past, such work has often referenced neither musicology nor music, and thus has tended not to be read by musicologists). On one level then, roughly that of undergraduate syllabi, the meeting of historical musicology and the philosophy of music has largely been a narrative of the history of ideas; less doing philosophy in relation to music, and more plotting a history of those who did. The definitive historical orientation of musicology has thus shaped philosophy to its own ends, imparting to the philosophy of music the same trajectory of evolutionary development imposed on music itself. It is no coincidence that such historical accounts of musical aesthetics have often culminated in readings of Theodor Adorno, whose importance to historical musicologists often bewilders their philosopher counterparts. But for all the problems associated with

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   15 his work, Adorno presents the very rare case of an individual able to span the divisions between musical, philosophical, social, historical, and political thought. Although he died in 1969, much of his writing on music only became available in the decades after his death and his principal works on music were only gradually published in English translation.7 No longer in intellectual fashion in his native Germany, his standing grew steadily in Anglo-American scholarship across a broad range of humanities disciplines (including literature, music, and film) and became a touchstone for most scholars wrestling with questions of aesthetics and politics in the broad movement of modernism.8 This enthusiasm was not matched within philosophy itself, at least not in AngloAmerican circles where the turn to the analytical tradition in most departments militated against it. In terms of musicological engagements with philosophy, it made for some strange bedfellows. Historical surveys of musical aesthetics, from the eighteenth century to the present, thus tended to culminate with Adorno alongside the work of analytical philosophers like Malcolm Budd, Stephen Davies, or Peter Kivy. Students’ experience of the obvious disjunction was felt most at the level of philosophical language: Adorno chimed with the complex language use of nineteenth-century ­ German philosophy (Schelling, Schlegel, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche) where Kivy  or Davies seemed plain-speaking and logical; where one seemed partisan and political (pro-­modernist and anti-popular culture) the other seemed refreshingly ­neutral and objective. That said, it is fair to say that for most historical musicologists the work of analytical philosophers has often had relatively little appeal or impact. There are two principal reasons for this. In most cases, the concern of an analytical approach is for what can be said about music in a general way, through the exploration of categories that might apply equally to all music—or at least to all music of a certain type or genre.9 For the musicologist this fails, firstly, to address the specificity of any individual work in terms of the particularity of its materials; Brahms’s Intermezzo in A, Op. 118 no. 2, for example, is made of these materials and unfolds in these particular ways, as opposed to merely being an instance of some genus or type. Secondly, it fails to understand the musical work as historically shaped and located; the particularity of this Brahms intermezzo is in part a product of its multiple relations to the tradition which it references while departing from it at the same time. The two problems are clearly connected: they concern the special way in which artworks—and the aesthetic experience occasioned by them—­ reconfigure a relation of the general and the particular. All the key questions asked by the analytical philosopher as conceptual and therefore universal (issues of musical beauty, taste, expression, representation, language, m ­ eaning, ontology) are, for the historical musicologist, impossible to understand without reference to their historical construction. The idea that there is any normative and ahistorical value in relation to any of these things is, for musicologists, disproved by music history at every turn—by practices of composition, performance, and listening, as much as by music theory, criticism, and interpretation. Overwhelmingly, philosophy has taken as normative the common practice of tonality in Western art music from Bach through to Brahms, investing it with a similar status to that of natural language in philosophy and thus implicitly requiring common-sense agreement; where this is not forthcoming,

16   Julian Johnson either the music in question or the interlocutor is aberrant in some way. But what purport to be universal conceptual categories are quite clearly derived from a very particular historical and geographical moment, retrospectively applied to the music from which they were deduced, and which, unsurprisingly, seem to legitimate them. To take a single example, the case of electronic music is used to raise questions about the boundaries of music, properly speaking, only to be dismissed as not music because it fails to fulfil some of the expectations we have of Western art music (Graham 2007). Faced with such philosophical reasoning, the astonished musicologist might recall Stravinsky’s tale of the old Russian peasant who, on seeing a camel for the first time in his long but narrow life, “examines it at length, shakes his head and, turning to leave, says, to the great delight of those present: ‘It isn’t true’ ” (Stravinsky 1947, 49). Most philosophical inquiries into the idea of musical expression demonstrate this ­circularity. Despite the problems associated with treating music primarily as the expression of emotion, most musicologists would agree that emotional response is a key part of the creation and reception of certain genres of music. That itself is not the problem. So when the philosopher asks, in relation to Brahms’s Intermezzo, Op. 118 no. 2, “What does it mean to hear this music as sad?,” why does the musicologist switch off? Because, to a musicologist, the question is at the same level as “What does it mean to read Kant as pedantic?” or “What does it mean to read Wittgenstein as difficult?” To ignore the complex proposition of the (aesthetic) text in exclusive favour of one’s own affective reaction is simply to miss a major part of what music does, just as it would be in the case of reading philosophy. But there is more. Consider a similar question (which nobody asks, including philosophers of art), in relation to Monet’s paintings of water lilies: “What does it mean to see Monet’s pond as blue?” Firstly, the object is itself multiple. Just as the Brahms Intermezzo exists through hundreds of performances, Monet painted the pond at Giverny dozens of times. Even if we focus on a single painting, the huge canvas is itself multiple and highly detailed in its disposition of colour, including infinitely varied shades of blue, bluegreen, violet-blue, jade, turquoise, cobalt blue, Prussian blue, blue-grey . . . and so on. On one level, the whole point of Monet’s multiple studies of the play of light and colour on the surface of the lily pond is to open up an infinitesimal degree of colouristic particularity which the singularity and anonymity of the word blue serves only to close down. For anyone who enters into the presence of the painting, the gap between the richness of its material play and the paucity of the linguistic term is not only glaring, but touches on one of the reasons we have art in the first place. A far more significant question would be the one provoked by the artwork: What does Monet’s painting do to our perception of form, colour, light, and time? What kind of knowledge of the world does Monet’s painting make available to us? The “blueness” of the painting is hardly immaterial—it works through the materiality of colour—but the value we accord to our experience of the painting derives from the gap that opens up between this material particularity and the paucity of language in relation to perceiving or knowing the world through colour. Language simply has ­variants of blue (see above); Monet’s painting, on the other hand, has a universe of colouristic inflections and contrasts, intensity of tone, brushwork, movement, surface,

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   17 and depth. And so equally with the Brahms Intermezzo. Of course, Brahms draws on a range of musical topics that provoke, in the encultured listener, associations of loss or melancholy (the turn to the minor key, the falling figure, the sombre tone, the use of passing dissonances, and so on), but these are merely its common building blocks rather than what is specific to this particular work, and which makes it move and speak in these unique ways. Inquiries into the sadness of Brahms’s music miss, over and again, the infinite nuances that make it this piece and no other, as distant from the reductive sad as Monet’s painting is from blue. Listening to musical specificity, we are not moved by a common-or-garden type emotion as denoted by the linguistic labels that may rush in afterwards to fill the linguistic vacuum; we are moved precisely by the momentary experience of an affective and cognitive being outside of language. Musicians tend to have little interest in a philosophy of music that neither seems to address itself to the particularity of music nor to emerge from it. If speaking about music does not begin with the music, it can never do anything more than reproduce an understanding of the world already embedded in habitual ways of speaking. That is the solipsistic circularity of all philosophy of music that begins and ends with philosophy rather than music. Without allowing music to challenge the habitual categories through which we think it, we merely confirm the assumptions and restrictions of language and learn nothing from music. The possibility that music might itself constitute a kind of non­linguistic thought is central here. The idea is rarely entertained by philosophers, though Jerrold Levinson offers a refreshing exception in an essay entitled simply “Musical Thinking?” (Levinson 2006, 209–219). Levinson suggests that Wittgenstein’s affirmative answer to the question “Is music thought?” might be over-hasty, mistaking the metaphorical “music is like thought” for an equivalence that is not the case. Levinson distinguishes between an embodied thinking which “we ascribe to the music, as something it appears to be doing” and the implied thinking which we ascribe to the composer (214). Clearly, music is not itself a mind and cannot therefore be said to think, but the unfolding of a complex piece often seems to exhibit what Levinson examines as “intrinsic musical thinking.” I agree with Levinson that music is a mode of thought even though we cannot, literally, say that music itself thinks. But I would ask the question the other way around. The pressing question, it seems to me, is not whether Beethoven’s music qualifies as thinking in the strict sense of the activity of a conscious mind, but rather: How does this music mediate thought (that of a composer, a performer, a listener—a culture, even)? What is its relation to thought? These are not questions that aim to decide on matters of definition, to place music inside or outside a predetermined category. They are, rather, questions that challenge the categorical predetermination itself.10 To explore the gaps between music and philosophy it will not do merely to keep repeating the same structures of language. It would be better “to establish a collaborative space between the two, in which the limit is at once established, transgressed, and deterritorialized,” as Andrew Clark and Keith Chapin put it (2013, 6). In other words, what is needed is an inquiry that moves between modes of aesthetic experience and reflection upon that experience. A philosophy of music, and indeed a musicology, should surely be located in this intermedial ground but, at least for the moment, such a perspective seems curiously distant to work in both disciplines. For that reason, it is not hard to see why the

18   Julian Johnson critical self-reflection on the limits of language in continental philosophy currently holds far more interest for musicologists. Firstly, it shares the idea of a self-critical activity with much of the musical repertoire central to historical musicology. There are obvious relations between the critical thought of Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, Derrida, and Nancy on the one hand, and on the other, the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Boulez, and Saariaho. Secondly, in both cases, the category of history is tied up with a discourse of value in which aesthetics and politics are intertwined. But there are problems of a different kind in musicology’s engagement with continental thought. Not least is the way in which the musicologist is overawed and seduced by the apparent complexity of the philosophical system and the essentially untransposable language of which it is made. The result (seen all too often in scholarly articles and conference papers) is the unsatisfying exercise of a lengthy exegesis of the philosophical system in question (usually unaddressed to music) belatedly applied to some mute musical specimen in the final paragraph or two. The gain of such an approach seems to be that the music can now enter the (pre-existing) discourse of the philosophical method. Not once is there any hint of how the music might challenge or reroute the philosophy. Once again, this is resolutely one-way traffic. This is the wider problem of the engagement of musicology and philosophy today. On one level, musicologists can justly complain that while they spend long hours reading everything from political theory to philosophy, psychoanalysis to sociology, nobody else reads musicology. But the problem goes deeper; it has to do with the muteness of music in these transactions. I do not think that this has to be the case and, in the second part of this chapter, I explore what seem to me to be some promising ways forward. There are strong signs, within historical musicology, of a new and growing interest in how music and philosophy might meet in more material ways, particularly among younger musicologists—witness the recent success of the meetings of Music and Philosophy Study Groups (in North America under the auspices of the American Musicological Society and, in the United Kingdom, of the Royal Musical Association), recent special issues and round tables devoted to Music and Philosophy in key musicology journals (Scherzinger  2012,  2014; Gallope and Kane  2012; McAuley and Nielsen 2013), and the launch of new online journals (such as the Performance Philosophy Journal in 2015). All of these testify not only to a desire to connect music with philosophy, but also to the development of material and concrete ways of doing so.

Listening to Music In his editorial introduction to the double issue of Contemporary Music Review in 2012 given over to “Music and Philosophy,” Martin Scherzinger suggested that the work of the scholars published there and the continental philosophers whose work they discussed, was an example of how recent writing is “tackling the relationship between

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   19 ­ hilosophy and music in a qualitatively new way,” specifically, that it “turns the tables on p the relation between music and philosophy. Instead of bringing philosophy to musicology, this work critically analyses how music inhabits philosophy itself ” (Scherzinger 2012, 345). In what follows I consider how such a “qualitatively new” relationship might be made between musicology and the philosophy of music. The precondition of such a development, however, is an openness to reconceive each discipline in the light of the other, to allow each to challenge the assumptions of the other, and—above all—to consider how both might respond to the mute but highly articulate propositions of music, rather than taking it as the dumb object of a monological discourse. I have sketched out below, under four related headings, what seem to me to be key issues for such a new relationship.

The Persistence of the Aesthetic Historical musicology is internally divided because music is both historical and not. Who thinks of history when they play or listen to music? Play, after all, is precisely a free elaboration of the present moment, and music comes before musicology in terms of personal experience as well as of logical anteriority. Students are rightly suspicious when their lecturers present an account of musical works as if their main purpose, interest, and value lay in what they can tell us about history (the essay assignment “What does the Eroica Symphony tell us about Beethoven’s times?” is still alive and well). Even worse, music history has often become merely a history of artefacts—in which musical works are allotted the same status as musical instruments, concert halls, and audiences—all treated as the equivalents of objects like wigs, frock-coats, or newspapers. Consider two fictional, but perfectly plausible PhD theses: “Keys to Success: Public Performance and the Development of the Keyboard Sonata in London, 1750–1765” and “Getting Ahead: Social Status and the Manufacture of Wigs in London, 1750–1765.” Is there any essential difference in either the object or the intellectual assumptions at work here? No wonder Kerman commented in 1985 that “musicology is perceived as dealing essentially with the factual, the documentary, the verifiable, the analysable, the positivistic. Musicologists are respected for the facts they know about music. They are not admired for their insight into music as aesthetic experience” (Kerman 1985, 12). Kerman’s words were surely a challenge to a discipline that still believes itself concerned with music, not just the history of music. This internal division is played out in some odd ways—witness the paradox of musicologists who make their living denouncing the idea of “the aesthetic,” of “great works,” and “the music itself,” while privately weeping at performances of the same music they disavow publicly. It calls to mind Karl Kraus’s wonderful quip, in relation to prostitution in fin de siècle Vienna, about male establishment figures who enjoyed by night what they condemned by day. I caricature (only slightly) in order to draw out a disjunction at the heart of the discipline. The fact is that historical musicology is founded on a contradiction that has never been resolved and which is an uncomfortable and unspoken presence in every seminar, lecture,

20   Julian Johnson c­ onference paper, article, and monograph: the tension between the study of history as material practices and the investigation of aesthetic objects. Even the latter is conflicted. Is the analysis of musical works a means of acquiring objective knowledge of the technical construction of music, or—half a century after Roland Barthes—an exercise in a reading of the text that produces musical meanings? The same tensions beset debates in musical performance, in the psychology of music, and in musical reception. In short, except in the most empirical and factual of its activities, almost all of historical musicology is conflicted—productively, as we will see—precisely because it takes place on the shoreline between the rational, quasi-scientific activity of inquiry (the -logical part) and a subjective experience of the world, of which music is a special kind. For a growing number of philosophically-inclined musicologists, the aesthetic realm reasserts itself today as a critical force—as a means of reconfiguring representations of the world and thus in opposition to the quasi-scientific positivism of much recent musicology. It is notable that such perspectives are often to be found in the work of a new generation of scholars who reject any simplistic binary of the social and the aesthetic. The critical force of the aesthetic requires space if it is not to be subsumed simply as material stuff (like cars or pianos or wigs) or as an empty sign (like money). A musicology that makes no space for the aesthetic has little understanding of either art or its political potency. The recent turn to philosophers like Žižek, Badiou, Rancière, Agamben (and, once more, Bloch and Adorno) reflects the persistence of this awareness and an insistence, in Scherzinger’s (2012, 475) words, that “it is music qua music that proffers negations, transitions, and perspectives not readily available with other communicative media.”11

The Restoration of the Body As Don Ihde put it more than a decade ago, “Bodies, bodies everywhere. Philosophy, feminist thought, cultural studies, science studies, all seem to have rediscovered bodies” (Ihde 2002, xi). Though a relative latecomer, musicology has been no exception to this corporeal turn within the humanities, a movement that stretches back to the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and beyond. Of course, it has not entirely avoided disciplinary pendulum swings that reinscribe old binaries in new ways. Amy Cimini suggests, for example, that one effect of Carolyn Abbate’s “Drastic or Gnostic” essay (Abbate 2004) was to reinforce the duality of a “mind-centric hermeneutics and embodied listening and performance” (Cimini 2012, 354).12 Any resolution of Abbate’s either/or question will always misrepresent music, since all music is always the activity of a mindful body/embodied mind. Making space for such a quality in the realm of speaking, writing, and thinking— within the -logical activity of musicology and philosophy—is thus a daunting challenge. That said, the increasing importance within musicology of issues of performance, sound, agency, and place are evidence of attempts to do just that: to reassert the bodily, sonorous, and material economies of music that had for so long been bracketed out by concerns with structure, syntax, and style history.

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   21 For all the differences between musicology and the philosophy of music, they have this tension in common: they both take place around an absent centre—the aesthetic experience of music, which is to say, an experience that is both sonorous and embodied, and that takes place in a particular place and within a particular time. Both disciplines are predicated on bringing the abstractions of linguistic discourse to bear on this primarily non-linguistic and embodied practice. The relationship is thus defined by noncontinuity—by a permanent gap—and it is precisely here that the most challenging and interesting questions for both musicology and a philosophy of music are to be found. How might we understand music better not as the object of language but as a kind of counterpoint to language, one that offers a productive critique of linguistic constructions of the world? How can musicology, no less than philosophy, suspend for a moment its rush of words in order to listen to what it is that music does?

Listening At the start of an important essay on listening, Jean-Luc Nancy asks: “Is listening something of which philosophy is capable?” He continues: “Isn’t the philosopher someone who always hears (and who hears everything), but who cannot listen, or who, more precisely, neutralizes listening within himself, so that he can philosophize?” (Nancy 2007, 1). The English translation necessarily misses the play between the two French verbs ­entendre (to hear, but also to understand) and écouter (to listen), a distinction which maps on to Nancy’s central play between sense as abstract signification and sense as the activity of the senses. Laura Odello develops the same observation (albeit using the two verbs interchangeably to make her broader point): The philosopher does not want to know anything about listening; hearing is of no use to the philosopher because the end as well as the beginning of all philosophizing resides in the intellectual understanding: sonorities are superfluous, secondary, unnecessary for the silent vision of the logos, of the idea, of the ideal signified, which alone serves to grasp the truth.  (Odello 2013, 41)

Philosophy is hardly alone here; oddly, we might say the same about musicology. The imperative of the -logical attitude is precisely to abstract from individual particularity to the general case, and thus quite opposite to the attitude of listening and of aesthetic experience rooted in the sensuous particular of this encounter in this moment. Peter Szendy imagines a musicology that might be different: Musicology—which we could define in a very economical way as the practice of speaking of music—then, does not come after the fact, in the more or less scholarly belatedness of a logos (discourse, speech, or reason) that would tell and establish what the music was or what it meant. If there is something like musicology, it will have begun from within the music: in the gap that opens between the music and its quest for itself as music.  (Szendy 2013, 189)

22   Julian Johnson It is, once again, precisely the gap that is most important here—the gap between music and language, sense and signification, listening and understanding. Not a gap in the sense of a divide that cuts one off from the other absolutely, but the gap that defines the two modalities and is thus constitutive of them, a gap bridged by an equation of nonidentity, a highly-charged space which sparks across the tension between like and notlike, between the assumption of linguistic manners and the myriad ways in which they are displaced, deformed, undercut, or ignored. One marker of a more dialogical relation between musicology and its object, as too of a different practice in the philosophy of music, is thus a different kind of language use. Jairo Moreno (2013, 213–14) points to such a reorientation of language in the presence of music—in Roland Barthes “famously denouncing the poverty of the adjective,” in Christopher Small’s insistence on the doing of musicking over “music as object,” and so on in Heidegger, Levinas, Nietzsche, Schumann, Wittgenstein, and many others. On the one hand, as Lawrence Kramer insists, speaking about music is no more problematic than speaking about anything else—or else, “it is the same problem as the problem of speaking at all” (Kramer 2013, 19). On the other hand, the special kind of highly articulate but linguistically mute silence that music creates, is arguably punctured the moment that words rush in. The greatest value that words can have in relation to music is thus to make this silence resonate within language itself. Odello suggests not only that philosophy “cripples” music, that “music starts to get sick insofar as the word tries to cure it” (Odello 2013, 44), but also that in doing so language damages itself: In neutralizing music as the otherness that must be excluded in order to keep the logos unharmed, the logos not only loses music, but it jeopardizes its own integrity, since it loses the constitutive alterity that lies at the heart of its very ipseity. (Odello 2013, 47–48)

Andrew Bowie (2007, 2015) has been suggesting for a while that we drop the idea of a philosophy of music, as yet another variant of the formula “the philosophy of x,” in favour of the far more radical idea of a philosophy that arises from music. While it may not be necessary to choose one approach over the other, it is certainly true that we have hardly begun to take seriously the consequences of the latter. Key to such an approach would be the turn from collapsing music into language in favour of listening, in Nancy’s usage, and thus finding in music a mode of embodied thought, a thinking through particularity, that resists the abstraction of the concept.

Contemporary Musical Thought Musicians have no problem with the idea of thinking with their ears,13 with thinking through musical sound, tone, and gesture, in the same way that mathematicians think through numbers, chess players think through the spatial possibilities of the chess board, and philosophers think through concepts. For the latter, of course, thinking outside of concepts would not be philosophy just as, for musicians, thinking outside of

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   23 music would not be music. But if a philosophy of music is to be more than a solipsistic exercise confined to reproducing the terms of philosophy prior to its encounter with music, it may be time for it to try a new starting point, from the ramifications of the idea that music is also a kind of thinking and a kind of knowing. The alternative—insisting on tightly-drawn traditional disciplinary norms—means that music and philosophy may have nothing to say to each other. Should this be so difficult? After all, no less a ­philosopher than Kant, at the outset of modern aesthetic theory, allowed that music was a free play of the cognitive faculties, a formulation exactly contemporary with the music of Beethoven which exhibits, according to Adorno drawing on Kant, a kind of thinking without concepts, or “Music is the logic of the judgement-less synthesis” (Adorno 1998, 11). One of the most important roles of Western art music within the broad period of modernity from the age of Descartes and Monteverdi to the present has been to offer an embodied, sonorous counterpoint to the working-out of the abstract reason of philosophical language. It has done so not by being its opposite but through a play of ­imitation and difference—hence the diversity of music’s modes of engagement with language.14 If the syntax of eighteenth-century Classicism comes close to a mimesis of language, the eruption of sonority over grammar in twentieth- and twenty-first-century music has often emphasized its refusal of such mimesis. The obsession within much philosophy of music with a musical repertoire from the nineteenth century and its topics of expression and representation not only misconstrues music as a whole, but also wilfully ignores the musical thought that has taken place since. Why does contemporary philosophy, almost without exception, ignore the substance of contemporary music? We smile indulgently at the failure of Kant or Hegel to grasp the significance of the new instrumental music of their own time, their clinging to music with words in the face of the vertiginous challenge of the wordless logic of the sonata or symphony, but the no less epochal changes in music after 1900 are still routinely ­dismissed by philosophers in much the same way as Stravinsky’s peasant dismissed the existence of the camel (see Roger Scruton on atonality [1997, 239–308] or on the validity of certain composers [2009, 162–182], for example). If music is in part a kind of thinking, related to the faculty of language but also quite different, and if music, like thought, is also historical, then it follows that no genuine philosophy of music can afford to neglect contemporary music. This is not a question of championing one repertoire over another or of any residual trace of the historical necessity of modernism or the avant-garde. Rather, it is simply to insist on contemporary musical thought as something that embraces not only current thinking about music but also the thinking that takes place in and through music.

Notes 1. The legacy of these divisions can still be found in areas of study that have developed since Adler (such as the study of popular music or film music) as well as within the tendency to more hybrid methodological approaches.

24   Julian Johnson 2. Kerman (1985, 14) suggests that just as (historical) musicology is methodologically aligned with history, so ethnomusicology is aligned with anthropology. 3. The so-called New Musicology was recently summed up by Josh Epstein (2014, xix) thus: “An analogue to literary cultural studies, the new musicology draws from materialist, psychoanalytic, semiotic, gender, and other cultural theory to interpret music as freighted with ideology and subjectivity—revealing the historical specificity of ‘the universal language’.” 4. I have explored the competing historical models for the idea of musical modernity in Johnson 2015, 1–12. 5. Stephen Downes in his editorial preface to Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives suggests that, in recent musicology, “the notion of an ‘aesthetic’ seemed to be neglected, rejected, even pilloried” (2014, x). 6. In an excellent and detailed account of the current state of aesthetics within musicology, Stephen Downes (2014, 1–22) points out there is no self-standing entry on aesthetics in the Grove Music Online. His 2014 volume as a whole brings together musicological writing on aesthetics that remains close to the notes. 7. Philosophie der neuen Musik (1949) did not appear in English translation until 1973. The monographs on Mahler (1960) and Berg (1968) were not translated until the 1990s. The posthumous publication of Adorno’s text for Aesthetische Theorie (1970) did not appear in English until 1984 and his sketches for the Beethoven book were not published in German until 1993 and in English until 1998. 8. In Anglo-American musicology, the work of Max Paddison (1993) and Rose Rosengard Subotnik (1991, 1996) (among many others) was key for the reception of Adorno’s work. 9. There are some notable exceptions to this where philosophers have taken individual works or even passages of music as their object. For example, Jerrold Levinson (2011, 336­–375) explores a short passage in Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture in terms of music’s capacity to express a higher emotion. But elsewhere, even when specific pieces of music are cited, they often function as placeholders for an idea of music more generally. 10. For a detailed historical account of the idea of music as thought, see Bonds 2006. 11. Among others, the turn to these philosophers can be found in the work of scholars such as Paul Harper-Scott, Naomi Waltham-Smith, James Currie, Stephen Decatur Smith, and Michael Gallope. 12. For a reaction to some of the debates ensuing from Abbate’s article, see her essay with Michael Gallope on “Ineffability” in this volume. 13. Mit den Ohren denken (To Think with One’s Ears) was the title of a book edited by Richard Klein and Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf (1998) on Adorno’s philosophy of music. 14. I have elaborated this idea at length in chapters 7 and 8 of Johnson 2015.

Works Cited Abbate, Carolyn. 2004. “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?” Critical Inquiry 30: 505–536. Adorno, Theodor W. 1998. Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music. Edited by Rolf Tiedemann. Translated by Edmund Jephcott. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Bigenho, Michelle. 2008. “Why I’m Not an Ethnomusicologist; A View from Anthropology.” In The New (Ethno)musicologies, edited by Henry Stobart, 28–39. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press.

Historical Musicology and Philosophy   25 Bonds, Mark Evan. 2006. Music as Thought: Listening to the Symphony in the Age of Beethoven. Princeton, NJ; Princeton University Press. Bowie, Andrew. 2007. Music, Philosophy, and Modernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bowie, Andrew. 2015. “The ‘Philosophy of Performance’ and the Performance of Philosophy.” Performance Philosophy Journal 1: 51–58. Bujic, Bojan, ed. 1988. Music in European Thought, 1851–1912. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapin, Keith, and Andrew H. Clark, eds. 2013. Speaking of Music: Addressing the Sonorous. New York: Fordham University Press. Cimini, Amy. 2012. “Vibrating Colors and Silent Bodies: Music, Sound and Silence in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Critique of Dualism.” In Scherzinger 2012, 353–570. Cook, Nicholas. 2008. “We Are All (Ethno)musicologists Now.” In The New (Ethno)musicologies, edited by Henry Stobart, 48–70. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press. Downes, Stephen. 2014. Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives. New York: Routledge. Epstein, Josh. 2014. Sublime Noise: Musical Culture and the Modernist Writer. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Fubini, Enrico. 1991. A History of Music Aesthetics. London: Macmillan. Gallope, Michael and Brian Kane, eds. 2012. “Roundtable on Vladimir Jankélévitch’s Philosophy of Music.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 65, no. 1 (Spring): 215–256. Graham, Gordon. 2007. “Music and Electro-sonic Art.” In Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work, edited by Kathleen Stock, 209–225. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ihde, Don. 2002. Bodies in Technology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Johnson, Julian. 2015. Out of Time: Music and the Making of Modernity. New York: Oxford University Press. Katz, Ruth and Carl Dahlhaus, eds. 1987–93. Contemplating Music: Source Readings in the Aesthetics of Music. 4 vols. New York: Pendragon Press. Kerman, Joseph. 1985. Musicology. London: Fontana. Klein, Richard and Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, eds. 1998. Mit den Ohren denken. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Kramer, Lawrence. 2013. “Speaking of Music.” In Chapin and Clark 2013, 19–38. LeHuray, Peter and James Day. 1981. Music and Aesthetics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levinson, Jerrold. 2006. “Musical Thinking.” In Contemplating Art: Essays in Aesthetics, ­209–219. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Levinson, Jerrold. 2011. “Hope in The Hebrides.” In Music, Art, and Metaphysics, 336–375. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lippman, Edward  A. 1992. A History of Western Musical Aesthetics. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Lippman, Edward A., ed. 1986–90. Musical Aesthetics: A Historical Reader. 3 vols. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press. McAuley, Tomás, and Nanette Nielsen, eds. 2013. “Opera and Philosophy.” Special issue, Opera Quarterly 29 (3–4): 183–376. Moreno, Jairo. 2013. “On the Ethics of the Unspeakable.” In Chapin and Clark 2013, 212–241. New York: Fordham University Press.

26   Julian Johnson Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2007. Listening. Translated by Charlotte Mandell. New York: Fordham University Press. Odello, Laura. 2013. “Waiting for the Death Knell: Speaking of Music (So to Speak).” In Chapin and Clark 2013, 39–48. Paddison, Max. 1993. Adorno’s Aesthetics of Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Samson, Jim. 2008. “A View from Musicology.” In The New (Ethno)musicologies, edited by Henry Stobart, 23–27. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press. Scherzinger, Martin, ed. 2012. “Music and Philosophy.” Special issue, Contemporary Music Review 31 (5–6): 345–542. Scherzinger, Martin, ed. 2014. Music in Contemporary Philosophy. New York: Routledge. Scruton, Roger. 1997. The Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Scruton, Roger. 2009. “True Authority: Janáček, Schoenberg and Us.” In Understanding Music. Philosophy and Interpretation, 162–182. London: Continuum. Stobart, Henry. 2009. “World Musics.” In An Introduction to Music Studies, edited by J. P. E. Harper-Scott and Jim Samson, 97–118. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stravinsky, Igor. 1947. Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons. Translated by Arthur Knodel and Ingolf Dahl. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Subotnik, Rose Rosengard. 1991. Developing Variations: Style and Ideology in Western Music. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Subotnik, Rose Rosengard. 1996. Deconstructive Variations: Music and Reason in Western Society. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Szendy, Peter. 2013. “Parole, parole: Tautegory and the Musicology of the (Pop) Song.” In Chapin and Clark 2013, 186–192.

chapter 2

M usic Theory a n d Phil osoph y Alexander Rehding

If we look for the first figure to fulfil concurrently the roles of philosopher and music theorist, we can do worse than to point to Aristoxenus of Tarentum in third-century Greece bce.A gifted and fiery philosopher in Aristotle’s peripatetic school at the Lyceum in Athens, Aristoxenus was rumoured to be the anointed heir as the next scholarch, the head of the school. Cicero would later call him musicus idemque philosophus (musician and philosopher)—stressing the close connection, indeed the sameness, of both vocations.1 It seems, however, that things did not go so well for Aristoxenus. When the changing political climate in the wake of Alexander the Great’s death forced Aristotle to leave Athens, the directorship of the school passed on to Theophrastus—much to the dismay of Aristoxenus, who left the school in anger and disgrace.2 Of the four hundred and fifty-three books that Aristoxenus allegedly wrote, none have survived, save a substantial part of a treatise on music theory, the Elements of Harmony, as well as fragments on rhythm and metre.3 Though his influence on the subsequent development of philosophy was negligible, his work remains a major source of knowledge in ancient music theory. We may be inclined to read Aristoxenus’s story, this attempted marriage between ­philosophy and music theory during this early stage of both fields’ institutional histories with its unhappy outcome, as an allegory of the complexities and complications between the two fields. By music theory I mean that branch of the study of music that is concerned, on the broadest level, with questions of how music works, and specifically, over the last two centuries or so, how musical works cohere. If we take the short view, that is, within the current institutional structures that go back to the nineteenth century, then technical skills such as harmony and counterpoint seem central to the discipline of music theory, which has been closely allied with pedagogy on the one hand and with composition on the other. But over the long term of its two-thousand-year history in the West it is not clear how representative this current constellation really is (for an elaboration of this point see Rehding 2016). For a far longer time compositional and analytical

28   Alexander Rehding concerns were comparatively irrelevant (see Christensen  2002; Blasius  2002). The polemical parts of Aristoxenus’s work, in fact, give a useful introduction to some of the overriding speculative questions that captivated music theory over the centuries. Specifically, Aristoxenus railed against the mathematical outlook of Pythagorean music theorists, who tried to understand the entire world—from musical intervals to ­astronomy—in terms of numerical relations. For a Pythagorean, music was a representation of an underlying arithmetic truth. Against this, Aristoxenus argued that music is a phenomenon in its own right, which only exists in our perceptual experience. And he was prepared to defend the consequences of this position: for a Pythagorean, intervals that were based on impure ratios were musically impossible; for Aristoxenus, by ­contrast, ratios were irrelevant as long as the interval sounded good. Changing constellations of these two fundamental positions can be traced throughout the history of music theory, which variously takes the form of oppositional pairs such as internal– external, subjective–objective, or psychological–physical—and is ultimately part of the overriding sensus–ratio debate, that is, the long-lived question of whether reliable knowledge is ultimately based on sensory impression or rational reflection. To be sure, it is possible to construct something of a beauty parade of philosophers with an interest in, and often considerable knowledge of, music—ranging from Boethius and Augustine, via René Descartes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche and Theodor Adorno, all the way to more contemporary figures such as Roger Scruton and Stanley Cavell, or to Peter Szendy and Jean-Luc Nancy. But being a philosopher with an interest in music theory is very different from being a music theorist with an interest in philosophy. It would be difficult to come up with a similarly recognizable list of philosophically inclined music theorists—only few names are known outside of specialist circles. Eduard Hanslick, who can justifiably be called a music theorist even though he did not emphasize that term, has the best chances of being recognized and respected by philosophers (see, for instance, Zangwill 2004). This problematic reciprocity is an issue that has a significant impact on the ways in which we can approach the task of mapping the field. A consequence arising from this imbalance is that, in some ways, this essay cannot help but work within and perpetuate this lopsided nexus. In attempting to map the field I am in fact negotiating two distinct territories, or rather the intersections between the two territories. I am invariably doing this from the safe disciplinary ground of my chosen discipline, music theory, and am reaching across to the other side, to philosophy, and in particular to the tradition of continental philosophy. A view from analytical philosophy surveying the map of music theory would doubtless come to different conclusions. Moreover, even if we look at the list of important philosophers across history with an interest in music, it would be difficult to construe a coherent narrative: the differences between the principles of their philosophies are as vast as those between specific musictheoretical concerns at the heart of their inquiries. Boethius did not write about the same things as Adorno, and Rousseau’s ideas about music and philosophy had little in common with those of Nietzsche. To make matters worse, not only do musically inclined thinkers disagree with their disciplinary colleagues on questions of music-theoretical and philosophical substance,

Music Theory and Philosophy   29 but music theorists also often disagree with what philosophers have to say about music, and vice versa. Adorno’s notorious essays on jazz may be a case in point, just as the composer and theorist August Halm’s peculiar slant on Hegelian history may be mentioned here as a questionable reading of a canonical philosopher (for reconsiderations of Adorno, see Witkin 2000; Robinson 1994; for Halm, see Rothfarb 2009). At least, we might add, Adorno was a trained and pedigreed composer who had studied with Alban Berg, whereas Halm’s philosophical credentials were shakier.4 But the point here is not merely one of the disciplinary authority with which one is at liberty to make pronouncements about the other field; there may well be further-reaching implications. It is perhaps not unfair to ask whether music theorists should worry that Descartes confessed he could not hear the difference between a fifth and an octave, which to any musician are two profoundly different intervals (Gaukroger 1995, 74)? Asking more broadly, what is the value to the other discipline of such transdisciplinary contributions if we do not always agree on fundamentals? When we map out the field in this chapter, this cannot be a whistle-stop tour in the history of ideas, or a series of glosses on different individual ongoing encounters between the two fields. Rather, it makes the most sense to focus on the encounter between philosophy and music theory in a specific context to pursue precisely the questions we have just arrived at. For this purpose, I will consider an example from what is arguably a most central period, nineteenth-century Germany, the age in which music was at its most philosophical and philosophy at its most musical. Clichés aside, there were substantive reasons for this convergence: since Alexander Baumgarten’s Aesthetica of 1750, which was both a philosophy of sensory perception and of beauty, and especially after Immanuel Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgement (1790), the spotlight on explorations in aesthetics in nineteenth-century German thought fell particularly on the philosophy of art. And conversely, owing ultimately to a number of cultural, political, and socio-economic factors amply discussed elsewhere, works of music in nineteenth-century Germany were thought to possess philosophical import, in a way that they did not have in previous centuries (see, for example, Gramit 2002; Leppert and McCrary 1987; for an account emphasizing developments in contemporary aesthetics, see Bonds 2006; for an account of developments in contemporary philosophy outside of aesthetics, see McAuley 2013). The question that we shall ask here, then, is a simple one: How much music theory can we get out of philosophy, and how much philosophy out of music theory?

Schopenhauer’s Music Theory No nineteenth-century German philosopher is more central in the history of music than Arthur Schopenhauer. It is widely known that his pessimistic philosophy became required reading for a whole generation of composers walking in Richard Wagner’s shadow.5 This is not the place to rehearse the intricacies of Schopenhauer’s pessimistic

30   Alexander Rehding metaphysics of the will, save to remind ourselves why he placed music at the top of his hierarchy of the arts. Uniquely among the arts, he argued, music offered a direct representation of the will, untrammelled by concepts. Music, he held, resembled the will in every respect, with the important difference that it harboured no physical pain and suffering, of the kind that otherwise marks our earthly existence (Schopenhauer  1969, 1:267).6 Never had music occupied a more central role in philosophical thought. If we read his World as Will and Representation from the perspective of the music theorist, however, it is striking that the two mighty tomes that make up the treatise, in which music plays a central role, contain only a single music example, and a curious one at that. Schopenhauer’s example is reproduced in Example 2.1.7 Music-theoretical arguments are commonly organized around music examples, so this seems like an obvious place to start. In a context that habitually associates the depths of Schopenhauer’s philosophy with the most advanced chromatic harmonies of Tristan und Isolde and Götterdämmerung, this short melody seems out of place. Its four-square, question-and-answer pattern appears laughably simple—more Johann Stamitz than Richard Wagner. How can we work with this? This monophonic example is perhaps made particularly puzzling, certainly to music theorists, by Schopenhauer’s admonition that melody could not be considered except together with harmony. A melody without harmony—something “desired exclusively by Rousseau”—Schopenhauer explains incredulously, would be like a “mere moral philosophy without an explanation of nature” (1969, 1:265). Before reviewing what exactly Schopenhauer has to say about this musical phrase, it is worth highlighting the second passage that has typically raised music-theoretical eyebrows: Schopenhauer offers an anachronistic and outright bizarre interpretation of the four musical voices—bass, tenor, alto, and soprano—as representing the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms in ascending order (1969, 2:447). This classification scheme, which resonates with Aristotelian and Platonic ideas on the one hand and Indian philosophy on the other, would appear to have its home in esoteric traditions for which modern music theorists tend to have very little time. Is there in fact anything that music theorists can take away from Schopenhauer’s explanations of music? It seems that Schopenhauer’s music theory has often failed to impress. Take, for instance, the early twentieth-century German scholar Franz Joseph Wagner, who completed a dissertation on this topic. He finds the analysis of the single music example the “most confusing and most forced part of the treatise” (Wagner 1910, 52), and proclaims that the derivation of musical voices from the four kingdoms “bears the stamp of caprice” (49). Or, for a more contemporary example, take the American music theorist

Example 2.1  The music example from Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation.

Music Theory and Philosophy   31 Lawrence Ferrara, who considers the analytical description of the musical passage ­adequate, but faults Schopenhauer for adhering to false music-theoretical precedents and therefore missing something important in the music. Echoing American musictheoretical orthodoxy of the 1980s, Ferrara laments if only Schopenhauer had read the eighteenth-century Austrian music theorist Johann Joseph Fux, rather than his French contemporary Jean Philippe Rameau, he would have been able to better understand music in the way “actually practiced by the masters of Western music” (Ferrara 1996, 191). It is possible to defend Schopenhauer against his detractors. Schopenhauer was in fact a keen reader of recent music theory, particularly Ernst F. F. Chladni, dubbed the father of acoustics.8 Unlike Fux, who was interested in compositional technique, specifically counterpoint, Rameau and Chladni were more interested, each in their own way, in extracting the physical qualities of musical sounds. Or, exaggerating slightly, whereas Fux was primarily interested in notes, Rameau and Chladni were interested in tones. Thus Schopenhauer knew that each musical sound is not restricted to a single pitch, but rather contains a whole harmonic spectrum. Like Rameau, Schopenhauer projected this acoustical fact onto the structure of chords and harmonies. Sons harmoniques, as Schopenhauer (1969, 1:258) explained using Rameau’s terminology, contained full triadic harmonies. Using the harmonic series as a yardstick, Schopenhauer made some very detailed, though perhaps overly restrictive, deductions concerning compositional technique, including the assertion that correct harmonies should be spaced so that the three upper voices are placed two octaves above the bass note (1969, 2:447). We can best understand this claim in terms of the distribution along the harmonic spectrum, where the major triad is located at the fourth, fifth, and sixth partial, with the fundamental being exactly three octaves underneath the fourth partial. This exact spacing is relatively irrelevant from the perspective of compositional technique, but it serves to underline how closely aligned Schopenhauer’s thought was to the acoustical basis of music. While Schopenhauer explains that all four voices in a typical tonal texture are projections of the fundamental bass, the bass is also the slowest moving voice and the most restricted in its movements.9 “The fundamental bass is in harmony what inorganic nature, the crudest mass on which everything rests and from which everything originates and develops, is in the world” (1969, 1:258, translation modified). He follows Rameau in proscribing stepwise IV–V movement of the bass and arguing that bass motion is primarily in fourths and fifths (1:259, 2:452). It is the soprano part that shows the most agile movement and is allowed melodic contour. We can see where this is leading within Schopenhauer’s metaphysics: the soprano part is the most individualized of all the voices. In the tenor and alto parts, the harmonybearing voices “between the bass and the leading voice singing the melody, I recognize the whole gradation of the Ideas in which the will objectifies itself ” (1969, 1:258). It is from this angle that we have to understand the otherwise puzzling division of voices along the Neoplatonic Great Chain of Being. The slow-moving bass represents the kingdom of “minerals” in analogy with his metaphysics of the will: “Just as a certain degree of

32   Alexander Rehding pitch is inseparable from the tone as such, so a certain grade of the will’s manifestation is inseparable from matter” (1:258). The bass is declared to be material, ultimately, in order that the soprano can then be equated with the human individual. Schopenhauer explains: Melody alone has significant and intentional connexions from beginning to end. Consequently, it relates the story of the intellectually enlightened will, the copy or impression whereof in actual life is the series of its deeds. Melody, however, says more: it relates the most secret history of the intellectually enlightened will, portrays every agitation, every effort, every movement of the will, everything which the faculty of reason summarizes under the wide and negative concept of feeling, and which cannot be further taken up into the abstractions of reason.  (1969, 1:259)

Schopenhauer is so eager to bring his point across that the melody relates directly to the will that he even underlines it multiple times in a row. The point matters because, like the principium individuationis that Schopenhauer dismisses as a mere illusion, the soprano melody does not exist in its own right. Even though the melody may appear autonomous, self-contained, and separated from the other voices—“progressing with unrestrained freedom,” as Schopenhauer (1969, 1:259) puts it—it is always carried by the other voices, which all emanate from the same son harmonique, from the bass upwards. Thus, when we read the solitary music example in Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation, we must not only focus on the notes we read on the page. We have to imagine that there is a whole harmonic underpinning that is an integral part of the ­melody—so integral and inseparable, in fact, that it is unnecessary to write down the underlying harmonies. Schopenhauer is particularly concerned about the excursions of melodic movement, away from the first scale degree, the keynote, “to the extreme intervals” and the more unstable scale degrees, but always returning to it. This melodic motion, Schopenhauer explains, “expresses the many different forms of the will’s efforts, but also its satisfaction by ultimately finding again a harmonious interval, and still more the keynote” (1969, 1:260). The aspect that distinguishes the melodic line most from the bass and the middle parts is its explicit rhythmic structure, an aspect that Schopenhauer, like the German Romantics Friedrich Schelling and Novalis before him, considers to be the central dimension of music. Schopenhauer does not carefully distinguish between metre and rhythm, and he is particularly interested in the question of metric weight in conjunction with underlying harmonies. He interprets the metric-rhythmic structure of his solitary music example in great detail. Observing that the first strong beat articulates the tonic harmony, Schopenhauer argues that the upward arpeggiation of bar 1 reaches the upper octave on the fourth eighth note, the weak beat, which initiates a move down to the seventh of the scale in bar 2. From a perspective in which the tonic represents stability and consonance, Schopenhauer argues, the sounding of the keynote on a weak beat introduces a “disunity”—a mismatch between harmony and metric weight—which “does not obtain any satisfaction.” The move to the seventh scale degree is, for Schopenhauer, in

Music Theory and Philosophy   33 itself a certain kind of dissonance, in the sense of instability, that is introduced on the strong beat in bar 2. Schopenhauer regards the unstable melodic scale degree introduced on a strong beat as another kind of “disunity” that makes the listener “feel disquieted.” More conventionally, in our music-theoretical discourse we would point to the relative instability, the drive to move beyond this point towards closure, of third of the dominant. (For Schopenhauer, by contrast, the dominant harmony only emerges as a consequence of the melodic need to resolve back to the tonic—or, as he puts it: “because the most deeply felt satisfaction and complete relief can follow only the most pressing desire” [1969, 2:456].) The destabilized arpeggiated figure in bar 3 follows the same outline, which initiates a return to the stability of the tonic. Schopenhauer sounds almost Hegelian in his explanation that from a metric-harmonic standpoint, the short phrase outlines an initial assertion, followed by a “discord” between harmony and metre in bars 2 and 3, and culminating in a final “reconciliation” in bar 4. But rather than fleshing out this dialectic, Schopenhauer points out that these terms are easily translated into the metaphysics of the will, as “the copy of the origination of new desires, and then of their satisfaction” (2:455). What is perhaps most important about Schopenhauer’s reflections on music, and on melody in particular, is the explicit and essential temporal dimension that his philosophy introduces, which is distinctly different from the other arts—even including poetry. He was insistent that music “exists in time alone, without any reference to space” (1969, 1:266). In a context in which the experience of music came to be connected with a sense of subjectivity, as well as specifically the problem of the finitude of human life, it becomes understandable why this evanescent art form would suddenly rise to new philosophical heights.

Music as a Medium of Philosophy The German media theorist Friedrich Kittler has drawn attention to the role of Schopenhauer in making music a central object within the discourse of philosophy (Kittler 1995, 83–99). Schopenhauer’s definition of musical sound is curiously complicated and reflects the magnitude of his task. Even though, as we saw, Schopenhauer is centrally interested in the soprano line and the human kingdom, he emphatically builds his philosophy on instrumental sounds, not on the human voice.10 Crucially, it is the human subject as a whole who is turned into an instrument: “We ourselves,” Schopenhauer proclaims, in analogy to the Pythagorean monochord, “are now the vibrating string that is being stretched or plucked” (1969, 2:450–451). With this striking image he brings together two traditions that had seemed irreconcilable for most of the history of music theory: acoustical ratios, traditionally associated with the mathematical Pythagorean position, and musical experience, first articulated by Aristoxenus. Schopenhauer conceives of sounds not only in terms of the physics of acoustical vibrations, but also in terms of music that is perceived by listening (or sounding, or sympathetically resonating) subjects.

34   Alexander Rehding Kittler notes that Schopenhauer’s re-evaluation of music within the hierarchy of the arts introduced a mismatch between the sounding medium of music and the literary medium in which philosophy normally operates. Schopenhauer references Leibniz’s rationalistic definition “musica est exercitium arithmeticae occultum nescentis se numerare animi” (music is an unconscious arithmetic exercise in which the soul is not aware of its own counting), but he changes it from numerare to philosophari—from counting to philosophizing.11 This subtle change captures this momentous paradigm shift: music is no longer something to count, that is, something that relates to the science of acoustics, but it is something to philosophize about. The vibrations emitted by the “human monochord” may still be the same as those that Leibniz wanted to count, but they no longer matter as frequencies; they only matter as tones that reach the ear and that form part of a piece of music. Schopenhauer now deals with a new kind of material, sound—or more specifically, musical sounds, that is, tones, which are the fabric of musical compositions and which can be written down in their very own system of notation. From this perspective, the inclusion of the music example in World as Will and Representation is instructive: it highlights the uneasy cohabitation of two fundamentally different systems of notation, text and music, which corresponds to the material difference of the new medium that Schopenhauer elevates to the level of philosophy. Kittler argues (with characteristic hyperbole) that a generation later this mismatch of media would lead Nietzsche to take the radical but logical consequence of abandoning philosophical aesthetics, which he redefined as nothing other than “applied physiology.” As applied physiology, the gap between the medium of music, working directly on the body, and that of aesthetics is closed again, though at the expense of any verbal philosophizing about art. Put differently, whereas Kant excluded music from philosophy because it does not use words, Nietzsche decided to give up philosophy altogether in favour of dance. In this view, the composer Wagner becomes the true heir of the trend that Schopenhauer, and to a lesser extent Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, initiated earlier in the nineteenth century. Simply put, what makes music so special to Schopenhauer, over and above the other arts, is that its experience is not located representationally in the world, but is felt diffusely in the body (see Foster 1996, 245). And his description of music, especially his analysis of the music example, goes a long way to put this sensation into technical language. In short, there is more music-theoretical interest to Schopenhauer than we generally admit. Kittler’s critique takes issue with some aspects of Schopenhauer’s move, but he appreciates the bold step that Schopenhauer took in making music worthy of philosophy.12 Above all, Kittler underscores that music theorists would do well to take Schopenhauer’s aesthetics seriously: Schopenhauer is more sensitive to music-theoretical concerns than meets the eye (or the ear). The reason music theorists have tended to overlook the specific qualities of Schopenhauer’s aesthetics is probably related to the fact that for the longest time music theory was in thrall to those aspects of the musical work that related to the composer’s craft (see Goehr 1992 for a trenchant discussion of the work concept; amongst a large

Music Theory and Philosophy   35 number of responses, see Talbot 2000). We remember that this comes to the fore ­particularly in Ferrara’s (1996) critique, insisting again and again on how the great composers learned their trade. (To be sure, Schopenhauer does have something to say about that too, in the guise of the famous “sleepwalker” image [1969, 1:260] with which he characterizes the creative process, but this particular metaphor is of little interest to music-theoretical concerns.) At first blush, it is true: the passages on music in World as Will and Representation do not include anything that would offer  radically new music-theoretical insights. Ferrara’s indifferent assessment of Schopenhauer’s analysis as no more and no less than “adequate” is an indication of this. However, Schopenhauer’s analysis in fact foregrounds an aspect—the move from “desire” to “satisfaction”—that is so fundamental to the musical experience, and to the way in which we talk about music as to appear completely self-­evident to us. It is easy to overlook the impact of the psychological language Schopenhauer employs in his analytical example, because his observations—when couched in slightly updated language, as “tension” and “resolution”—seem entirely familiar to modern readers and listeners. A quick comparison with melodic analysis from Schopenhauer’s age, above all Anton Reicha’s influential Traité de mélodie (1814), published four years before World as Will and Representation, suggests that this approach to music was not always so familiar. Reicha talks about compositional categories, such as how to write open and closed phrases and how to achieve cadential closure. Schopenhauer’s discussion, by contrast, operates strictly on the level of how we hear these phrases, their psychological impact on the listener, and in what ways exactly the musical elements contribute to a sense of tension and relaxation. These terms are now commonplace in music theorists, who spent the last century studying up on psychology, but Schopenhauer is at the crest of a movement here that did not come to the fore within music-theoretical circles until the end of the nineteenth century.13 Perhaps the closest music-theoretical equivalent during the first half of the nineteenth century can be found not in theories of melody, but in early efforts in musical analysis, particularly in Gottfried Weber’s celebrated experiential analysis of Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet of 1832, whose central protagonist, as has been pointed out repeatedly, is “the ear.”14 Kittler may be correct in identifying the mismatch of media, between the verbal medium of philosophical aesthetics and the sounding medium of music, as a problem for the discourse network of philosophy. But Schopenhauer was nothing if not con­ sist­ent in helping move the terms of the discussion away from the traditional domain of music theory, its dual focus on pedagogy and its speculative foundations, toward a more “aisthetic,” or perceptual, outlook.15 With this shift in perspective, its new focus on the musical work and how to analyse it from the listener’s perspective, we could say—with a good dose of Kittlerian hyperbolic flair—that modern music theory as we know it was born. Put differently, our modern institution of music theory, with its emphasis on putting the listening experience into words and formalizing these efforts, set itself up as the missing link between the medial gap of verbal aesthetics and ­sounding music.

36   Alexander Rehding

Ernst Kurth as Schopenhauerian Philosopher No musical thinker has taken Schopenhauer’s position more seriously than the theorist Ernst Kurth (1886–1946). Kurth is little known outside of specialist circles, in part because of the deep-rooted idealism at the heart of his theory, which is not only difficult to translate into English, but also resists the kind of systematization that AngloAmerican music-theoretical discourse cherishes, and in part because his academic reputation never quite recovered from the restrictions under which his works were placed by the National Socialists.16 Kurth’s ambition is not less than to rectify a myopic focus of music theory: “From the moment that theory concentrated its efforts on the external sounding image, it was condemned to be left high and dry” (Kurth 1968, 12).17 He never ceases to stress that tones, the sounding phenomenon, are merely the surface phenomenon of what are ultimately, at a much deeper level, psychological impulses. Thus, his treatise on Romantic Harmony (1920) opens in medias res: “Harmonies are reflexes from the unconscious.” He is not shy to admit his Schopenhauerian leanings, in which the “will” has even morphed into a more emphatic, primordial “Ur-Willen” (Kurth’s intellectual world has been explored in Rösler 1998; Krebs 1998; Rothfarb 1990; and Tan 2014). In Kurth’s hands, meanwhile, the specifics of Schopenhauer’s metaphysics have been mediated via a proto-Freudian psychological language.18 Kurth’s music theory can best be understood as an attempt to get beneath the phenomena by capturing the sounding surface in as precise technical terms as possible. What Kurth is interested in is what actually happens between the tones, how individual tones are not heard as a series of discrete events, but hang together as melodic lines. Thus he opens his treatise on Linear Counterpoint with the pithy statement: “Melody is motion” (Kurth  1917, 1). He elaborates on his position with explicit reference to Schopenhauer, writing: “Music is not a reflection of nature, but the experience of its enigmatic energies within us, the sense of tension within us is the peculiar perception of similar vital forces, as they are manifest at the very beginning of all physical and organic life” (Kurth 1968, 4). The “sense of tension within us” that Kurth identifies seems to resonate with Schopenhauer’s image of the human “vibrating string that is being plucked.” In line with Schopenhauerian ideas, the flow of melody in “kinetic energy” is absolutely primary for him, while harmonies are nothing more than dammed-up “potential energy.” Not unlike Schopenhauer, Kurth explains that melody is the “first projection of the will onto ‘matter,’ on its appearance in time and [imagined] space” (5). In this sense, saying that a melodic line is composed of a number of discrete tones is not correct, the opposite is true in Kurth’s view: the underlying psychic energy is primary, and the individual tones simply demarcate audibly the trajectory of this energetic motion. Tones, in this conception, are nothing more than carriers of energy states in music, the “ballast of the line” (7).

Music Theory and Philosophy   37 We can use Kurth’s explanations to reinterpret Schopenhauer’s music example in terms of the underlying energies that he hears out of all tonal music. Kurth explains: “The progression from dominant to tonic is the simplest sonic tension and its discharge; its opposite—that is, Tonic–Dominant—is the creation of the most basic chordal ­tension, which yearns to return to its starting point” (1968, 111). Put differently, Kurth adds, the progression from I–V is “negation,” while V–I is “affirmation.” We can see how this closely resembles Schopenhauer’s observation that his short musical ­passage ­outlined both “discord” and “reconciliation”—with one important music-­theoretical difference, or so it appears: Schopenhauer is eager to base his observations on melodic scale degrees, not on harmonies. Kurth, however, urges his readers not to regard the chordal sonorities as foundational, but rather as a dynamic effect, based on energies and tensions. For Kurth, it is ultimately immaterial whether this tension manifests itself in melody or harmony. What is critical in this progression is the tension that resides especially in semitonal relations, in the tendency of leading tones to resolve into the keynote of the scale and the root of the tonic harmony. In Schopenhauer’s example, in the passage from a tonic C major to its dominant G major, it is especially the semitone from the stable C, root and octave of the scale, to the energetically more charged B, as the third of the dominant harmony and the leading tone of the scale, that requires a discharge back into the more stable tonic harmony. For Kurth, the play of energetic tensions that underlies these progressions and sets them in motion is a vital force, based on the generative force of leading-tone tension; it is no less than “the life of music” (136). From this energetic perspective, Kurth concludes: “The I–V–I cadence is the first cadence of music altogether” (111). These semitonal tensions can also be created within chordal formations, employing a principle that Kurth calls “alteration.” Alteration describes a principle of chromatic inflection in which chordal tones are substituted by their semitone (or in some cases even whole-tone) neighbours. Alteration not only changes the sonic structure of the sound, its “heightened sound colour play” (1968, 134), but also increases the energetic tension of the chords, which require resolution, often into distant harmonic regions. It is from this perspective that Kurth presents one of the most celebrated (and most in-depth) analyses of the Tristan chord, reproduced in Example  2.2. He begins by observing that the actual sounding structure of the chord, a half-diminished-seventh

Example 2.2  Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde, opening bars.

38   Alexander Rehding chord, is nothing new. What is new, however, is the tension that is created in the specific contexts in which the Tristan chord is presented and in which it is resolved. The famous first occurrence of the chord, in bar 2 of the score, is part of a II–V progression, in which the II chord, based on B major with an added seventh, has been drastically “altered” in Kurth’s specific sense: the F♯ has been lowered to F (in the bass), and the seventh A is preceded by a long, held-out appoggiatura G♯. These alterations heighten the chromatic tensions of the chord: the F strives for resolution to E, and the G♯ will resolve upwards to A and continue to rise chromatically in the following bar. Of course, Tristan is the locus classicus not only of Schopenhauerian pessimism, but also of the intense chromatic idiom that is inextricably linked in with Wagner’s later stage works.19 In the music-theoretical imagination the two have grown so close as to be virtually indistinguishable. For Kurth (1968, 228), this style of “highly developed alteration,” with its boundless and expansive potential, its urgency, its incessant “yearning and flooding,” is the essence of Romanticism in music.

Reciprocities Is this still Schopenhauer? It is difficult to say: Kurth’s technical and metaphorical language obviously goes far beyond anything that Schopenhauer said on the topic of music. We know that Schopenhauer did not have much time for Wagner’s music: in 1854 Wagner sent him a dedicated copy of the libretto of Der Ring des Nibelungen. The ageing philosopher, who greatly preferred Mozart and Rossini, opined that Wagner would do well to give up music and focus on poetry (see Grisebach 1898, 53). But, what is more, this question is relatively unimportant. What matters is that Kurth’s music theory was written under the impression of Schopenhauer’s metaphysics and that it constitutes one possible answer to his philosophy from the perspective of music theory. Kurth takes up certain features of Schopenhauer’s philosophy including aspects of Schopenhauer’s ideas on music. Kurth is more precise and more technical in his musical descriptions than Schopenhauer, which is just what one would expect. But as we saw in our brief Kurthian analysis of Schopenhauer’s music examples, there are important points of convergence. Even where Kurth does not follow Schopenhauer to the letter, in particular in his extensive theories about underlying “energies,” Kurth’s music theory occupies the discursive space that Schopenhauer’s philosophy opened up within the domain of music aesthetics. Ludwig Holtmeier (2005, 128) has astutely pointed out that Kurth’s theory falls short in one important respect—in terms of musical hearing. Though this aspect is often central to music-theoretical thought, it is in many ways negligible in this particular context: after all, Kurth is trying to get beneath the sounding surface, to understand how we experience it psychologically. Thus, Kurth prefaces his Romantische Harmonik almost dismissively with the laconic observation that “the gaze upon music is obscured by sounds” (1968, 3). Later on he elaborates on this position: “No musical style underscores more

Music Theory and Philosophy   39 clearly than that of Tristan that in all of harmony, we listen in the first place with the will, and only in the last place with our ears” (14). Kurth aims to present us with something that comes close to a seismographic reading of the elemental forces that make up the music in the first place. But is this not a contradiction in terms? Schopenhauer, after all, tried very hard to be up-to-date with theories of sound drawn from Chladni and Rameau, while Kurth dismisses the very notion of sonority from his music-theoretical thought. There is probably a certain amount of posturing involved in both cases: Schopenhauer needs to bolster his music-theoretical credentials and appeals to these important musical thinkers to legitimize his philosophy, whereas Kurth’s agenda is to show how mere music-theoretical thought falls short of capturing what is essential in music, that is, its psychological and energetic import. This dichotomy in Kurth’s and Schopenhauer’s aims and disciplinary background may seem ironic, but makes more sense if we think of it as a chiasmus (albeit a slightly lopsided one): whereas Schopenhauer is trying to formalize his metaphysics towards a sense of how a philosophy might hear music, Kurth’s aim is to formalize how a music theory might capture a profound metaphysical and psychological experience. From this perspective, it is probably not a coincidence that Kurth wrote his Schopenhauerian music theory once the full impact of Schopenhauer’s pessimistic metaphysics had been sublimated, if that is the right word, and tamed by psychology around the turn of the twentieth century. What is more, while Schopenhauer was very much de rigueur in intellectual circles in Germany in the first decades of the new century, it is undeniable that Kurth’s approach to Schopenhauer is heavily mediated via Nietzsche, Wagner, and Freud. So, what about the reciprocity that we problematized earlier? We saw how Schopenhauer gave rise to, or at least fostered, a certain branch of music-theoretical thought. Did Kurth’s work do the same in the field of philosophy? Can he be shown to have engendered further philosophy? The answer is a simple “no.” The only philosopher, as far as I am aware, who was familiar with Kurth’s work was Theodor W. Adorno, who writes about Kurth’s Musikpsychologie (1931) quite favourably.20 The reason for this mismatch, as we observed initially, is the incongruence in the scope of both fields. Thus, Kurth obviously falls far short of Schopenhauer’s wider philosophy—as any music theory necessarily would—in that it cannot adequately address the fundamental question of “How should we live?” that forms such an important part of Schopenhauer’s thought. Is the asymmetrical constellation between music theory and philosophy that we encountered here generalizable? Does the circumstance that Kurth operated more or less within the discursive space that Schopenhauer’s philosophy had opened up for the institution of music theory reflect a broader truth regarding the relationship between the two? The answer will depend on how we understand the institutional scope of the two fields. If we understand music theory in its current usage, as defined by academic practice within the Anglo-American institutional network, with its chief focus on the understanding and appreciation of musical works (either individually or grouped together as repertoires), then the shared space between music theory and philosophy

40   Alexander Rehding will fall primarily into the domain of aesthetics, a relatively small field within philosophy as it is practiced today. This framework is probably the most common usage of music theory that we are likely to come across. However, this is not the same as saying that it could not be any other way. Numerous studies have broadened the philosophical outlook of music theory, bringing it closer to big philosophical questions such as musical experience, temporality, sound, or identity (see, among many others, Hasty  1993; McClary  2001; Spitzer 2006; Heller-Roazen 2011; Kane 2014; or Waltham-Smith 2018). There are plenty of further possibilities that simply happen not to be recognized institutionally at present. To return to ancient Greece, for instance, who is to say that Plato’s Timaeus does not in fact include a fully fledged music theory that goes right to the heart of this foundational philosophical text? If we get beyond these institutional constraints and allow ourselves to take on a broader notion of music theory, perhaps we will arrive at a less lopsided relationship—something closer to the Ciceronian ideal of musica eademque philosophia. Perhaps, then, in this retelling the legend of Aristoxenus will come round to a happy ending.

Notes 1. Cicero, fr. Ia-1-05, cited in Kaiser 2010, 3. 2. As so often, the accuracy of these accounts is questionable. 3. For a recent reconsideration of Aristoxenus’s work from musical, philosophical, and philological perspectives, see Huffman 2012. 4. Halm, it seems, could at best rely on his father-in-law, Gustav Wyneken, who had received his PhD with a dissertation on Hegel. See Rehding 2001. 5. Less well-known, perhaps, are the circumstances by which Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation (1818–19) gained late recognition in the 1850s, thanks to an influential review in the English press, which also rekindled interest in continental Europe. 6. See Jacquette  1996, especially its two contrasting essays on music, Ferrara  1996 and Goehr 1996. 7. To be precise, the example appears in the second volume, which contains the additions made for the influential second edition of 1844. The first volume, published in 1819, does not contain any music examples at all. 8. Schopenhauer  1969, 1: 266. To convey a sense of Chladni’s importance: Napoleon Bonaparte was so impressed by Chladni’s work that he paid the author for a French translation of his work, which became Traité d’acoustique (Chladni 1809). 9. The fundamental bass, one of Rameau’s central concepts from the Traité de l’harmonie (1722), is an imaginary structure that differs from the sounding bass. The fundamental bass links the roots of the sounding harmonies in a progression of certain permissible intervals. Rameau (1722) contends that fifths and fourths are preferable, thirds are permissible, whereas seconds must be avoided. 10. Oddly, Franz Joseph Wagner—our early twentieth-century music theorist—flatly denies that point, arguing that Schopenhauer went wrong here because the basis of music is the human voice. This seems to be based more on personal dogma than on a careful reading of the text. Wagner’s arguments often boil down to pitting his own, often idiosyncratic,

Music Theory and Philosophy   41 views on music against Schopenhauer’s, and then to chide Schopenhauer for holding different views. 11. Leisinger 1994 points out that the printed edition of Leibniz’s famous letter to Christian Goldbach, dated 17 April 1712, mistakenly changes animae (of the soul) into animi (of the spirit) (42–43). 12. Kittler’s complaint that Schopenhauer did not go all the way when he made musical tones—rather than noise—the object of his philosophy, seems a little churlish given that in 1819 Schopenhauer did not have a chance to rely on the technological apparatus that Kittler’s unabashedly teleological perspective offers. 13. Bandur’s authoritative entry “Melodia/Melodie” (1998, 70) identifies the first conceptualization of motion or energy in Karl Fr. Krause’s short treatise Darstellungen aus der Geschichte der Musik (Krause 1827, 156), where Krause defines melody as “Die Melodie oder Tonfolge in der Zeit ist die der Entfaltung der Kraft des Gemütslebens angemessene Reihenfolge der Töne in der Zeit.” (Melody, or tonal succession in time, is the order of tones that is appropriate to the unfolding of the power of the life of the mind over time.) 14. An English translation of Weber’s essay is included in Bent  1994, 1:157–183. See also Moreno 2004. 15. Aisthesis is the chosen term of a recent branch of aesthetics, particularly in Germany, which returns to a more Baumgartian approach and aligns itself with questions of perception (aisthesis = sensation, perception). See, for instance, Barck et al. 1990. I call this outlook “perceptual” in light of our conventional distinctions. Within Schopenhauer’s concept of aesthetic contemplation, during which the contemplating subject and the art object cannot be sharply separated, this distinction would be meaningless. 16. As a professor at the University of Bern in Switzerland, Kurth himself was in relative safety during the years of the National Socialist regime. A biographical sketch is included in Willimann 1989. 17. Excerpts from Kurth’s treatises have been skillfully translated in Rothfarb 1991. 18. Freud was, of course, also a noted Schopenhauerian. See Hyer 1990 and Gardner 1996. 19. Wagner and Philosophy (McGee 2001) is published in America under the title The Tristan Chord. 20. Adorno reviewed the book in 1933, and occasionally referenced it in his own work. See, for instance, Adorno 1998, 300.

Works Cited Adorno, Theodor W. 1998. “Vers une musique informelle.” In Quasi una fantasia, translated by Rodney Livingstone, 269–322. London: Verso. Bandur, Markus. 1998. “Melodia/Melodie.” In Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie, edited by Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht and Albrecht Riethmüller, 1–71. Wiesbaden: Steiner. Barck, Karlheinz, Peter Gente, Heidi Paris, and Stefan Richter, eds. 1990. Aisthesis— Wahrnehmung heute oder Perspektiven einer anderen Ästhetik. Leipzig: Reclam Leipzig. Bent, Ian, ed. and trans. 1994. Music Analysis in the Nineteenth Century. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Blasius, Leslie. 2002. “Mapping the Terrain.” In The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, edited by Thomas S. Christensen, 22–45. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bonds, Mark Evan. 2006. Music as Thought: Listening to the Symphony in the Age of Beethoven. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

42   Alexander Rehding Chladni, Ernst F. F. 1809. Traité d’acoustique. Paris: Courcier. Christensen, Thomas S., ed. 2002. The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ferrara, Lawrence. 1996. “Schopenhauer on Music as Embodiment of the Will.” In Schopenhauer, Philosophy, and the Arts, edited by Dale Jacquette, 183–199. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foster, Cheryl. 1996. “Ideas and Imagination.” In The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer, edited by Christopher Janaway, 213–251. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gardner, Sebastian. 1996. “Schopenhauer, Will, and The Unconscious.” In The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer, edited by Christopher Janaway, 375–421. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gaukroger, Stephen. 1995. Descartes: An Intellectual Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goehr, Lydia. 1992. The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goehr, Lydia. 1996. “Schopenhauer and the Musicians: An Inquiry into the Sounds of Silence and the Limits of Philosophizing.” In Schopenhauer, Philosophy, and the Arts, edited by Dale Jacquette, 200–228. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gramit, David. 2002. Cultivating Music: The Aspirations, Interests, and Limits of German Musical Culture 1770–1848. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Grisebach, Eduard, ed. 1898. Schopenhauers Gespräche und Selbstgespräche. Berlin: Hoffmann. Hasty, Christopher F. 1993. Rhythm As Meter. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Heller-Roazen, Daniel. 2011. The Fifth Hammer. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Holtmeier, Ludwig. 2005. “Die Erfindung der romantischen Harmonik. Ernst Kurth und Georg Capellen.” WagnerSpektrum 2: 125–142. Huffman, Carl  A., ed, 2012. Aristoxenus of Tarentum. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Hyer, Brian. 1990. “Musical Hysteria.” 19th-Century Music 14, no. 1 (Summer): 84–94. Jacquette, Dale, ed. 1996. Schopenhauer, Philosophy, and the Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kaiser, Stefan Ikarus. 2010. Die Fragmente des Aristoxenos aus Tarent. Hildesheim: Olms. Kane, Brian. 2014. Sound Unseen. New York: Oxford University Press. Kittler, Friedrich. 1995. “Musik als Medium.” In Wahrnehmung und Geschichte: Markierungen zur Aisthesis materialis, edited by Bernhard  J.  Dotzler and Ernst Martin Müller, 83–99. Berlin: Oldenbourg Akademieverlag. Krause, Karl Friedrich. 1827. Darstellungen aus der Geschichte der Musik. Göttingen: Dieterich. Krebs, Wolfgang. 1998. Innere Dynamik und Energetic in Ernst Kurths Musiktheorie. Tutzing: Hans Schneider. Kurth, Ernst. 1917. Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkts: Bachs melodische Polyphonie. Bern: Max Drechsel. Kurth, Ernst. 1968. Romantische Harmonik und ihre Krise in Wagners ‘Tristan’. Hildesheim: Georg Olms. First published 1920. Leisinger, Ulrich. 1994. Leibniz-Reflexe der deutschen Musiktheorie des 18. Jahrhunderts. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. Leppert, Richard, and Susan McClary, eds. 1987. Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance, and Reception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Music Theory and Philosophy   43 McAuley, Tomás. 2013. “Rhythmic Accent and the Absolute: Sulzer, Schelling, and the Akzenttheorie.” Eighteenth Century Music 20, no. 2 (September): 277–286. McClary, Susan. 2001. Conventional Wisdom. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. McGee, Bryan. 2001. Wagner and Philosophy. Basingstoke, UK: Penguin. Moreno, Jairo. 2004. Musical Representations, Subjects, and Objects. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press. Rameau, Jean Philippe. 1722. Traité de l’harmonie. Paris: Baillard. Rehding, Alexander. 2001. “August Halm’s Two Cultures as Nature.” In Music Theory and Natural Order from the Renaissance to the Early Twentieth Century, edited by Suzannah Clark and Alexander Rehding, 142–160. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rehding, Alexander. 2016. “Three Music-Theory Lessons.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 141, no. 2 (July): 251–282. Robinson, J. Bradford. 1994. “The Jazz Essays of Theodor Adorno: Some Thoughts On Jazz Reception In Weimar Germany.” Popular Music 13, no. 1 (January): 1–25. Rösler, Hans-Peter. 1998. Die Musiktheorie von Ernst Kurth und ihr psychologischer Hintergrund. Ammersbek bei Hamburg: Verlag an der Lottbek Jensen. Rothfarb, Lee. 1990. Ernst Kurth as Theorist and Analyst. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Rothfarb, Lee. 2009. August Halm: A Critical and Creative Life In Music. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. Rothfarb, Lee, ed. 1991. Ernst Kurth: Selected Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schopenhauer, Arthur. 1969. The World as Will and Representation. Translated by E. F. J. Payne. 2 vols. New York: Dover. Spitzer, Michael. 2006. Music as Philosophy: Adorno and Beethoven’s Late Style. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Talbot, Michael, ed. 2000. The Musical Work: Reality or Invention? Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Tan, Daphne. 2014. “Ernst Kurth at the Boundary of Music Theory and Psychology.” PhD diss., Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York. Wagner, Franz Joseph. 1910. Beiträge zur Würdigung der Musiktheorie Schopenhauers. Bonn: Hauptmann. Waltham-Smith, Naomi. 2018. Music and Belonging Between Revolution and Restoration. New York: Oxford University Press. Willimann, Joseph, ed. 1989. Gedenkschrift Ernst Kurth (1886–1946). Schweizer Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft. Neue Folge 6/7. Bern: Haupt. Witkin, Robert. 2000. “Why Did Adorno ‘Hate’ Jazz?” Sociological Theory 18, no. 1 (March): 145–170. Zangwill, Nick. 2004. “Against Emotion: Hanslick Was Right About Music.” British Journal of Aesthetics 44, no. 1 (January): 29–43.

chapter 3

Eth nom usicol ogy a n d Phil osoph y Ellen Koskoff

Ethnomusicology is the study of music in human social and cultural life. Closely related today to the discipline of anthropology, ethnomusicology is, at its heart, interdis­ ci­pli­nary. Like anthropology, its basic method is ethnographic fieldwork; its tools are recording, transcription, and analysis; and its discourses, until quite recently, have been rooted in the philosophical and theoretical systems of Western academic study, broadly speaking. This essay first explores the history of the field, from its earliest beginnings in late nineteenth-century Europe to its present standing as a major music discipline world­ wide. The essay continues with a critical examination of current debates, theoretical directions, new practices, and challenges, concluding with some important issues affect­ ing the future of ethnomusicology. These include the effects of postmodernism on the study of music, such as the development of new paradigms focusing on fragmentation and multiple subjectivities; the rise of various technologies as harbingers of a new for­ mulation of music as simply one category of sound; the effects of globalism on musical flow, and diasporic studies; and finally, a more general discussion of sameness and dif­ ference as organizing principles of ethnomusicological analysis and practice. But first, I pose three basic questions that ethnomusicologists have asked and con­ tinue to ask as they immerse themselves in the study of (mostly) contemporary musical cultures: (1) What is music in the context of human life? (2) Why and how is music meaningful to people? and (3) How can we best transform experiences of musical sounds, structures, and meanings into spoken and written discourses to share our appreciation for all musics and to promote intercultural understanding and respect? As ethnomusicology has undergone many philosophical, theoretical, and method­ ological changes, its practitioners have dealt with a myriad of other questions related to these three. Here are just a few: What, exactly, do ethnomusicologists study—music or people? Are we more interested in the varied social and cultural systems that affect and are affected by music; or in musical sounds and their analysis? How, precisely, does any

46   Ellen Koskoff society’s music, its sounds and structures (i.e., the music itself), relate to the social lives and values of the people for whom it is meaningful? Does a musical utterance “mean” something? Can music creation, performance, and experience be reduced to an under­ lying grammar, like language, or be limited by human biology or cognition? I introduce these questions at the outset to stress not only ethnomusicology’s interdisciplinarity, but also its inherent flexibility and openness to philosophical and methodological difference.

A Brief History of the Field What follows is a brief history of ethnomusicology as it grew and developed over the past 130 years or so, from its European beginnings to today’s worldwide interests and practices.1 Along the way, I highlight certain ideas, people, and methods that have influ­ enced the field and have contributed to various ethnomusicological discourses.

Comparative Musicology: Ethnomusicology’s European Heritage, c.1885–1960 I begin with an oft-cited origin myth of the beginnings of the academic study of music— the publication of Guido Adler’s “Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft” (“The Scope, Method, and Aim of Musicology”), in 1885 (see Mugglestone 1983). In his attempt to organize the many areas of music that could be studied formally, Adler was driven in part by his wish to see music taken more seriously in the academy and was drawn to new theoretical models associated with contemporary scientific (i.e., system­ atic) developments; and, although his own research focused exclusively on Western art music, he was also interested in European folk as well as non-Western musics. Using the scientific methods available to him at the time, Adler proposed a classification system for the study of all musics (i.e., musicology) in an effort to validate, in a systematic way, the study of music itself. Adler divided musicology into two overarching categories: (1) historical musicology, focusing on specific pieces and genres of music, historical accounts of composers and works, musical instruments, and historical periods, primarily through the study and interpretation of written documents; and (2) systematic musicology, originally contain­ ing four subdisciplines, focusing on the underlying, universal “laws of music”: music theory, aesthetics, pedagogy, and comparative musicology, which dealt with “compari­ son for ethnographic purposes” (Mugglestone 1983, 14–15). It is the fourth subcategory of systematic musicology—comparative musicology—with which we are concerned here, for it is this field that eventually grew and developed into the discipline of ethno­ musicology as we know it today.

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   47 Although Adler’s idea of historical musicology, like systematic musicology, appeared open to the study of all musics, its focus on written and visual documents limited its scope, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to the study of musical cultures with a written language, a music notation system, and an interest in documentation— essentially those of European and some East Asian art musics. Historical musicology remains today the discipline that primarily studies Western art music, its documents, history, and philosophical underpinnings, while contemporary ethnomusicologists, using ethnographic fieldwork, primarily study the musics and people of cultures living today, often choosing to study musical cultures that are primarily oral. Unlike historical musicology, systematic musicology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries focused on the larger questions of music’s origins, musical univer­ sals, large-scale patterns of musical diffusion, and the preservation of folk and “primi­ tive” musical cultures. These and other questions, scholars felt, could only be answered through the systematic collecting and comparing of musical entities, mostly folk songs already published or transcribed in Western notation. Thus, in its earliest stages, the underlying, implicit assumptions of this nascent field firmly situated the study of music within a scientific paradigm—an observable entity largely separated from its human performance and meaning. These analytic and theoretical perspectives often resonated with new scientific insights of the era. Influenced by the discoveries of Charles Darwin on evolution, for example, as well as by European colonialism, war, and a growing ease of travel, these men—and some women—provided a basis for what was to come. Early comparative musicologists, such as Carl Stumpf, began to apply these insights and new discoveries to music (Stumpf 1886). Looking for music’s precise point of origin, how it evolved and developed from its “primitive” birth to the high art of European classicism, and, finally, whether musical “laws,” such as tonality, harmony, and periodic melodic/rhythmic structures, were found universally in all musics, these scholars based much of their research on pre-existing, often published material. For example, the noted ballad scholar Francis James Child published a collection of 305 ballad texts as The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Child 1882–98), now com­ monly known as the “Child Ballads”; but he focused on the rhetorical style of the texts to determine their relative age. It was not until sixty years later that another ballad scholar, Bertrand Bronson, added music to these texts in a monumental four-volume collection, Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads (1959–72). In addition to providing all known variants of each of the 305 Child Ballads in Western notation, Bronson also proposed, in the same publication, an analytical model (the mode-star) that clearly showed relation­ ships between the various musical modes used in performance, placing them theoreti­ cally into related musical families. Early collecting and comparison was facilitated by three important developments at the end of the nineteenth century: (1) Hermann von Helmholtz’s invention of the Helmholtz resonator in the 1850s, which allowed for a precise, scientific measurement of musical intervals; (2) the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in 1877, which enabled musical sounds to be captured and played back repeatedly, thus fixing musical

48   Ellen Koskoff pieces into reified entities; and, (3) the development of the cents system by Alexander J. Ellis in the 1880s, which divided the Western tempered scale into 1,200 cents (each half-step containing 100 cents) thus enabling a more precise and scientific notation of musics that did not use the Western tempered tuning system (Ellis 1880). One important, and long-lasting, system for the classification of musical instruments was also developed at this time by the German historical musicologist Kurt Sachs and the Austrian comparative musicologist Erich von Hornbostel (Hornbostel and Sachs [1914] 1961). Over a century old now, this system is still used today as a way of under­ standing the sound-producing apparatus and construction of musical instruments worldwide. The general acceptance of the Sachs–Hornbostel system of instrument clas­ sification eventually led, in the mid-twentieth century, to the development of one of today’s ethnomusicological subdisciplines, organology—the study of the world’s musi­ cal instruments. Many comparative musicologists, as noted above, depended on printed versions of folk songs that had been deposited in archives, notated, and published by others. A few, such as composers Béla Bartók in Hungary, and Cecil Sharp and his collaborator Maude Karpeles in England, spent time with live performers, collecting, notating, and incorpo­ rating many “found” songs into their own compositions (Bartók  1931; Bartók and Lord  1951; Sharp  1965; Karpeles  1958). These collector-composers and others were largely responsible for a European folk song revival in the early twentieth century and provided early standards of collection, classification, and musical analysis, based largely on models associated with Western art musics. In looking back, of course, we can now see that the goals of these early comparative musicologists carried many underlying assumptions, based on philosophies, such as social evolution or social Darwinism, and the belief that all scientific observation was objective. Later critics singled out social Darwinism as especially worrisome (Sanderson 2002). Applied to music, it equated social groups on a scale from primitive to civilized, where—when compared—some social groups and musics were believed to be less developed than others (Stumpf 1886). Creating an implicit hierarchy of cultural value, with some musics described as “less complex,” “merely functional,” “exotic,” or using “gapped” scales and “primitive” rhythms (Herzog 1934), these discourses used an implicit knowledge and understanding of Western common practice music as the norm, the standard to which all other musics were compared. Further, such descriptions were often embedded within contemporaneous racial, gendered, class, or ethnic discourses, implicitly designed and used to preserve the status quo of the late nineteenth century—white European hegemony. These values were sup­ ported by belief systems, such as “scientific racism,” a racial classification system devel­ oped and favoured by many late nineteenth-century scientists. Based on race, these scientists used physical characteristics, such as skin colour and head size, to justify racial hierarchies. (See Barkan 1992 for a good summary of this belief system, its history and critics.) Another fallacy in the work of comparative musicologists that was noted by later critics was the belief in the objectivity, or neutrality, of the Western scientific researcher,

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   49 systematically trained and empty of all value judgements. It would be another fifty years or so before postmodernism’s use of deconstruction uncovered the implicit underlying value judgements and power dynamics inherent in all social interactions. (See more on postmodernism in the subsection “Into the twenty-first century, c.1990 to the present.”) At roughly the same time as Adler and his followers were developing the foundations for a comparative musicology, a fledgling ethnomusicology—more descriptive, less sys­ tematic than its European counterpart, and based on the new ethnographic method of fieldwork—was beginning in the United States, with scholars choosing their field sites mainly among North American Indians. This was largely driven by the widespread belief at that time that the cultures of these various indigenous groups were collapsing and disappearing in the face of rapid social change, and all sorts of private and govern­ mental activity surrounding collection and preservation occurred, including the preser­ vation of American Indian musical entities (Densmore 1910). Franz Boas (1858–1942), a German physicist and geographer who emigrated to the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, for example, began to research the culture of Inuit communities living on Baffin Island, Canada. Primarily interested in understanding the differences between “objective reality” (the presumed stuff of sci­ ence) and “subjective reality” (the presumed stuff of the new psychology), Boas devel­ oped what we now regard as the practice of ethnography, where living and working alongside live informants, understanding their realities, and not comparing them to others, was to become the norm by the second half of the twentieth century (Boas 1928). Often called “The Father of Anthropology,” Boas had many influential students, among them Edward Sapir and Margaret Mead—who, along with Boas, rejected the ideas of social Darwinism, comparison, and scientific objectivity in favour of the new perspec­ tive of cultural relativism. Cultural relativism (more properly “moral relativism”; see Marcus and Fischer 1986), posited no absolute standard for religious, ethical, or moral beliefs; rather, belief systems and practices were seen as embedded within specific cultural and social norms, thus not shared universally. This perspective, related somewhat to other contemporaneous theo­ ries, such as those of psychologist Sigmund Freud, began to position cultural and indi­ vidual belief systems within humanism’s philosophical traditions. Eventually, new research techniques, based on face-to-face interactions and data collection, developed with the hope of better understanding these systems. Important work in comparative musicology and ethnomusicology of the time clearly illustrated the methodological split between the “music as entity” and “music as human behaviour” studies. Early writers on this split included the British social anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski who wrote extensively on the importance of ethnography (Malinowski 1944). (See also Blacking 1974 and Merriam 1969 and 1977 for some relevant examples and good discussions of the differences between comparative musicology and early ethnomusicology.) What was changing, though, was a burgeoning interest in musics outside the West and a shift in analytic perspective from cultural outsiders to insiders.

50   Ellen Koskoff

The Birth and Early Growth of Ethnomusicology in the United States, c.1955–1990 By the mid-twentieth century in both Europe and the United States, various combina­ tions of these two approaches towards people and their musics prevailed. In Europe, the focus remained primarily on musical entities, with little attention paid to the people who performed for the collectors or on the social contexts and cultural meanings of their performances; in the United States, anthropologists interested in music continued to develop different methods for collecting, analysing, and documenting based on field­ work, but often paid little attention to music as sound and structure. Indeed, a common joke circulating at Society for Ethnomusicology conferences at the time was that the word “ethnomusicology” contained the words “no music.” And although historical musicologists had by the 1930s developed a fully-fledged academic discipline and pro­ fessional society—the American Musicological Society (AMS), founded in 1934—no such scholarly structure had yet developed for comparative musicologists in the United States. Those who wanted to use ethnographic fieldwork in their researches on living musical cultures became anthropologists, not musicologists. In 1955, at the annual meeting of the AMS in Boston, five scholars interested in music and ethnography came together to form the structure for a professional, academic soci­ ety that could support their work—the Society for Ethno-musicology (SEM). Jaap Kunst, the Dutch scholar of Indonesian musics, first coined the term “ethno-­musicology” (the hyphen was removed in 1957), stressing the field’s dual focus on living music and people. It was at this point that ethnomusicology as we know it today began to distinguish itself formally from the European-based comparative musicology. By the early 1960s the American field was fairly evenly split between those scholars trained as historical musicologists or composers, such as George Herzog, Mantle Hood, Bruno Nettl, and William Malm, and those trained as anthropologists, such as Alan Merriam, John Blacking, and David McAllester. During this time there was much dis­ agreement as to what, exactly, ethnomusicology studied, and many attempts were made to establish theoretical foundations and methods for this new field. Three books, Merriam’s The Anthropology of Music (Merriam  1964), Nettl’s Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology (Nettl 1964), and Hood’s The Ethnomusicologist (Hood 1971), tradition­ ally mark the beginning of the anthropologically-oriented research and scholarship in the American field of ethnomusicology that was to prevail for the next forty years (see also Malm 1959). Merriam’s book, especially, was to become emblematic of a new ethnomusicology and his deceptively simple triangular model for the study of music in its cultural context is still taught today as a foundation for the field. Essentially, Merriam’s ideas redefined what music was for a researcher—not a set of separate entities, but rather, [S]ounds shaped by the culture of which they are a part. And, culture, in turn, is carried by individuals and groups of individuals who learn what is to be considered

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   51 proper and improper in respect to music. Each culture decides what it will and will not call music; and sound patterns, as well as behaviors, which fall outside these norms are either unacceptable or are simply defined as something other than music. (Merriam 1964, 27)

The three points of the Merriam model were thus labelled conceptualization about music, behaviour in relation to music (including physical, social, and verbal behav­ iours), and music sound itself. Although Merriam referred to this model as a set of lev­ els, he connected them, creating a loop that visually and conceptually gave the impression that the musical culture under study was self-contained and ahistoric. These critiques, however, were to come later, including from Merriam himself (Merriam 1969). Merriam’s model essentially changed the focus of ethnomusicology’s object of study, from the formal analysis and comparison of music’s sounds to sounds collectively vali­ dated as music by people existing in socially interactive worlds. This is not to say that the comparative method disappeared altogether. Perhaps the most well-known collector and scholar to employ the comparative method was Alan Lomax (1915–2002), who, along with his father, John Lomax, and sister, Bess Lomax Hawes, con­ tinued to collect and analyse folk songs in the United States and throughout Europe and Asia until his death. In addition to collecting, Lomax developed a system of music analysis called Cantometrics (Lomax  1976), which illustrated large-scale musical attributes and their diffusion worldwide. Often criticized by more fieldwork-oriented scholars at the time, who preferred looking deeply into small-scale societies, Lomax’s vast collection of thousands of song examples now resides in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and remains one of the largest collections of musical materials in the world. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, ethnomusicology had settled into an established music discipline in the United States, perhaps not quite unified theoretically, but defined largely by its subject (living musical cultures), by its method (ethnographic fieldwork), and by its analytic tools (transcription, often, but not always, using Western notation), and insiderfriendly musical analyses. This last was a response to a growing awareness of a certain cul­ tural colonialism—subjecting largely oral musics to the reification of the Western musical staff, and often led to creative experiments. (For an interesting example, see England 1964.) Turning almost fully away from a comparative approach, American ethnomusicolo­ gists focused instead on individual musical cultures, using a myriad of interpretative theories borrowed from the work of structural anthropologists, such as Lévi-Strauss (1963), and of semiotic and symbolic anthropologists, such as Geertz (1973), Turner (1969), and Douglas (1966); from the linguistic and cognitive models of Chomsky (1957) and Tyler (1969); and from many others too numerous to mention here. These models shared an important feature—they all saw culture as an ideational, symbolic system, structured by human cognitive processes, performed within the biological and physical constraints of the human body, and given meaning through social, relational interac­ tions in specific contexts. The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, for example—influenced by the work of the early twentieth-century linguist Ferdinand de Saussure ([1916] 1966)—developed

52   Ellen Koskoff the theory we now call structuralism, whereby human cognition structured all ­knowledge in a relational, binary system, that, when understood by the researcher, could provide a universal template or scaffolding for human thinking and behaviour (Lévi-Strauss 1963). In ethnomusicology, scholars such as Steven Feld and Jean-Jacques Nattiez adopted these theories, producing important ethnographies that dealt systematically with the univer­ sals of human cognition and biology, while also embracing the creative differences they saw in fieldwork (see Feld 1874, 1984; Nattiez 1990). Clifford Geertz’s symbolic anthropology (Geertz 1973), based on the work of philoso­ phers Charles S. Pierce and Gilbert Ryle, among others, also had a profound effect on ethnomusicological research of this time. Using the metaphor of the multilayered onion to invoke the process of peeling away culture’s many cognitive and performative layers to reveal its essential, shared core, these scholars proposed a new form of narrative dis­ course, soon to be called “thick description.” Here, so-called surface events observed in the field and discussed by informants, slowly took on more and more complex, abstract, and symbolic meanings as each layer was revealed. Works by ethnomusicologists that were influenced by Geertz and Pierce include Boilés 1982; Robertson 1979; Seeger 1987; Turino 1999;  and Turino 2000. Ethnomusicologists, who saw the connection between the improvisatory relational structures of music and language, eagerly borrowed Noam Chomsky’s theory of genera­ tive grammar and other models from linguistics. Scholars such as Alton and Judith Becker, John Blacking, David Hughes, Vida Chenoweth and Darlene Bee, and Steven Feld began applying notions of the deep and surface structures of language to music and cultural analysis, creating many-layered ethnographies that integrated musical sounds with underlying human symbolic systems (Becker and Becker  1979; Blacking  1972; Hughes 1988; Chenoweth and Bee 1971; Feld 1974). Finally, Marxist theory, with its concern for historical processes, socio-economic classes, and the material basis of culture, had a great impact on the ethnomusicology of the mid– late twentieth century (see especially Appadurai 1988; Bourdieu 1986, 1991). Scholars such as Regula Qureshi (2002), Christopher Waterman (1990), Peter Manuel (1988), Timothy Rice (1994), and John Shepherd (1977) attempted to root contemporary musical practices in their historical economic contexts, stressing the materiality of musical cultures. Perhaps the most fundamental challenges to arise during this period were less closely related to what was studied than to how it was studied. Fieldwork, as a method of collecting data, and cultural analysis, as a method of making sense of data, began to come under scru­ tiny and issues of ethics, subject–object positioning, and the use of Western musical tools, such as notation, as well as scholarly language and its discourses to express music, became red flags. (See Charles Seeger (1944) for an especially prophetic statement of this problem.)

Into the Twenty-First Century, c.1990 to the Present One of the most important issues to arise in the late twentieth century was that of the ethical responsibility of the anthropologist/ethnomusicologist towards the people with

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   53 whom they worked. This concern took the form of questioning the very essence of the ethnomusicological method—fieldwork—raising core questions that resonated with new postmodern theories, such as deconstruction, embodiment, and performativity: How could researchers (forever outsiders to the cultures they studied) truly understand the other (insiders to the cultures they lived)? Who benefited most from these studies? What position did the researcher hold in relation to her insider informants? How could an anthropologist (with good intentions) truly represent, speak for, or interpret others without constructing an exoticism, a caricature of lived, collaborative experiences in the field (Slobin 1992)? These and other questions led to a moment of deep self-reflection within anthropology—­and by extension ethnomusicology—raising such ethical issues as the recognition of unequal power relations in the field, reciprocity, and the dangers of oth­ ering. This moment, often referred to as the “crisis of representation” in anthropology, called into question older ideas about objectivity, outside–inside perspectives, binaries, professionalism, and the very nature of the field. New forms of ethnographic writing appeared, including anthropological fiction where lines between convincing ethno­ graphic narratives and creative writing (that incorporated actual lived experience) were blurred. Described as “partial truths,” where partial meant “slanted toward” or “favored” (Marcus and Clifford 1986), new ethnographies came to be seen as filtered through mul­ tiple perspectives, where no single perspective presented a complete truth. This brought anthropology and related disciplines more in line with postmodern philosophy and its tendencies towards the destabilization of centres and margins, irony, and the fragmenta­ tion and overlap of self–other, inside–outside boundaries that characterized this period. (See especially Rice 1987 for a theoretical model that incorporates this basic shift in eth­ nomusicology from the study of cultural sameness to the differences of multiple perspectives.) As these and other destabilizing moments came to define the postmodern era, ethno­ musicology, like other music disciplines, began once again to adopt new methods, espe­ cially interpretative ones. (See Kramer [1999] 2002 for an excellent summary of postmodernism and music.) Influenced by hermeneutics, or the interpretation of texts and events through a specific analytic lens, ethnomusicologists began to position their work into broader social and relational categories based on identity, such as gender, race, and class, and many anthologies, providing multiple case studies focusing on a specific topic appeared. (See Radano and Bohlman [2000] on race; Moisala and Diamond [2000] and Koskoff [1987] on gender and music for some good examples.) A bit of overlapping began to occur between historical musicology and ethnomusicol­ ogy at this time, resulting in shared methodologies and a new subfield—historical ethno­ musicology. Rising primarily from Kay Kaufman Shelemay’s (1998) work with Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, historical ethnomusicology demonstrated how the naming of certain individuals and descriptions of past events present in their songs allowed for the integra­ tion, or the positioning, of the past in the present. Other scholars to combine an historical approach with ethnography included Averill (1997), Danielson (1997), and Wade (1998)—Wade's historical work with traditional North Indian miniature paintings

54   Ellen Koskoff (ragamalas) and raga classification of the Mughal period (c.1500–1800) still resonates with contemporary Hindustani musicians. One of the most profound changes in ethnomusicology to emerge early in this period was a growing internationalization of the discipline. Ethnomusicology archives and university programmes began to appear outside the United States, in Canada, Australia, India, Germany, and the United Kingdom. For example, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), founded in London in 1947, bridged a methodological gap between comparative musicology and ethnomusicology with its biannual conferences held worldwide and with its signature publication, the Yearbook for Traditional Music. Also in England, a thriving chapter of the ICTM established its own identity as the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE); in India, the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology, established in 1961, now houses the largest collection of Indian music and music scholarship in the world. Australia, too, began to develop programmes in ethnomusicology at its major universities, largely focusing on indigenous musics (see Wild  2006 for a good summary of these developments). Publications, such as MUSICultures, a journal of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music, The World of Music, the Journal of Asian Music, African Music, a journal of the International Library of African Music, and Chinese Music, of the Association for Chinese Music Research, have continued to publish current research by indigenous, as well as Western, scholars. This internationalism of the discipline, especially in previously colonized (or coloniz­ ing) areas, resonated with new postcolonialist perspectives and encouraged scholarship from scholars who, often in response to previous treatments of their culture, sought to provide different, more indigenous interpretations. Some scholars, such as Ghanaian ethnomusicologist and composer Kwabena Nketia, for example, began researching their own musics (Nketia 1974), often correcting or amending previous Eurocentric or colonialist interpretations. Kofi Agawu (1995, 2003) and Bode Omojola (2012) in Africa, Sumarsam (2013) in Indonesia, Nazir Jirazbhoy (1971) and T.  Viswanathan (1977) in India, and Inna Naroditskaya (2000) in Azerbaijan have continued to challenge accepted understandings of their cultures and have opened the political and geographic boundaries of this discipline considerably. New theoretical and interpretative models also developed here, such as those from brain and cognitive studies, based on human evolutionary and adaptive processes (Harwood 1976; Blacking 1977; Tolbert 2001; Cross 2012); diaspora studies, addressing the movements of musics and people (Rasmussen 1997; Manuel 2000); ecomusicology, or, the study of sound in the broad context of its natural ecology (Guy 2009); and, most recently, musical post-humanism, where music and new technologies combine to extend the notion of music as humanly created sound (McGraw 2016). Technology has even begun to change the nature of the field itself, making methods, such as “virtual fieldwork,” possible (Cooley, Meizel, and Syed 2008). Three other directions have also developed within recent decades: the ethnomusico­ logical study of popular music (worldwide), the study of musics produced by and associ­ ated with war and violence, and the ethnomusicology of Western art music, where the field site is the school of music. Largely spurred by Manuel (1988), Berger (1999), Turino

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   55 (2000), and Taylor (1997), popular music studies address not only the economic and social impact of popular musics worldwide, but also the creative ways in which various communities adapt Western musical styles to local practices and aesthetics (i.e., musical “glocalism”). The burgeoning of music and violence studies has been nicely summarized by Rice in an article relating to war, forced migration, and the uses of music in torture, among other themes (Rice 2014). Finally, Kingsbury (1988) and Nettl (1995) on the social structure and the performance of core values within the Western music school, remain hallmarks of this new research direction.

Ethnomusicology and Its Future I return now to the three questions I posed at the beginning of this essay: (1) What is music in the context of human life? (2) Why and how is music meaningful to people? and (3) How can we best transform experiences of musical sounds, structures, and meanings into spoken and written discourses to share our appreciation for all musics and to promote cultural understanding and respect? I now ask if these questions are still relevant and useful today in our quest to understand and explain how and why humans make and experience music. Perhaps we should be turning these questions inwards, holding them up to the mirror of self-reflection, and ask why these questions are so important to us. Although I cannot speak for all ethnomusicologists, having spent my adult life as one I can say that as a group we are motivated to do this work, at least in part, by issues of social and musical justice both outside and inside the academy. That is, we want at some level, (1) to break down the walls of white, male, European hegemony that we have inherited from the discourses and pedagogies of music scholarship since its formal beginnings in the late nineteenth century, and (2) to enlarge the discussion of what music, itself, is. Unlike the “new historical musicologists,” who, in the latter part of the twentieth century (motivated by a similar urge within Western musics, such as popular music), suddenly “discovered” the humanness in all musicking (Small  1998), ethnomusicologists have always been driven by this underlying political stance—the social and musical paradigm that declares that all people have a music (or a special set of sounds) that is meaningful, often beautiful to them, and that all musics (and their people) have equal value. Ethnomusicologists, and perhaps all musical scholars, have sought to answer the questions posed above by various disciplinary methods that have allowed us to play with notions of musical and social sameness and difference, so it is to these basic positions that I now turn. I do so to expose what I see as the largest and most difficult challenge facing the future of music scholarship—the final erasure of value systems that place peo­ ple, their musics, and their researches into hierarchies of value that reify the power sys­ tems on which they are based. Discussions of sameness and difference have been with us certainly as early as Plato’s theory of forms presented in his dialogues (see Ross 1951); they have been described as a

56   Ellen Koskoff basic cognitive dyad, one that allows humans to sort and categorize both material and ideational aspects of our worlds (Lévi-Strauss 1963). They have been used to deal with the problems of universals and specificities, and, among other things, to validate or repudiate issues of personal and social identity (Deleuze [1968] 1994; Derrida 1968). But, sameness and/or difference choices are ultimately based on culturally and individually constructed value systems (Shostak 1999, 2), where they can too easily become the justi­ fication for social and political hierarchies of power. See Jacques Derrida’s highly influ­ ential works, Of Grammatology and Writing and Difference (Derrida 1997, 1968), on the implications of language in constructions of power, as well as Michel Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge (Foucault [1969] 2002) on deconstruction. Here, I am not concerned so much with the general cognitive processes of categorization based on similarity and/or difference, but rather the mini-state of ambiguity that precedes the choice: Will this hurt or kill me? Will it be beneficial? Is it like something I know? Is it so different that I have no way to process it?2 Sarah Weiss, in an interesting essay entitled “Listening to the World but Hearing Ourselves: Hybridity and Perceptions of Authenticity in World Music,” explores how a series of individual choices of what to do cognitively when first hearing a new piece of music is ultimately channelled through the discourse of authen­ ticity (Weiss 2014). This article nicely illustrates the notions of holistic (i.e., intuitive, syn­ thetic) and meristic (i.e., partial, analytic) understandings as elaborated by Immanuel Kant and others, and addressed in T. K. Seung’s Kant: A Guide for the Perplexed: “The intuitive understanding is holistic; our discursive understanding is mereistic. The latter understands the whole in terms of its parts; the former understands the parts in terms of their whole. The direction of their understanding is the direction of their explanation” (Seung 2007: 176). So, my question here is what happens in between an initial holistic consciousness of something new and its ultimate meristic, linguistic labelling in everyday discourse. I suggest here that such choices are based not only on our a priori experiences, knowl­ edge, and biological imperatives, but also on individual and personal value systems cre­ ated over a lifetime that either privilege or invalidate the new. (For more on this, see Ranyard, Crozier, and Svenson 1997; Goffman 1956; Blumer 1969.) Thus, I define the greatest challenge to the future study of music as the process of separating difference and/ or sameness from value in everyday and scholarly discourses, especially when these dis­ courses relate to living people and their musics. Sameness and difference may set up a binary, but it is the inherent hierarchy of value assigned to sameness and/or difference that ultimately becomes problematic. In briefly summarizing the history of ethnomusicology, it is easy to see the dis­ci­pli­ nary flipping between issues of musical and social sameness and difference that have characterized the field since its beginnings. Often positioned as opposites, sameness and difference cognitively and linguistically form a basic and essential binary. Early com­ parative musicologists, in looking for universal laws in music, for example, privileged sameness—albeit a sameness based on Western art music structures and principals. This perspective resulted in answers to our three questions that may have revealed, at a spe­ cific level of analysis, the presence of many different musics in the world—but few actual universals—ultimately leading to statements of relative musical and social value.

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   57 Ethnomusicologists in the United States, influenced by cultural ethnography based on fieldwork, moved in the mid-twentieth century to paradigms that privileged differ­ ence. Here, answers to our questions revealed, at a very specific level of analysis, that each social group was its own bounded universe, where everything was connected and made sense within its boundaries, but nothing could be compared outside these worlds.3 Ethnographies of this period focused on the specifics of one (often quite small) society going ever deeper into its shared core beliefs and meanings to interpret events per­ formed on the surface of everyday and ritual life. Thus, while sameness at the specific cultural level was privileged within one case study (i.e., all members of a society believe in a shared set of core values and meanings), difference was the major implicit goal (all societies and their cultures are creatively different from each other). Comparison between societies was eschewed, now largely regarded as doing violence to the inherent integrity of a specific group’s beliefs and practices. As we move into the twenty-first century, we are beginning to see a gradual flip back towards privileging sameness—this time, the sameness of human cognition and biol­ ogy, perhaps foregrounded by the work of structural, symbolic, and cognitive anthro­ pologists. Studies focusing on musical cognition, embodiment, and performativity now encourage us to address both the creativity and the constraints of the (universal?) human body—not only the cultural norms and social relations that define ourselves as members of groups. New theories, from those exploring the real-time and subjective minutiae of semiological and phenomenological approaches, to those critiquing the overarching power of economic globalism, to those who have adopted post-humanism, have caused ethnomusicologists to rethink and reconfigure the field once again, for, what exactly is the field now? What is music? What is a human? What is fieldwork? How can we deal with sameness and difference in relation to all of this flow? As stated above, creating binaries in and of itself is not a problem; it may, as structur­ alists and cognitive anthropologists have asserted, be a universal human cognitive ­process embedded in language, one that allows us to make sense of our worlds, no mat­ ter what they are, and to communicate to others in our orbits. However, there is always a danger when creating a binary to privilege one side over the other. This is no longer a question of universal cognition, however—it is one of specific, often implicit, cultural bias and value; and it is this valuing or privileging that can lead to the social hierarchies and unjust power systems that we see today on the surface of our worlds in music per­ formance and scholarship. The problem lies not so much in differentiating per se, but in valuing one category over the other. In making a choice between sameness and differ­ ence (or any other binary), one can miss an opportunity to play with their fuzzy bound­ aries, their interconnectedness, and to use this potential for embracing both sameness and difference simultaneously. Ethnomusicologists, like other music scholars, realize that social–musical sameness and difference are not always, if ever, totally opposite categories of classification, but are rather connected and dependent on each other for recognition. They are often experi­ enced as blurred, fuzzy, fluid, overlapping, and sometimes inverted categories, depend­ ing on one’s level of awareness, one’s mode of discourse, and one’s context. Many

58   Ellen Koskoff ethnomusicologists today see the interactive process of fieldwork—that method that distinguishes ethnomusicology from all other music disciplines—as a safe context for the play between sameness and difference, one that can lead to intersubjectivity—a blur­ ring of self–other boundaries that allows for simultaneous mutual understandings. (See Koskoff  2014, 180–189 for a fuller discussion of fieldwork as a site for encouraging intersubjectivity.) In their introduction to Shadows in the Field, Gregory Barz and Timothy Cooley state, “The power of music resides in its liminality” (Barz and Cooley 2008, 4). “Liminality” is a word borrowed from Latin, meaning “threshold,” and has been used by scholars, such as Arnold van Gennup and Victor Turner, to describe an experiential state, defined by ambiguity, where identities are likely to merge or invert (see Gennup ([1960] 2013; Turner 1969). Anthropology has used this term most effectively in the study of ritual behaviour, where a person at one stage of life (say, a Jewish boy) moves through a ritual (a bar mitzvah), during which his understanding of his personal and social identity is ambiguous and destabilized, only to emerge at the ritual’s conclusion in a new state (adulthood, allowing him, according to Jewish law, to join a minyon), ultimately rein­ corporating himself and his new status into the adult group. It is this ambiguity that I explore here. A state of ambiguity can be frightening, puz­ zling, or delightful (and much else). Its resolution depends upon an individual’s internal emotional and cognitive structures that foster either tolerance for ambiguity or its ­opposite. Following the end of the Second World War, sociologists and psychologists began to study this issue, producing much scholarship that seemed to answer questions concerning the development of different personality types. The social psychologist Else Frenkel-Brunswik, interested in the presence or absence of ethnocentricism in children, first introduced the phrase “intolerance of ambiguity” in an article entitled “Intolerance of Ambiguity as an Emotional and Perceptual Personality Variable” (FrenkelBrunswik 1949). Published in the Journal of Personality, Frenkel-Brunswick’s work pre­ sented a method of measuring people’s level of tolerance for situations of conflicting social stimuli, and applied this data to the development of various personality types. (See also Adorno et al. 1950; Bochner 1965.) Other scholars, such as Stanley Budner, expanded this research. In an article, “Intolerance of Ambiguity as a Personality Variable”, published in the Journal of Personality, he posited a typology of personality types, ranging from those who were highly intolerant of ambiguity, which he labelled “authoritative personalities,” to those who were highly tolerant of ambiguity, labelled “pure liberals” (Budner  1962, 35). Personalities deemed highly intolerant of ambiguity tended to respond to conflicting stimuli with fear, and exhibited such traits as a need for certainty, an inability to allow good and bad traits to exist in the same person, and, a rejection of the unusual or differ­ ent. Personalities with a high tolerance for ambiguity seemed to embrace it, and moved towards the openness and indecision fostered by ambiguous situations. (See Kisliuk 2008 and Wong 2008 for especially rich examples of music ethnographies based on tolerance for ambiguity.) Of course, in positing these opposite personality types,

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   59 these researchers fell into the trap of constructing an obvious value-laden binary, and using it to make essentializing statements. But, what if we reconsidered FrenkelBrunswick’s and Budner’s models of personality types as existing without value, not only within two groups of personalities, but also existing, simultaneously, in the same person? In conducting fieldwork, ethnomusicologists confront difference and sameness con­ stantly; indeed, one might define fieldwork as the process of grappling with difference, since sameness is understood.4 In asking why do they do that?, why does their music sound like that?, why are these songs sung only by men?, and thousands of other ques­ tions, one quickly discovers multiple worlds of difference, and, at the same time, other, not-even-imagined worlds of sameness. Fieldwork allows for the improvised play between sameness and difference and, as a method, it may go a long way in neutralizing their relative value and in dismantling the power systems that underlie their use. Thus, the great strength of ethnomusicology lies in its flexibility and openness to new models of inquiry, and its ability to incorporate and play with new theories and perspectives ­easily—in short, its interdisciplinarity, fostered by the intersubjectivity of fieldwork. Still not unified theoretically, ethnomusicology is sometimes criticized as not having a core; but I believe that it is precisely this reluctance to reify itself that enables ethnomu­ sicology to maintain its strength. The challenge for the future then, is to remain simulta­ neously self- and other-conscious in our quest, not privileging one over another. Only then will we find meaningful answers to the questions of what music is, why it is mean­ ingful, and how to share our and others’ multiple understandings and meanings of all musics.

Notes 1. The historical discussion that follows is necessarily brief; it cannot take into account all of the intricacies and developments of highly influential theories and their impact on the comparative musicology and ethnomusicology of the late nineteenth century onwards. For a fuller and more nuanced discussion, please see the many fine books that discuss the history of ethnomusicology, its methods and theoretical models, such as Stone  2008; Nettl 2005; Myers 1992; and the ten-volume Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (1998). 2. Of course, one must be conscious of “something new” in order to be self-reflexive. A pseudo-documentary movie, What the Bleep do We Know!? (2004) explored the notion of quantum physics’ “Observer Effect,” relating to an individual’s conscious construction of reality. In the film, a group of indigenous people, when first confronted with European ships, do not consciously “see” them, as they have no previous reference with which to compare or understand them. Debunked by physicists and others, this idea persists as an urban myth., accessed August 7, 2016. 3. Earlier in my career, I posited that one could take the same approach with one person; see my article “The Music Network: A Model for the Organization of Music Concepts” (Koskoff 1982). 4. I am grateful to my colleague, Jennifer Kyker, for this evocative phrase.

60   Ellen Koskoff

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Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   61 Cooley, Timothy J., Katherine Meizel, and Nasir Syed. 2008. “Virtual Fieldwork: Three Case Studies.” In Barz and Cooley 2008, 90–107. Cross, Ian. 2012. “Music and Biocultural Evolution.” In The Cultural Study of Music, edited by Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert, and Richard Middleton, 17–27. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge. Danielson, Virginia. 1997. The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Deleuze, Giles. [1968] 1994. Difference and Repetition, translated by Paul R. Patton. New York: Columbia University Press. Densmore, Frances. 1910. Chippewa Music. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 45. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. Derrida, Jacques. 1968. Writing and Difference. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Derrida, Jacques. 1997. Of Grammatology. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Douglas, Mary. 1966. Purity and Danger. New York: Praeger. Ellis, Alexander J. 1880. The History of Musical Pitch. London: W. Trounce. England, Nicholas. 1964. “Introduction: Symposium On Transcription and Analysis: A Hukwe Song With Musical Bow.” Ethnomusicology 8, no. 3 (September): 223–233. Feld, Steven. 1974. “Linguistic Models in Ethnomusicology.” Ethnomusicology 18, no. 2 (May): 197–217. Feld, Steven. 1984. “Sound Structure as Social Structure.” Ethnomusicology 28, no. 3 (September): 383–410. Foucault, Michel. [1969] 2002. The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Routledge. Frenkel-Brunswik, Else. 1949. “Intolerance of Ambiguity as an Emotional and Perceptual Personality Variable.” Journal of Personality 18, no. 1 (September): 108–143. Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. 1998. 10 vols. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. Geertz, Clifford. 1973. “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture.” In The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz, 310–323. New York: Basic Books. Gennep, Arnold van. [1960] 2013, The Rites of Passage. New York: Routledge. Goffman, Erving. 1956. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. University of Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre. Guy, Nancy. 2009. “Flowing Down Taiwan’s Tamsui River: Towards an Ecomusicology of the Environmental Imagination.” Ethnomusicology 53, no. 2 (Spring/Summer): 218–248. Harwood, Dane  L. 1976. “Universals in Music: A Perspective from Cognitive Psychology.” Ethnomusicology 20, no. 3 (September): 521–533. Herzog, George. 1934. “Speech-Melody and Primitive Music.” Musical Quarterly 20, no. 4 (October): 452–466. Hood, Mantle. 1971. The Ethnomusicologist. New York: McGraw-Hill. Hornbostel, Erich M. von, and Curt Sachs. [1914] 1961. “Systematik der Musikinstrumente.” Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie 46: 553–590. English translation by Anthony Baines and Klaus  P.  Wachsmann as “Classification of Musical Instruments.” Galpin Society Journal 14:3–29. Hughes, David W. 1988. “Deep Structure and Surface Structure in Javanese Music: A Grammar of Gendhing Lampah.” Ethnomusicology 32, no. 1 (Winter): 23–74. Jairazbhoy, Nazir A. 1971. The Rāgs of North Indian Music. London: Faber and Faber. Karpeles, Maude, ed. 1958. The Collecting of Folk Music and Other Ethnomusicological Material: A Manual for Field Workers. London: International Folk Music Council.

62   Ellen Koskoff Kingsbury, Henry. 1988. Music, Talent, and Performance: A Conservatory Cultural System. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Kisliuk, Michelle. 2008. “Undoing Fieldwork: Sharing Songs, Sharing Lives.” In Barz and Cooley 2008, 23–44. Koskoff, Ellen, ed. 1987. Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Comparison. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Koskoff, Ellen. 1982. “The Music-Network: A Model for the Organization of Music Concepts.” Ethnomusicology 26, no. 3 (September): 353–370. Koskoff, Ellen. 2014. A Feminist Ethnomusicology: Writings on Music and Gender. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Kramer, Jonathan. [1999] 2002. “The Nature and Origins of Musical Postmodernism.” In Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thought, edited by Judy Lochhead and Joseph Aunder, 13–26. New York: Routledge. Repr. from Current Musicology 66 (Spring 1999): 7–20. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1963. Structural Anthropology. New York: Basic Books. Lomax, Alan. 1976. Cantometrics. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1944. A Scientific Theory of Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Malm, William P. 1959. Japanese Music and Musical Instruments. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle. Manuel, Peter. 1988. Popular Music of the Non-Western World: An Introductory Survey. New York: Oxford University Press. Manuel, Peter. 2000. East Indian Music in the West Indies: Tān-Singing, Chutney, and the Making of Indo-Caribbean Culture. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Marcus, George and James Clifford, eds. 1986. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press. Marcus, George, and Michael  M.  J.  Fischer. 1986. Anthropology as Cultural Critique: The Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. McGraw, Andrew. 2016. “Atmosphere as a Concept for Ethnomusicology: Comparing the Gamelatron and Gamelan.” Ethnomusicology 60, no. 1 (Winter): 125–147. Merriam, Alan. 1964. The Anthropology of Music. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Merriam, Alan. 1969. “Ethnomusicology Revisited.” Ethnomusicology 13, no. 2 (May): 213–229. Merriam, Alan. 1977. “Definitions of ‘Comparative Musicology’ and ‘Ethnomusicology’: An Historical-Theoretical Perspective.” Ethnomusicology 21, no. 2 (May): 189–204. Moisala, Pirkko, and Beverley Diamond, eds. 2000. Music and Gender. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Mugglestone, Erica. 1983. “Guido Adler’s ‘The Scope, Method, and Aim of Musicology’ (1885): An English Translation with an Historico-Analytical Commentary.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 13:1–21. Myers, Helen, ed. 1992. Ethnomusicology: An Introduction. New York: W.W. Norton. Naroditskaya, Inna. 2000. “Azerbaijanian Female Musicians: Women’s Voices Defying and Defining the Culture.” Ethnomusicology 44, no. 2 (Spring–Summer): 234–256. Nattiez, Jean-Jacques. 1990. Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music. Translated by Carolyn Abbate. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Nettl, Bruno. 1964. Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology. New York: Free Press. Nettl, Bruno. 1995. Heartland Excursions: Ethnomusicological Reflections on Schools of Music. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Ethnomusicology and Philosophy   63 Nettl, Bruno. 2005. The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Nketia, J. H. Kwabena. 1974. The Music of Africa. New York: W. W. Norton. Omojola, Bode. 2012. Yorúba Music in the Twentieth Century: Identity, Agency, and Performance Practice. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. Qureshi, Regula 2002. Music and Marx: Ideas, Practice, Politics. New York: Routledge. Radano, Ronald, and Philip  V.  Bohlman, eds. 2000. Music and the Racial Imagination. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Ranyard, Rob, W. Ray Crozier, and Ola Svenson. 1997. Decision Making: Cognitive Models and Explanations. New York: Routledge. Rasmussen, Anne K. 1997. “The Music of Arab Detroit: A Musical Mecca in the Midwest.” In Musics of Multicultural America: A Study of Twelve Musical Communities, edited by Kip Lonell and Anne K. Rasmussen, 73–101. New York: Schirmer Books. Rice, Timothy. 1987. “Toward the Remodeling of Ethnomusicology.” Ethnomusicology 31, no. 3 (September): 469–516. Rice, Timothy. 1994. May It Fill Your Soul: Experiencing Bulgarian Music. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Rice, Timothy. 2014. “Ethnomusicology In Times Of Trouble.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 46:191–209. Robertson, Carol  E. 1979. “ ‘Pulling the Ancestors’: Performance, Practice, and Praxis in Mapuche Ordering.” Ethnomusicology 23, no. 3 (September): 395–416. Ross, W. D. 1951. Plato’s Theory of Ideas. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Sanderson, Stephen K. 2002. Social Evolutionism: A Critical History. Oxford: Blackwell. Saussure, Ferdinand de. [1916] 1966. Course in General Linguistics. Translated by Wade Baskin. New York: McGraw-Hill. Seeger, Anthony. 1987. Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People. New York: Cambridge University Press. Seeger, Charles. 1944. “Toward a Unitary Field Theory for Musicology.” Bulletin of the American Musicology Society 9/10 (June): 16. Seung, T. K. 2007. Kant: A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: Continuum. Sharp, Cecil. 1965. English Folk Song: Some Conclusions. 4th ed. Edited by Maud Karpeles. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Shelemay, Kay Kaufmann. 1998. Let Jasmine Rain Down: Song and Remembrance among Syrian Jews. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Shepherd, John, Phil Virden, Graham Vulliamy, and Trevor Wishart. 1977. Whose Music: A Sociology of Musical Languages. London: Latimer. Shostak, Stanley. 1999. The Evolution of Sameness and Difference: Perspectives on the Human Genome Project. New York: Harwood Academic Publishers. Slobin, Mark. 1992. “Ethical Issues.” In Ethnomusicology: An Introduction, edited by Helen Myers, 329–336. New York: W.W. Norton. Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. Stone, Ruth M. 2008. Theory for Ethnomusicology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Stumpf, Carl. 1886. “Lieder der Bellakula-Indianer.” Vierteljahrsschrift fur Musikwissenschaft 2:405–458. Sumarsam. 2013. Javanese Gamelan and the West. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

64   Ellen Koskoff Taylor, Timothy D. 1997. Global Pop: World Music, World Markets. New York: Routledge. Tolbert, Elizabeth. 2001. “Music and Meaning: An Evolutionary Story.” Psychology of Music 29, no. 1 (April): 84–94. Turino, Thomas. 1999. “Signs of lmagination, Identity, Experience: A Peircian Semiotic Theory for Music.” Ethnomusicology 43, no. 2 (Spring–Summer): 221–255. Turino, Thomas. 2000. Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe. Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Turner, Victor W. 1969. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing. Tyler, Stephen A., ed. 1969. Cognitive Anthropology. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Viswanathan, T. 1977. “The Analysis of Rāga Ālāpana in South Indian Music.” Asian Music 9 (1): 13–71. Wade, Bonnie. 1998. Imaging Sound: An Ethnomusicological Study of Music, Art, and Culture in Mughal India. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Waterman, Christopher. 1990. Juju: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Weiss, Sarah. 2014. “Listening to the World But Hearing Ourselves: Hybridity and Perceptions of Authenticity in World Music.” Ethnomusicology 58, no. 3 (Fall): 506–525. Wild, Stephen. 2006. “Ethnomusicology Down Under: A Distinctive Voice in the Antipodes?” Ethnomusicology 50, no. 2 (Spring–Summer): 345–352. Wong, Deborah. 2008. “Moving: From Performance to Performative Ethnography and Back Again.” In Barz and Cooley 2008, 76–90.

chapter 4

A na ly tic Phil osoph y of M usic David Davies

Preliminary Concerns: What is “Analytic” Philosophy of Music? An initial challenge in this chapter is to identify in more general terms what “analytic philosophy” is and which philosophical explorations of musical matters should be classified as “analytic.” It might be thought that the musical issues that are of philosophical interest will announce themselves to thinkers quite independently of anything to which we might appeal in classifying those thinkers as “analytic” or “continental.” But, as we shall see, we cannot assume a neutral domain of musical phenomena to which all thinkers take their reflections to be accountable. As we shall also see, we need to locate analytic philosophy of music not only in relation to analytic philosophy more generally, but also in relation to analytic philosophy of art, a domain of philosophical inquiry in which the philosophy of music has an increasingly central role. Faced with a task similar to the present one, Stephen Davies tentatively endorses the idea that the defining features of analytic philosophy are methodological: “Analytic philosophy supposedly differs [from continental philosophy] in its commitment to objective, clear argument and to an interpersonal, empirically oriented approach, and it eschews grand theories in favour of treating specific philosophical issues and problems in a piecemeal and cumulative fashion” (S. Davies 2011b, 295). (For a more recent treatment in methodological terms of the difference between analytic and continental philosophy of music, see Roholt 2017). This is a view that many analytic philosophers would share, but it is one that to some extent hinders constructive engagement between analytic and continental writings in the philosophy of art in general, and in the philosophy

66   David Davies of music in particular. If someone disagrees with you about the basic ground rules for philosophical inquiry—about what makes a claim interesting or legitimate, for ­example—then you are unlikely to think that it will be fruitful to discuss with them issues of mutual concern. To stress such methodological differences is to fuel the ­complaint by some continental thinkers that analytic philosophers are obsessed with distinctions and definitions at the expense of the complexity of the phenomena themselves, and the complementary complaint by some analytic thinkers that continental philosophers are guilty of terminological obfuscation, system building, and thinking in ways untethered to clear standards of empirical accountability. This is not to deny that the methodological features of which Davies speaks are characteristic of the work I shall discuss in this chapter. But to talk merely of such features abstracts from a more important and more complex distinction in terms of which these features can be understood. This distinction is between different, if historically related, philosophical traditions that provide thinkers with the resources upon which they can draw for their own philosophical inquiries. The analytic tradition is one whose central thread is furnished by issues in the philosophy of language, where language is the means whereby the philosophical enterprise is pursued. Key issues are understanding those features of language in virtue of which it can serve as the necessary frame for thought and inquiry, the accountability (or sometimes unaccountability) of linguistically articulated thinking to the non-linguistic world, and a broadly “scientific” model of responsible thinking about any subject. The so-called linguistic turn often seen as central to contemporary work in Anglo-American philosophy (see Rorty 1967) involves a commitment to address metaphysical, epistemological, and value-related questions in a ­linguistically-inflected way. The “founders of discursivity” (Geertz 1988) in the analytic tradition are figures like Frege, Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson, and Kripke. To philosophically address a question within this tradition is to bring to bear on that question the broad range of philosophical resources that these philosophers and their successors have developed. The continental tradition, on the other hand, is one whose central thread is the human agent’s articulation through her diverse practices—including science—of the “lived world” in which the philosopher “always already” finds herself, a lived world whose structure and historical unfolding must be uncovered from within rather than revealed through achieving the “view from nowhere” of objective scientific inquiry. While the roots of continental philosophy lie in nineteenth-century post-Kantian German philosophy, especially Hegel and Marx, the founders of discursivity whose writings provide the principal resources for contemporary work in this tradition are Husserl, Heidegger, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, Adorno, and more recent figures such as Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida. Once again, to philosophically address a question within this tradition is to bring to bear on that question the broad range of philosophical resources that these philosophers and their successors have developed. Analytic philosophy so conceived is a particular philosophical tradition with respect to which an author may orient her research and upon whose resources she may draw. Contemporary works of analytic philosophy are works whose authors are

Analytic Philosophy of Music   67 so oriented and so guided in their research We might then expect analytic philosophy of music to comprise writings whose authors’ research stands in such a relation to the tradition of analytic philosophy in general, and to a particular tradition of writing in the philosophy of music that draws upon those writings in the philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics central to analytic philosophy. But, to the extent that we can identify such a historical tradition in analytic philosophy of music, it is an artefact rather than a determining ground of more recent work in the field. To put this point less cryptically, while writings over the past fifty years rightly identified as contributions to analytic philosophy of music qualify in virtue of how they draw upon resources in the broader tradition of analytic philosophy, earlier thinkers in the philosophy of music with whom such writings engage may be retrospectively viewed as belonging to analytic philosophy of music. To cite one example, Hanslick’s 1854 work On the Musically Beautiful (Hanslick  1986) is now regarded as a forebear of more recent formalist theories of music because of the way in which authors like Malcolm Budd (1995) and Peter Kivy (1980) recruited Hanslick’s writings in developing their own views on musical expressiveness and the nature of the musical work. Another salient example is here is R. G. Collingwood, whose Principles of Art is a work to which philosophers of art of broadly analytic sympathies have paid growing attention over the past twenty years (for example, Ridley 1997; D. Davies 2008). Collingwood’s philosophical interlocutors, however, were not figures in the analytic tradition but, rather, the British Idealists. Analytic philosophers of art in fact paid scant attention to Collingwood’s work until recently, in part because his ideas were misrepresented as an implausible form of artistic idealism by Richard Wollheim in Art and Its Objects, one of the foundational works of analytic philosophy of art, as we shall see in the section “Musical Works and Performances”. But why would we search in vain for a pre-existing tradition of analytic writing on the philosophy of music with respect to which writers like Budd and Kivy could orient themselves? The reason, put starkly, is that the mainstream analytic tradition characterized above had very little interest in matters relating to art and the aesthetic, and thus very little interest in philosophical questions about music. Aside from an occasional overlap between issues of interest to philosophers of art and issues of interest to philosophers of language—for example, Frege’s and Russell’s interests in the semantics of fictional discourse—one would be hard pressed to find any discussion of artistic matters in general, and music in particular, in the writings of the “founders of discursivity” and their disciples. Wittgenstein did indeed give lectures on aesthetics that were published some years after his death (Wittgenstein 1966), but his main legacy to the philosophy of art resides in the work of ordinary language philosophers like John Passmore (1951), Morris Weitz (1956), and William Kennick (1958) who bemoaned the “dreariness” of aesthetics and argued that what was taken to be the primary concern of traditional aesthetics—the definition of art—rested on “a mistake.” Those analytic philosophers like Quine who carried on the legacy of logical positivism in American philosophy recognized no analytically respectable philosophical investigations into artistic or aesthetic matters.

68   David Davies

Contemporary Analytic Philosophy of Music—A Brief History (Many of the issues discussed in this section will be explored in further depth in the sections “Musical Expression,” “Musical Works and Performances,” and “Engagement with Other Philosophical Traditions.”) Stephen Davies (2011b) has noted the striking growth of work in analytic philosophy of music over the past forty or so years, measured not only in its own terms but also in terms of the increasing predominance of philosophy of music in analytic philosophy of art more generally. To understand this phenomenon more fully, we need to locate it in the context of the emergence of analytic philosophy of art from the generally benighted state described in the “Preliminary Concerns” section. Two works published in 1968— Nelson Goodman’s Languages of Art and Richard Wollheim’s Art and Its Objects— played a very significant part in the development of analytic philosophy of art and, indirectly, in the development of analytic philosophy of music. These books, while in many ways very different, agreed in their response to the Wittgenstein-inspired critique of the definitional project central to traditional philosophical reflection on art. While some philosophers shifted the definitional project into a new key—seeking to define art not in terms of manifest properties but in terms of the human practices in which certain artefacts have their place (see, for example, Danto 1964, 1981; Dickie 1974)—Goodman and Wollheim focused attention on the different kinds of things that serve as the vehicles of artworks in the different arts and on salient differences between these vehicles. Goodman, offering to the traditional definitional project only the sop that there might be certain “symptoms” of the aesthetic that are broadly distinctive of the way artworks function as symbols, focused rather on the ways in which differences in the arts could be understood in terms of differences between the symbol systems to which the entities that served as their vehicles, and thereby helped to individuate works, belonged. In Languages of Art, Goodman brought to bear on issues relating to the arts resources developed in earlier valuable contributions to analytic epistemology and metaphysics (Goodman 1951, 1955). Visual artworks, as depictions, and verbal artworks, as descriptions, are taken to differ because their vehicles are characters belonging to symbol systems with significantly different constitutive properties. Musical and literary works differ from paintings in that the former, unlike the latter, can be fully appreciated through an engagement with different instances of a work, and this is possible because the properties required in well-formed instances of musical and literary works can be divorced from their histories of making through the use of a notational system. Goodman’s technically complex discussion of the distinctive features of a notation, together with his claim that the identity of a musical work must be tied to what is notatable in a score, led him to conclusions that struck many of those involved in actual musical practice as outrageous. (For how this has negatively affected the possibility of constructive interchanges between analytic philosophy of music and musicology, see

Analytic Philosophy of Music   69 the section “Engagement with Other Philosophical Traditions.”) For example, he concluded that no verbal markings on the score of a musical work can constrain correct performance of that work, and that any performance which departs in the slightest way from what is formally notated in the score of a musical work is not a performance of that work. To give a sense of what this would entail, since Italian tempo indications are not notational, a performance of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto that lasts all day would be perfectly compliant whereas a performance containing just one wrong note would not. While Goodman protested that the philosophical elucidation of our musical practices aims at a precision and understanding that can be ignored in actual practice, his claims drew the fire not only of musicologists and practising musicians but also of many analytic philosophers of music, and prompted them to develop what they viewed as more nuanced and practically realistic conceptions of the role that scores play in individuating musical works (see Wolterstorff 1975, 1980; S. Davies 2001, 154–158; D. Davies 2011, 57–67). But Goodman’s legacy is not entirely negative. His work also drew attention to philosophically interesting features of the relationship between musical works and their performances, features the exploration of which has been one of the central themes in analytic philosophy of music over the past fifty years. Wollheim, like Goodman, set aside the definitional project for something he took to be more tractable. The project of Art and Its Objects (Wollheim 1980) was to understand the nature of the things that serve as the vehicles of works in the different arts, and to explain how such things can possess the appreciable properties rightly ascribable to those works. A further theme—drawing here on the Wittgensteinian idea of a “form of life”—was to replace loose talk of an aesthetic attitude with an attention to the distinctive ways in which we engage with artworks as socially shared objects. Starting with the provisional hypothesis that all artworks are physical objects, he addressed the obvious objection that this could not be said of literary and musical works, which we take to be distinct from the particular physical objects or events—copies of novels and performances of musical works—through which they are appreciated. While Goodman (who had metaphysical scruples against positing abstract entities) suggested that a musical work is just the class of sound-sequence events that comply with a given score, Wollheim seemed to embrace the idea that some works are abstracta, maintaining that musical and literary works are “types” of which their performances are “tokens.” The refinement of this suggestion has been a central thread in analytic philosophy of music, undergoing various modulations that we shall look at in more detail in the section “Musical Works and Performances”. While the nature of musical works and the relationships in which they stand to musical performances has been one of the driving themes in the development of analytic philosophy of music, the ways in which these issues have been explored also reflect broader currents in musical and more generally artistic practice. One issue here, whose salience for theorists reflected developments in performance practice, is the nature and significance of authenticity in musical performance. Philosophers sought to disentangle different senses in which a performance might be said to be “authentic” and to determine the desirability or undesirability of performances that sought authenticity

70   David Davies understood in these different ways. A second current influencing analytic reflections on the nature of musical works and performances was artistic formalism and the idea of medium purity, something central to critical thinking about the visual arts in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. This further linked to a concern with the nature of musical expression, since the expressive properties of music might be thought to violate formalist standards. As I noted earlier, philosophy of music has become one of the dominant areas in analytic philosophy of art, and it is worth asking why this is so. One might reasonably point here to the philosophical energy and productivity of the central figures in the field—in particular, Stephen Davies, Peter Kivy, and Jerrold Levinson—who have also been among the most influential figures in analytic philosophy of art as a whole. But one should also note the richness of the philosophical issues concerning music that have lent themselves to treatment within the analytic tradition. As I suggested earlier, it would be misleading to think that there is a neutral set of issues in a particular philosophical field that present themselves as worthy of attention to all philosophers working in that field. The issues that most recommend themselves to a philosopher are those that lend themselves to treatment using the resources that her chosen philosophical tradition makes available or allows her to further refine or develop. Given that the dominant threads in analytic philosophy relate to language and its role in furthering our cognitive engagement with the world, it is not surprising that analytic philosophy of art has tended to focus on those features of artworks and our artistic practices that lend themselves to analysis in terms of artworks construed as quasi-linguistic signifiers. One set of issues relates to the nature of artistic signifiers themselves. Once attention is focused not on defining the concept “art” but on determining the nature of the entities that serve as vehicles for a work’s artistic contents in the different arts, music assumes a key role as the most philosophically rich and tractable “multiple” art form, where the latter is an art form in which works can have different instances that are fully qualified to provide the experiences necessary for proper appreciation of the work. The richness here relates in particular to works taken to fall under the “work concept” (Goehr 2007) or (relatedly) the “classical paradigm” (D. Davies 2011), where both musical works and performances of those works function as objects of appreciation. This raises interesting philosophical questions about the ways in which they and their appreciations are related and contrasts with the apparently much simpler relationships between multiple works and their instances in other multiple art forms (literature, cinema, photography, cast sculpture, and printmaking, for example.) The tractability relates to the relative “tidiness” of musical practices involving instrumental Western art music from the common practice period, as compared with the messier domain of theatre, the until recently ­little-explored domain of dance, and, as we shall see later, forms of musical practice not obviously subsumable under the classical paradigm. A related topic is the nature of the “contentful” properties of artistic signifiers that bear upon their appreciation—most obviously representational and expressive properties, but also formal properties if, as Goodman (1978, 57–70) suggested, these must themselves be understood as properties exemplified, and thus symbolized, by a work.

Analytic Philosophy of Music   71 In analytic philosophy of music, it is musical expression that has drawn the closest attention, as we shall see in the section “Musical Expression,” and philosophical attempts to understand the general nature of artistic expression have taken music as the most fruitful art form in which to pursue these issues. A third set of issues concerns the nature of our appreciation of the contentful properties of works. One very influential strand of analytic philosophical thinking about the arts takes the philosopher’s task to be in a sense metacritical, taking the practices of those who write about the arts, rather than the practices of artists themselves, to be the proper focus of philosophical attention (for example, Beardsley 1958). A different tradition of analytic thinking looks at the semantics of aesthetic predicates and aesthetic judgements (for example, Sibley et al. 2001). Once again, music has provided analytic philosophers with a rich resource for such metacritical reflections, as exemplified in some of the treatments of musical expressiveness.

Musical Expression In Plato’s Republic (1941), the best-known proposed controls on the availability of artworks in the Ideal State relate to poetry which, in association with painting, is taken merely to mirror back to receivers the appearances of things and common opinions about those appearances. Truth is taken to reside in ideal forms accessible to reflection but only incompletely instantiated in the visible world. But distinct controls are also proposed for music. What are proscribed here are certain kinds of musical forms, and this is in virtue not of any supposed representational properties of music but of the affective powers of these forms and their consequent tendency to reorganize the souls of citizens in ways disruptive of the smooth workings of the state. While popular opinion sometimes still subscribes to the idea that our personalities reflect and can be shaped by the kind of music we listen to, the more abiding legacy of Plato’s writing in the philosophy of music, both historically and in the analytic and continental traditions, is a recognition of the expressive and more broadly affective capacities of music. Musical expression has always stood in an ambiguous relationship to another feature of musical works taken to be definitive of such works, namely their structural properties. On the one hand, there has been considerable debate as to the relationship between musical affect, and musical understanding more generally, and the formal properties of musical works. An issue central to this debate is whether musical appreciation, and the grasp of a work’s affective properties, requires that we apprehend largescale formal properties of a work or movement, or whether our principal appreciative focus should be upon the momentary qualities of combinations of individual notes or harmonies. (See, for example, Tanner and Budd 1985; Levinson 1998; S. Davies 2011a). On the other hand, it is unclear how musical affect can be described, as it often is, in terms of the expression of emotional properties such as sadness, joy, exhilaration, and hope. While these issues are central to some earlier philosophical works taken up in

72   David Davies analytic philosophy of music proper and thereby incorporated retrospectively into the tradition, they find their canonical analytical formulations in reflections on the semantics of expressive predications of musical works and performances, and on the proper analysis of musical expression itself. When a listener describes a particular piece of music as sad or joyful, what is she claiming and what are the truth conditions for her claim? The simplest and perhaps the most phenomenologically accurate answer is that she is describing a perceived quality of the musical sequence to which she is listening. The philosophical problem arises when we ask how what she is listening to can have the affective properties ascribed. As one philosopher of music has put it, the philosophical issue relating to musical expression is to explain “how something inanimate and insentient such as music can be, and can be heard to be, sad, happy, and the like” (Trivedi 2011). One proposal is that we locate the sadness and joy predicated of musical works in the experience of the listener, who is clearly capable of such feelings, and think of the work itself as possessing, in virtue of its structure, the dispositional property of arousing such emotions in appropriate listeners. While sophisticated versions of arousal theories of musical expression have been defended by some authors (Matravers  1998; Nussbaum  2007), the theory in its less sophisticated versions is open to serious objections that can be traced back to Hanslick’s On the Musically Beautiful (see Budd 1995; Kivy 1980). Music, Hanslick claimed, cannot arouse ordinary emotions of sadness and joy because the latter have an ineliminable propositional or referential component—there is something that we are sad or joyful about. But, given the non-representational nature of the work of pure music, it is incapable of articulating such a component. This is not to deny that we may experience affective responses in listening to musical works, but these, it is claimed, are better viewed as affects distinctive of musical experience rather than as the ordinary emotions of life. Such a view is reminiscent of Clive Bell’s (1914) claim that, in a proper affective response to a visual artwork, what we feel is an “aesthetic emotion” elicited by the work’s “significant form,” rather than any “everyday” emotion. A further objection to the idea that musical expression is constitutively related to the arousal of ordinary emotions is that it seems possible to recognize expressive features of a musical work without experiencing the emotion in question. An alternative response to the issue about musical expression has commended itself to those who seek to resolve philosophical questions about art by paying greater attention to the way in which our art-critical language functions. It might be said that, in expressive predications of musical works, the terms in question—“happy” and “sad,” for example—are being used metaphorically rather than literally (for example, Scruton 1997). This response is puzzling, however, since it offers no account of why the music is metaphorically sad and no explanation of what is would be to possess sadness metaphorically (S. Davies 1994). Goodman’s (1976) proposed elucidation of expression in terms of metaphorical exemplification might be thought simply to redescribe the problem—a musical work may literally exemplify its structural features but how can it thereby metaphorically exemplify sadness?

Analytic Philosophy of Music   73 Suzanne Langer (1953) responded to Bell’s claim that our affective responses to artworks are elicited by significant form by saying that this is really the starting point rather than the terminus of philosophical inquiry into the arts. The salient question, for Langer, is why we are affected by the formal properties of visual and musical artworks. She argues that, at least in the case of musical works, what makes certain structural features of such works significant for us is that they resemble general structural features of human affective experience: musical works are “tonal analogues” of human emotive life in general, rather than being expressive of particular human emotions. Analytic philosophers, claiming to find such claims obscure, have looked to less esoteric relationships of resemblance to elucidate the nature of musical expression. Peter Kivy (1980), for example, defended the idea that the application of such predicates as “sad” or “joyful” to musical works is simply an example of a more general tendency to ascribe emotional properties in an extended sense to things whose features resemble individuals who are actually in the relevant emotional states. He maintained that the musical works to which we ascribe expressive properties have structures whose contours resemble those of the behaviours and general demeanour of human agents who are sad or joyful, for example. Stephen Davies (1994, 2006) defends a similar resemblance account of musical expression, holding that “the resemblance that counts most for musical expressiveness . . . is that between music’s temporally unfolding dynamic structure and configurations of human behaviour expressive of emotion” (2006, 181). Critics of resemblance views have argued that such accounts cannot accommodate the more subtle or complex emotional properties ascribable to musical works. Jenefer Robinson (2005) describes the resemblance theory as the “doggy theory,” based on the example of sad-looking dogs employed by both Kivy and Stephen Davies to illustrate their accounts. She argues that if a musical work is to express the development of our emotions through time, rather than at best an unconnected sequence of emotions, structural features of the music must be attributed by the listener to someone who is using them to express themselves. This is also necessary if, returning to Hanslick’s criticisms of arousal theories, we are to think of music as expressing emotional states that have some propositional content or some intentional object. One way of conceiving of the expressing subject of whose mental life the musical work is an expression is to identify that subject with the artist herself, as in Romantic conceptions of art. Robinson, among others, points to Collingwood’s (1938) more sophisticated notion of artistic expression, as a cognitive achievement whereby the affective states of the artist are clarified and individualized through the very process of expression. The requirement, however, that there be an expressive subject might be satisfied without identifying that subject with the actual artist. All that might be thought necessary is that we hear in the music the result of an expressive process attributable to some persona located in our experience of the music. This view has been defended most vigorously by Jerrold Levinson, who expresses the view as follows: “A passage of music P is expressive of an emotion E if and only if P, in context, is readily heard, by a listener experienced in the genre in question, as an expression of E” (Levinson 2006, 193). However, once we divorce the musical persona from the composer herself (see, for example, the discussion of the

74   David Davies “complete musical persona” in Cone 1974), Hanslickian worries resurface as to the ability of the music taken by itself to convey anything determinate about the nature of the persona and thus about the emotional states expressed by the music. Perhaps, as a number of the proponents of these different accounts suggest, it is wrong to seek a univocal account of the expressive potential of musical works. Expressionpredicates, it might be said, are applied to musical works in a number of different ways, with no need to reduce these to a common core. In some cases we are indeed talking about resemblance, in other cases about arousal, and in further cases about properties we ascribe to a heard persona. The issue of musical expression continues, however, to produce lively debate.

Musical Works and Performances The title of Stephen Davies’s 2001 book—Musical Works and Performances—captures well an increasing preoccupation of analytic philosophy of music. With the move towards more tractable questions concerning the nature of the entities serving as vehicles of artistic content in the different arts, various questions concerning the nature of musical works and their relationships to musical performances not only became salient but also seemed to lend themselves to fruitful treatment using the more general resources made available within the analytic tradition. If, as Wollheim proposed, musical works, like multiple artworks in general, are rightly viewed as types, how should those types be conceived and how are musical works, as types, to be individuated? Is it reasonable to expect a univocal answer to these questions that would apply not only to the kinds of instrumental Western art musical works central to so much analytic philosophical discourse about music but also to music belonging to other genres, traditions, and cultures? In this section I shall outline the principal positions defended on these matters by philosophers who have brought to bear upon them the resources of analytic metaphysics and epistemology. (Certain analytic philosophers of art have argued that artworks in general, as the objects of our critical and appreciative interest, are actiontypes or action-tokens [Currie 1989; D. Davies 2004]. For such philosophers, the debate between Platonists and materialists sketched below pertains to the nature of what is generated by the composer of a work of music rather than to the nature of the musical work itself.) Although Wollheim’s and Goodman’s 1968 monographs played a crucial role in inaugurating the contemporary analytic interest in the nature of and relationships between musical works and performances, it took some ten years before others began critically to explore the implications of their work. While Goodman’s philosophical aversion to abstracta led him to identify musical works with classes of performances, Wollheim’s talk of musical works as types was taken to commit him to the idea that such works are abstract entities distinct from the particular events that are their performances. Musical ontology in the analytic tradition over the past forty-odd years can be

Analytic Philosophy of Music   75 seen as a developing struggle between those seeking to clarify how musical works can indeed be rightly conceived as abstract objects of some kind (the “Platonists”), and those seeking to provide an alternative materialist account of the musical work (the “materialists”). Much of this discussion has focused on instrumental Western art music dating from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century but it has been generally assumed that the model taken to be appropriate for works that fall under Goehr’s (2007) “work concept” or D.  Davies’s (2011) “classical paradigm” also apply mutatis mutandis to musical works and performances in general. According to the classical paradigm (D. Davies 2011, 23–50), a performance in the performing arts is generally of something else—what we can call a performable work—and plays a necessary part in the appreciation of the latter. Performable works prescribe certain things to performers, and are appreciated for the qualities realizable in performances that satisfy these prescriptions. Performers are also in a sense creators of their performances, for they are usually expected to exercise their creative freedom in interpreting what is prescribed. While some authors (for example, Levinson 1980a) are more cautious about extending this model beyond instrumental Western art music of the common practice period, others have sought to do so by building parameters into their accounts. Stephen Davies (2001), for example, seeks to bring earlier music in the Western tradition under his model by reference to its relative “thinness”—its having a narrower range of musical features as constitutive properties—and to bring rock music under the model by distinguishing between musical works for live performance and musical works for studio performance. I shall postpone until the section “Engagement with Other Philosophical Traditions” an examination of more recent attempts by analytic philosophers of music to provide a more pluralistic ontology of musical works in order to do justice to the perceived diversity of actual musical practice—such work marks one kind of convergence between analytical and continental thinking about such matters. The dominant thread in mainstream analytic ontology of music is Platonism. The interpretation of Wollheim as a founding figure in contemporary musical Platonism dates from Nicholas Wolterstorff ’s attempts (1975, 1980) to refine the former’s views in two respects. First, Wollheim sought to distinguish the types with which he identified musical works from other things capable of having particulars falling under them (classes and universals) in terms of the mutual transmission of properties between types and their tokens (and thus between musical works and their performances). This was intended to explain how works, while not themselves particulars, can have the properties of the particular performances through which they are appreciated. Wolterstorff however insisted that works, as abstracta, could not possess such properties. What are shared, he maintained, are not properties like being stirring, but predicates like “is stirring.” These predicates are used “analogically” when applied to works, picking out a different but systematically related property—for example, being such that all of its proper performances are stirring—to the one ascribable to their performances. Second, where Wollheim had spoken of works as types, Wolterstorff insisted that, in virtue of admitting of both correct and incorrect instances, they are properly thought of as “norm-types,” individuated in terms of the properties they require in their correct instances. It is this

76   David Davies idea of musical works as norm-types that is developed by Julian Dodd (2007) in the most discussed recent work in the Platonist tradition. Much of the subsequent discussion in the Platonist camp has turned on the question: what are the properties that a musical work requires in its well-formed instances and that thereby serve to individuate the work? The simplest answer to this question is some form of sonicism. The distinctive claim of the sonicist is that “whether a sound-event counts as a properly formed token of [a performable work] W is determined purely by its acoustic qualitative appearance” (Dodd 2007, 201); that is to say, purely by the way the performance sounds. Sonicism comes in two flavours. Pure sonicists hold that the kinds of features prescribed for correct performance of a musical work are restricted to structural or organizational properties—pitch, rhythm, harmony, and melody (see, for example, Kivy 1983, 1988; Scruton 1997). For the pure sonicist, a musical work can have correct performances on an array of different instruments, with very different timbral properties. Timbral sonicists, on the other hand, maintain that the timbre of the notes produced, which will vary according to the instruments used in generating those notes, is an essential part of what the composer prescribes for well-formed performances of the work (see, for example, Dodd 2007). The timbral sonicist makes the timbral qualities of a sound sequence partly constitutive of the performable work. But she doesn’t require that, in well-formed performances, this sound sequence is actually produced on the instruments with which we naturally associate those timbral qualities. Instrumentalists, on the other hand, insist that a correct performance of a performable work must not only have the prescribed timbral qualities, but must also be performed on the prescribed instruments. Jerrold Levinson argued for instrumentalism in his landmark paper “What a Musical Work Is” (1980a), maintaining that a performance of a musical work must be on the instruments prescribed by the composer, in part because some of a work’s expressive properties depend upon the physical movements necessary to produce the prescribed sounds. He also argued for the contextualist thesis that a performance of a musical work must stand in an appropriate historicalintentional relationship to the activity of the work’s composer. Works are thus instrumentally and contextually individuated, according to Levinson, and are what he terms “initiated types,” understood in something like the following way: schematically, a musical work is a sound/performance-means-structure-as-indicated-by-X-at-t, where, in the case of an individual work (say Sibelius’s Second Symphony), X is replaced by the name of the composer (Sibelius), t is replaced by the time at which the work was composed (1902), and the first part of the schema specifies the sounds to be produced and the instruments on which they are to be sounded. As initiated types, musical works are claimed to be creatable, something that Levinson takes to be a further requirement for any acceptable ontology of musical works. Levinson’s insistence on the art-historical contextualization of musical works echoes or anticipates arguments for the contextual nature of artworks in other arts (see, for example, Danto 1981 on visual artworks; Currie 1991 on literary artworks), and musical contextualism has been widely endorsed by others who do not share Levinson’s specific ontological theory (for a dissenting view, see Dodd 2007, 240–276). It has been argued, however, that, if initiated types are indeed abstracta, then they cannot in fact be created but only discovered in a way that may manifest creativity on the

Analytic Philosophy of Music   77 part of the discoverer—as is the case with scientific discoveries, for example—and that they cannot be individuated in either instrumentalist or contextualist terms (Dodd 2000, 2007). One of the virtues of Dodd’s 2007 account is that it makes it clear what one is committed to ontologically if one is a Platonist, and this has provided further impetus for some to develop non-Platonist ontologies of music that can preserve instrumentalism, contextualism, and creatability while still accounting for the multiple nature of musical works and the need for performative interpretation. Two widely discussed materialist ontologies draw on more general work in analytic metaphysics in identifying musical works with “historical” individuals somehow grounded in materially acceptable entities such as scores and performances. According to Guy Rohrbaugh (2003), musical works are continuants depending for their existence on those concrete entities that are their embodiments. An embodiment of a continuant is a spatio­temporally locatable object or event, and the continuant itself is a “higher level” object that is dependent for its existence upon its embodiments. For Ben Caplan and Carl Matheson (2006), on the other hand, musical works are perdurants, entities that are constituted by their embodiments which are taken to be their temporal parts. (For criticisms of both of these materialist theories, see Dodd 2007, 143–166.) It has also recently been argued that the Platonist thread that supposedly runs from Wollheim through Wolterstorff to Dodd is ill-grounded because Wollheim’s talk of musical works as “types” cannot be read as a commitment to any kind of Platonism. It is, rather, the denial that musical works and other multiples are particulars. Wollheim presents his suggestion that musical works are types as an answer to what he terms the “logical question”—are musical works particulars or are they non-particulars of some kind?—as contrasted with the corresponding “metaphysical question”—are musical works physical or nonphysical (abstract) entities? We posit a type, according to Wollheim, when we wish to correlate a group of particulars with a piece of human invention: a type, so conceived, is not a particular but a principle for grouping particulars. Wollheim’s talk of musical works as types is thus compatible with the idea that such a principle can exist embedded in a human practice without any need to bring in Platonic entities (D. Davies 2012). Analytic philosophy of music has until recently been interested in musical performances primarily as events that play a role in the individuation and appreciation of musical works. It is in the context of the array of ontological views of the musical work just surveyed that we can locate both (1) responses to Goodman’s claims about the requirements for performance of a work, sketched above, and (2) treatments of issues concerning authentic performance of a musical work. Goodman’s counter-intuitive views about the relationships between musical works and performances can be countered if one acknowledges, as most writers have done, that context plays a role in the identity of both works and performances. Wolterstorff (1975) notes that the composer’s prescriptions for even the purely sonic features of her work are rarely made completely explicit in a score—she relies on shared understandings in the intended performing community as to how the score should be interpreted. More significantly, Goodman’s worries about preserving the identity of the musical work from performance to performance, which motivate his insistence upon complete compliance with the score—can

78   David Davies be addressed if we tie the identity of a musical performance to the historical-intentional relationship that exists between the performers and the work performed. This admittedly sacrifices Goodman’s idea that the possibility for multiple fully qualified instances of musical works, in contrast to paintings, is to be explained in terms of the possibility— vested in a score—of divorcing something’s status as an instance of a musical work from its history of production. Musical works, for Goodman, are, in virtue of this possibility, “allographic,” where paintings, whose instances depend for their status, on their histories of making, are “autographic.” But as just noted, contextualists can argue that status as a performance of a musical work does depend upon standing in the right historical relation to the generative activity of a composer, so that, in this sense, musical works are not allographic (see, for example, Levinson 1980b). Even more obviously, the achievability or desirability of authentic performances of musical works hinges crucially on one’s views about the features of musical performances that are individuative of the works performed. The issue about authenticity is a complex one, as Peter Kivy makes clear in the fullest analytic treatment of this issue (Kivy 1995). We need to ask, first, what it is that an authentic performance is supposed to be authentic to. If the answer be the intentions of the composer, these intentions may not be jointly satisfiable (Dipert 1980; Edidin 1991), since, for example, it may not be possible, in the case of current listeners to a Baroque work, to produce the intended effect by using the intended performance means. Alternatively we might seek to reproduce the sounds that would have been heard by the composer’s contemporaries, using for this purpose period instruments and styles of playing. But to what end? If the aim of authentic performance is to enable the listener to replicate the experience of the period listener in relevant respects, this is arguably something we cannot achieve (Kivy 1995; Young 1988; but for a dissenting voice, see S. Davies 1987, 1988). If, however, the thought is that performances that are authentic in this sense help us to better appreciate the work performed, this will not speak to the pure sonicist, for whom the work is present for appreciation in any performance possessing the relevant pure sonic properties. Timbral sonicists and instrumentalists may be persuaded that the use of period instruments can help to clarify a work’s timbral properties. But, fairly clearly, the case for authentic performance speaks loudest to contextualists for whom a musical work is something partly constituted by its context of creation: an authentic performance may help to clarify why, in that context, the work was composed so that its performance would have the timbral sonic properties that it does.

Engagement with Other Philosophical Traditions and Other Studies of Music These have been recent attempts to bring about some sort of rapprochement between the analytic and continental philosophical traditions. These attempts have been localized to areas of philosophy where those working in one tradition have seen resources exploited, or

Analytic Philosophy of Music   79 concerns addressed, in the other tradition as valuable for their own projects or those of others in their tradition. This has taken its most self-conscious form in the philosophy of mind/cognitive science. Here philosophers with an analytic background wishing to explore various forms of “embodied” and “extended” cognition in light of perceived weaknesses in the “computational” model of mind dominant in the analytic tradition have sought, in the phenomenological work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1962) and of o ­ thers he inspired, a philosophical discourse in which to discuss embodiment. (For works that bring analytic and continental resources together in this way, see Clark 2008; Gallagher 2005; Noe  2004.) In the central areas of analytic ­philosophy—language, metaphysics, and ­epistemology—moves towards rapprochement have been more covert, as in Robert Brandom’s attempt (1994) to reintegrate perceived Hegelian insights into the d ­ iscourse of analytic philosophy in a magisterial work where there is no explicit ­discussion of either Hegel or other figures in the continental tradition. Brandom and his Pittsburgh colleague John McDowell (1994) each take themselves to be reaffirming or reformulating insights to be found in the work of Wilfrid Sellars, a figure whose rehabilitation in the analytic canon is itself symptomatic of moves towards reconciliation with the continental tradition: Sellars famously described one of his most important papers (Sellars 1956) as “my Hegelian meditations”! In philosophy of music, as in philosophy of art more generally, what rapprochement there has been is a matter less of overt or covert cross-traditional borrowings and more of a de facto convergence in philosophical concerns. (An exception is Roholt 2017, which attempts to bring the two traditions into dialogue by contrasting their treatments of three specific questions in the philosophy of music.) While the Platonist idea of an abstract ahistorical and acontextual musical work is not completely alien to philosophy of music in the continental tradition (see Ingarden 1986), the focus for most writers with a primarily phenomenological or critical theoretical orientation has been on socially and historically embedded musical practices. A convergence of concerns between such work and analytic philosophy of music is most apparent in recent analytic explorations of the diversity of actual musical practice. This finds expression both in treatments of certain musical genres in terms that eschew the classical paradigm, and, at a methodological level, in debates over the general accountability of ontology of art to actual artistic practice. I noted in the section “Musical Works and Performances” Stephen Davies’s attempts to subsume a broader range of musical genres and traditions under the classical paradigm by refining the latter to allow for distinctions between thick and thin musical works and between works for live and for studio performance. Davies’s very sophisticated account—which pays detailed attention to musical performance and receptive practice—does not attempt to shoehorn all musical phenomena into this model. He allows for purely electronic works that are not for performance at all but for playback, and for jazz improvisations that are “after” but not of a pre-existing tune (S. Davies 2001, 10). But others in the broadly analytic tradition have more forthrightly challenged the wider applicability of the classical paradigm. In his landmark book on rock music, Theodore Gracyk (1996) argues in contrast to Davies’s claim that most rock works are

80   David Davies works for studio performance, that there is no actual or even possible live performance that sounds like what we hear when we listen to the recording of a rock work. Rather, the sound that we associate with such a work is usually the result of skilful technological manipulation in a studio. Drawing on a richly detailed survey of actual practices of producing and receiving rock works, Gracyk argues that the rock work is the recording— the electronically encoded result of what gets done in the studio that is then appreciated when played back by the listener. Andrew Kania (2006), broadly agreeing with Gracyk, describes the rock work as the “track,” something quite distinct from a much thinner work—the “song”—which is what gets performed in live performances by a rock band. Kania also defends an account of jazz according to which the appreciable work is the performance, not a distinct multiply performable work (Kania 2011; see also Young and Matheson 2000). Other work on jazz in the analytic tradition has stressed aspects of actual improvisational practice (for example, Alperson  1984; Brown  1996; Cochrane 2000) and the ways in which the availability of studio recording techniques has changed the norms operative in jazz practice (Brown 2000). What these writers have in common is their close attention to the diversity of musical practice—both that of producers and that of receivers—in these different genres. In rejecting the idea that the classical paradigm provides a good model for thinking about such practices, they echo Goehr’s strategy (2007) in her argument that the work concept had no “regulative force” in pre-19th century classical musical practice. This attention to the historicity and contextualization of artistic practice is also a prominent feature in James Hamilton’s arguments (2007) against the generally accepted idea that the classical paradigm provides the right model for theatrical performance. Hamilton’s alternative “ingredients model” for theatre is based on his participation in and close study of actual contemporary theatrical practice. In spite of this, however, very little attention has been paid by those working in the analytic tradition to the political and broadly socio-cultural dimensions of musical practice. If we search for reflection on the social role of music in recent philosophical thinking, we find this primarily in the writings of those working in the continental rather than in the analytic tradition. This includes not only Adorno’s celebration of the critical possibilities of serialism and his criticisms of popular music and of jazz for their political conservatism (Adorno 1941) but also writers who elaborate upon such ideas (see A. Hamilton 2007). There is also relatively little analytic attention to actual musical practices viewed as politically embedded and evolving forms of social behaviour. Contextualism in the analytic tradition still concerns itself with the need to understand the individual work as an entity embedded in an art-historical space—as in the very influential work of the historian of the visual arts Michael Baxandall (1972, 1985). But, in contrast to Baxandall, analytic philosophers have paid little attention to the artwork as acted upon and active within a wider social practice, or indeed to the socio-economic dimensions of artistic practice itself. A notable exception is Sherri Irvin’s work on what she terms “the artists’ sanction.” Irvin (2005) critically examines curatorial practice in the presentation of contemporary works of installation art, and the ways in which the sometimes-different interests of artists and curators are negotiated in this practice.

Analytic Philosophy of Music   81 The possibility of fruitful dialogue between analytic philosophy of music and continental philosophy of music has recently been called into question by proponents of what is termed “performance philosophy.” Performance philosophy came to the attention of a wider audience following the inauguration (2010) of a series of annual meetings held at the University of Surrey, and the subsequent emergence (2015) of a dedicated journal, Performance Philosophy. Laura Cull, one of the founders of Performance Philosophy, maintains (Cull 2014) that we should eschew the “philosophy of performance” as traditionally pursued, and seek to engage in philosophizing through participating in performance practice. Philosophy of performance, it is claimed, purports to bring superior insights to bear upon performance practice, insights grounded in the application to that practice of more general philosophical conceptual structures that are themselves justified a priori, through conceptual analysis or pure reflection. This, she argues, abstracts from crucial features of actual performance practice. Cull’s principal target is analytic philosophy of performance. The most serious proponent of performance philosophy as it applies to music is Andrew Bowie. Bowie was one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Performance Philosophy conference and his keynote address appears in the opening issue of Performance Philosophy. Bowie’s idea of what Tomás McAuley (2015) has termed “philosophy through music” is adumbrated in the following terms: If . . . we think of metaphysics as to do with “making maximal sense of things” and with “making sense of making sense,” it is worth considering whether . . . [such] sense-making may . . . . inhere in performances which reveal aspects of the world that are hidden by dominant practices and assumptions, including the assumptions of some philosophy as presently practised. . . . Performance can open up philosophical space which discursive philosophical approaches cannot.  (Bowie 2015, 51, 55)

This is promoted as an alternative to what Bowie presents as the bankrupt tradition of analytic philosophy of music which, so he claims, is the application to music of a more general project in fundamental metaphysics and is, as a result, entirely out of touch with artistic practice as an evolving and historically embedded set of activities. This “new metaphysical approach spends its time on thought experiments and the like” and “fails to connect conceptual questions to questions about what we actually do and what happens in the world, preferring to create abstract scenarios and issues, in the name of a rigour that is largely achieved by excluding the complexity of how the notional metaphysical issue of ‘fundamental things’ is manifest in the human world.” This analytic approach, he claims, “can offer little to virtually any discipline in the humanities,” whereas “communication between the humanities and the major directions in European philosophy has become an ineliminable part of the contemporary landscape. The paucity of the actual results of seeking to establish what ‘fundamental kinds of things there are’ by metaphysical reflection contrasts sharply with exploration, for example, of the nature and significance of things in phenomenology” (Bowie 2015, 53).

82   David Davies Responding to this very negative prognosis for constructive interaction between analytic and continental philosophical engagements with music, McAuley (2015) rejects both Bowie’s critique of analytic philosophy of music, and his claim that the repudiation of the latter is a consequence of taking seriously the possibility of philosophy through our engagement in musical practice. On the first point, McAuley provides a number of examples to counter Bowie’s monolithic picture of what goes on in the analytic philosophy of music: many contributors begin with musical practice, acknowledging the latter’s historical dimensions, and pay close attention to differences between musical genres (see the previous discussion of this). On the second point, he stresses how much analytic philosophy of music is itself done through engagement with musical practice. Furthermore, it might be added, if, as Bowie suggests, there are philosophical insights accessible only through musical practice, this does not show that there are not other insights that can only be grasped through discursive rationality, including insights into how it is that the former kinds of insights are possible. A further indication of the diversity of approaches within analytic philosophy of art is the very lively methodological debate (see, for example, Kania 2008) between those who wish to hold ontology of art accountable to more traditional analytic standards and those who, in a more pragmatic spirit, see it as an attempt to provide a reflectively acceptable model of actual artistic practice. Amie Thomasson (2005) has defended a traditional analytic conception of the appropriate methodology in ontology of art, taking the latter to involve an analysis of the concepts that guide those who determine the reference of art-kind terms in their referential use of those terms. It is through the analysis of these concepts that we determine the ontological status of musical works, she maintains, and, as a consequence, ontology of music cannot be revisionary of ordinary “folk” understandings of the nature of art-kinds. Dodd (2012,  2013), on the contrary, has argued that our folk understandings are no better a guide here than elsewhere to the true nature of things. He argues that our folk intuitions must be schooled by more general metaphysical principles and thus that ontology of music may be highly revisionary of folk beliefs, as in the case of his own Platonism which rejects both creatability and the idea that musical works are individuated instrumentally or contextually. An intermediate view, arguably more in tune with the concrete developments described above, maintains that ontology of music, and ontology of art more generally, must be grounded in artistic practice, but must involve rational reflection on that practice in light of its presumed goals. On this view, the aim of ontology of art is to furnish our practice with a conceptual framework that will promote both engagement in and comprehension of artistic making and reception (D. Davies 2009, 2017). A salient feature of philosophical work in the analytic tradition has been a respect for both the intersubjective standards of scientific research and the fruits of that research. It is not surprising therefore that some analytic philosophers of music have drawn upon scientific theories and empirical results in their writing. The primary resource here is cognitive science which promises to throw empirical light on the generation and reception of musical works and performances. Some scientific researchers in this field (Lerdahl and Jackendoff  1983), inspired by Chomskian linguistics, have posited an

Analytic Philosophy of Music   83 innately specified “musical grammar” which explains our ability as listeners to parse certain sounds as musical structures. Such a grammar explains how, in listening to music, we unconsciously represent the structure of a musical stimulus, thereby providing a model of musical understanding that parallels Chomskian accounts of linguistic understanding. Diana Raffman (1993) extends this idea and takes on an important theme in continental thinking about music, the supposed “ineffability” of musical content (see, for example, Jankélévitch 2003). Raffman proposes to explain musical ineffability in terms of the mechanisms whereby the mind-brain encodes musical information. She takes the most significant kind of musical ineffability to be what she terms “nuance ineffability.” Nuances, for Raffman, are those fine-grained details of performances of musical works that are not and cannot be specified in the score and that are the marks of the individual performer’s interpretation of the work. While Raffman focuses on nuances of pitch and interval, and our ability to “consciously hear ‘within-category’ phenomena such as vibrato, slides, out-of-tune intervals, and the myriad shades of pitch coloration that distinguish one performance from another” (Raffman  1993, 65), she takes nuance to be a more general feature of our musical experience. She claims that the ineffability of the nuances we experience in listening to music is a consequence of the most plausible story about our ability to hear an acoustic stimulus as a structured musical event. Like Lerdahl and Jackendoff, she posits a musical “grammar” in virtue of which we hear local structure in music. But, she further argues, there are principled reasons to think that we are able to categorize, and thereby remember, only broadly tonal properties of the musical manifolds that we hear, and not musical nuances (4). As a result, these nuanced features of our experience of music are ineffable. (For a critical response to Raffman, see Levinson 1995. For a survey of recent empirical research on music reception and comprehension, see Raffman 2011, 593–598.) More recently, the turn to “experimental philosophy” on the part of some analytic philosophers has found expression in the philosophy of music. Experimental philosophy questions the traditional reliance in analytic philosophy on “armchair intuitions” and urges that philosophers bring experimental results and sometimes experimental methods to bear on traditional philosophical concerns. An example of this strategy in the philosophy of music is a recent article by Bergeron and Lopes (2009), who cite psychological studies that show that observation of a musical performance strongly influences the expressive qualities ascribed to the music performed. The perception of musical expression is thus a function not only of auditory information but also of visual information received about the performance. But, as Bergeron and Lopes rightly note, even if aesthetic judgements do indeed differ in this way according to the circumstances of engagement with the music, we must still ask in which kind of circumstances we properly appreciate the work. While this essentially normative philosophical question is more pressing in light of the empirical research, it is not answered by that research. I have not yet said anything about scholarly engagements between analytic philosophy of music and musicology. That musicologists are not deaf to philosophical reflections upon musical practice is evident from their very positive response to Bowie’s works (especially Bowie 2007), as noted by McAuley (2015, 60). But a singular deafness on the

84   David Davies part of some musicologists to writings in analytical philosophy of music seems to be grounded in a generalization, to the latter tradition as a whole, of the perceived sins of some of its more extreme exemplars. Particularly vilified, but also taken as representative of the analytic tradition, is Goodman’s wrong-note paradox discussed previously. In a recent article, Richard Taruskin cites the latter in support of his contention that analytic philosophy is completely divorced from practical or real-life concerns: “Goodman’s stipulation [that one wrong note disqualifies a performance from being a performance of the work] puts his philosophy of performance (or, as he calls it, his theory of notation) entirely outside the realm of human transactions, along with most theories of musical performance hatched by analytical philosophers, who inhabit a world much simpler than ours, where objective authenticity is possible and perfect consistency rules” (Taruskin 2010, 451). My survey in earlier sections of the diverse strands in analytic philosophy of music, and of how analytic philosophers themselves have repudiated Goodman’s claims by attending to aspects of musical practice, gives the lie to Taruskin’s charge, and echoes McAuley’s response cited earlier to a similar misrepresentation of the analytic tradition by Bowie. To end on a more positive note, however, there have been promising attempts over the last few years to bring musicologists and analytic and continental philosophers of music into fruitful dialogue. To cite two examples, the Royal Musical Association’s Music and Philosophy Study Group annual conference features keynote speakers and scholarly presentations representative of each of these disciplines and traditions. Keynotes are encouraged to speak across disciplinary boundaries on a shared theme. Second, the Orpheus Academy, held annually in Ghent under the auspices of the Orpheus Institute, has also in recent years sought to bring together musicologists and philosophers from both traditions. This has proved fruitful not only in generating cross-disciplinary discourse and better understandings but also in leading to joint publications (for example, de Assis 2018). A shared interest in aspects of musical practice provides a common point of reference that allows disciplinary differences to be successfully negotiated. Participants in such exchanges can hope to identify elements in other traditions that can supplement the resources available in their own.

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chapter 5

Con ti n en ta l Phil osoph y of M usic Christopher Norris

What is Continental Philosophy? What’s in a Label? By “continental philosophy of music” I shall here mean the kind of philosophically informed writing about issues in musical analysis, criticism, theory, history, and ­aesthetics that has been produced by thinkers whose work is aptly described as belonging to the category of continental philosophy. It is notoriously hard, or, in the view of some partisans, downright tendentious, to specify just what is distinctive about “continental” philosophy as opposed to its “analytic” counterpart. At present, there are encouraging signs that philosophers on both sides are beginning to question the “two traditions” idea and its origin in a combative—not to say aggressively insular—phase of early analytic philosophy (Bowman 1998; Gracyk and Kania 2011; Hamilton 2007). Still, the continental label has been around long enough for it to denominate a number of approaches, interests, priorities, conceptual frameworks, and, not least, working terminologies that can fairly be called continental. In addition, there are some real (not merely notional) attributes of much that goes under the analytic label—what typically appears on music-related topics in Anglo-American journals of aesthetics, for instance—which continue to give the distinction some measure of substantive content. One of these has to do with the speculative character of typically continental thinking about music as opposed to the strong analytic proclivity for detailed analysis of the various concepts and categories that inform the discourse of received or accredited musical debate. This is a broad-brush distinction that invites all manner of case-­specific

90   Christopher Norris objections and counter-instances. Yet if the analytic–continental binary applies with good warrant anywhere across the current range of philosophical fields or disciplines, then it does so with respect to philosophies of the arts, especially those relating to literature and music. This is because the principal founding figures in the continental line, among them Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Marx, left such a legacy of complex and often problematical ideas in these areas that their inheritors have to press further out on a speculative limb than do those for whom they figure either as so many optional sources of insight or as so many cautionary instances of paths not to be taken. Kant is common property for both traditions since he managed to raise issues that have since provided their main supply of intellectual sustenance. In the cases of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Marx, however, it is only during the past decade or so that these thinkers have attracted sustained and non-prejudicial engagement from analytical philosophers, while even now it falls far short in point of refinement by comparison with the best continental commentaries. This means, in short, that there is indeed something distinctive about the work of philosophers of music whose experience of as well as thinking about music has been informed by continental philosophy. It is tempting to invoke Thomas Kuhn’s (1970) distinction between “normal” and “revolutionary” science, the former (like mainstream analytic philosophy of music) getting on with the relatively everyday business of ­problem-solving with respect to a range of first-order issues while the latter (like its continental counterpart) raises questions and proposes far-reaching speculative answers that conform to no widely recognized normative agenda. Thus, analytic philosophers of music tend to address matters such as: What, if any, are the essential or constitutive features of (that which we take to be) a musical work? What, ontologically speaking, is its mode of being or existence over time under differing conditions of performance and reception? What, if anything, have issues of musical meaning or value to do with music’s (presumptive) power to express or communicate feelings and emotions? Or how, if at all, can the distinction between “form” and “content” be upheld in the face of reiterated attacks on any such crudely dualist conception? (See, for instance, Krausz  1993; Stock 2007.) Continental philosophers of music may well take an interest in such matters and themselves do a good deal of conceptual analysis, at least to the extent that they must show a constant readiness to reflect self-critically on the implications and presuppositions of their own discourse. Yet in their case, such critical reflection most often takes a very different form and aims at nothing like the same disciplinary ideal, that is, finding some definitive or clear-cut solution to some well-defined and hence properly soluble problem. For our paradigmatic continental philosopher, her project has more to do with exploring (or generating) new questions in the ever-challenging border zone between music and philosophy. Another way of putting this is to say that analytic approaches, in philosophy of music as in other areas, typically situate themselves at a once-removed level of conceptual engagement with what they set out to describe, explain, or analyse. This procedure has its source in the earliest days of analytic philosophy, when thinkers like Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege encountered the paradox of self-referential expressions in set theory

Continental Philosophy of Music   91 (for example: “the barber who shaves every man in town except those who shave ­themselves”—in which case who shaves the barber?). This paradox threw a large spanner into the logical-mathematical works and persuaded Russell to introduce a rule which (arguably) avoided it. In brief, the rule distinguishes first-order (linguistic) from second-order (or higher-order, metalinguistic) statements and then requires that no statement court disaster by self-referring unless with that language–metalanguage distinction firmly in place so as to keep the levels separate. Whatever its merits, the Russell solution left a deep mark on subsequent analytic discourse, even in areas—like aesthetics or ethics—which one might think fairly remote from logic and the formal disciplines. On the continental side, conversely, the approach has very often taken a different route: not to legislate paradoxes away by stipulative fiat but to follow them through in a dialectical and speculative way to the point where they might be hoped to produce insights of an order unavailable to that other, more paradox-averse and rule-abiding discourse (Badiou 2005; Norris 2009).

Some Versions of Dialectic Analytic philosophy may be said to have started out from the prototypical—indeed ­legendary—road-to-Damascus moment when Russell abjured the dialectical apparatus of Hegelian idealism and launched an enterprise resolutely closed to such speculative pleasures and perils (Hylton  1992). Continental philosophy saw no reason for such abstention, and—by the same token—no need for that self-imposed rule of good conduct that required thinking to beat the bounds of proper (conceptually legitimate or wellformed) discourse rather than risk exceeding those bounds by pursuing notions that allowed of no such regulative limits. This means that when the arts are in question, and music especially, there tends to exist a much closer, more complex, and intimate relation between philosophy and its subject matter than usually obtains in the case of analytic work. Like Nietzsche before them, present-day continental philosophers are more apt to eschew the demanding yet self-protective rigours of a formal or meta-musical approach for the sake of an active dialectical engagement with the very process of musical thought. Thus a thinker like Theodor W. Adorno may well spend a good deal of time warning against the ideological perils of any Hegelian positive dialectic or any premature reconciliation of problems musical, philosophical, or political through the synthesizing power of imagination as expressed in musical form. Adorno suggests that only through a negative dialectic that steadfastly rejects such premature solutions can thinking retain its critical edge at a time of near total thought-control by various ideological apparatuses, while only in music that likewise holds out against the beguilements of the culture industry can we glimpse, however remotely, the prospect of a better life (Adorno  2002,  2006; Wittkin  1998). Otherwise, philosophy and music will both be condemned to underwrite the false promises of an affirmative culture that reinforces the conditions of human social servitude by blinding us to them. Yet for Adorno, just as for Nietzsche, music has its role not only in enabling the sharp-eared critic to diagnose

92   Christopher Norris the nature and sources of our current cultural ills but also in allowing us occasional, hard-won glimpses of those redemptive possibilities prefigured in certain musical works (see especially Adorno  1974). I am not saying that analytic philosophers are somehow immune to those works’ uncanny latent power to communicate such truths about aspects of the human condition. My point is rather that the dominant mode of analytic discourse, with its emphasis on philosophy as a metalanguage of conceptual exegesis, elucidation, and (where needed) critique, is apt to discourage the kind of intense dialectical engagement with music’s expressive and structural capacities that has been such a notable feature of continental work. Where the Nietzschean legacy shows through most strikingly—even in the work of thinkers who would reject many of Nietzsche’s still sharply provocative and, to some, repellent ideas—is in the way that it opened up certain musico-philosophical possibilities of speculative thought. When conjoined with the Western Marxist openness to speculative—that is, highly ­qualified—versions of socio-economic determinism, and with a range of other broadly dialectical modes of thought, together with a very mixed parentage out of Kant and Hegel, the result is a mode of philosophizing fairly described as “continental” and markedly distinct from the analytic norm.

Orders of Philosophy Above all, what sets continental philosophers of music apart is the extent to which they work on the assumption that issues of form, structure, meaning, value, or (more abstractly) ontological status can and should be treated in close conjunction with issues of politics and considerations from other disciplines of thought such as psychoanalysis and literary theory (for a range of such approaches within music studies see Cook and Everist 1999; Kerman 1985; Kramer 1995; Lochhead and Auner 2002; Solie 1993). It is this high degree of openness to (supposedly) extra-musicological sources, along with the penchant for taking a likewise broad view of what counts as a properly philosophical approach, that has led many analytically trained philosophers of music to regard their continental counterparts as hawkers of suspect goods. It is also the quality that has led those inveterately speculative thinkers to a mode of thought that engages creatively with music by suspending any categorical distinction between the second-order discourse of philosophy and that which philosophy takes as its first-order object or subject matter. Indeed, the manifest awkwardness of putting it like that—of having to acknowledge that music is both an object of philosophical interest and something that involves the ­philosopher-subject in a peculiarly complex and intimate way—is one complication in philosophy of music that continental thinkers have addressed. That is, they have not sought to exclude the element of subjective response but have tried—with or without the aid of phenomenology in the line of descent from Husserl and Merleau-Ponty—to find a place for it without retreating to a purely appreciative stance that gives up the quest for some objective correlative in terms of musical theme, form, structure, development, or other such specifiable attributes (Benson 2003; Ingarden 1986; Nancy 2007).

Continental Philosophy of Music   93 Thus there is rarely any question—as there often is among analytic philosophers of music—of a direct conflict of priorities between formalist and expressivist doctrines. If Kant (1998) famously (and problematically) wrote that “concepts without intuitions are empty” while “intuitions without concepts are blind” (A51/B76), continental philosophers know well enough that there is as much wrong with a formalist approach that ignores or denies music’s capacity to express or articulate feelings and emotions as there is with an approach that extols these latter while neglecting to offer any account of how they might be manifested through formal or structural properties. Some of Jacques Derrida’s most penetrating early books and essays were devoted to the way these two dimensions of the project of Husserlian phenomenology can be seen to induce a constant state of aporia—of unresolved tension, conflict, or undecidability—at certain crucial or symptomatic points (Derrida 1973, 1978). This was the starting point for Derrida’s own project of deconstruction, one that subsequently came to exert enormous influence across the whole range of the human and social sciences, musicology included. The fact that deconstruction has generally met with an indifferent, hostile, or uncomprehending response among analytic philosophers has a lot to do with its genealogy as a product of the thoroughly continental encounter between phenomenology and structuralism, or (more to the point) both between and within those two movements (see especially Merleau-Ponty 1964, 1973). For present purposes we can think of phenomenology as the mode of thought most responsive to music in its expressive aspects and structuralism as that which takes form—however defined or conceived—as the single most important aspect of music and the sole proper object of critical-philosophical attention. Instead of treating this as a conflict of views or doctrines between rival camps, deconstruction treats it as the kind of antinomy that is sure to emerge from any sufficiently rigorous reflection on the character of music and musical experience. Thus, for Derrida, phenomenology and structuralism are engaged not so much in a zero-sum contest for supremacy—as they are often represented in historical studies— but in a mutually interrogative exchange where each represents one of the directions that contemporary thinking must take in order to achieve an adequate grasp of its own scope and limits. If “a certain structuralism has always been philosophy’s most spontaneous gesture” then equally “what we cannot think in a structure is that by means of which it is not closed” (Derrida 1978, 159). Each is peculiarly suited to draw out the other’s conceptual, methodological, or indeed perceptual (in this case auditory) lacunae since each is the other’s opposite as regards the priority granted to structural or expressive properties. One could call this relationship dialectical—a matter of contradictions worked through to produce some resolution at a higher, more advanced level of thought—were it not that Derrida very often goes out of his way to stress that deconstruction is neither Hegelian nor (in any received sense) Marxist since it rejects the idea of progress conceived as knowledge moving stage by stage through successive contradictions towards ultimate truth. All the same, deconstruction (including deconstructive musicology) may be called dialectical at least in so far as it takes thinking about certain topics (among them the relation between formal structure and expressive content) to be inherently aporetic, that is, subject to antinomies, contradictions, or conflicts of priority

94   Christopher Norris which properly belong to such thinking. By “properly belong” I mean that the aporias concern issues intrinsic to any sustained, careful, and open-minded thought on those topics and cannot be legislated away by some Russell-style stipulative fiat or analytic policy-choice to treat them as delinquent notions or category-mistakes.

Adorno Versus Bloch This may help to explain why continental philosophy of music has so often been marked by passionately engaged and politically charged as well as philosophically far-reaching disputes between individual thinkers whom one might have expected to meet eye-toeye on most matters. A typical instance is Adorno’s lengthy falling-out with his erstwhile Frankfurt School colleague and fellow critical theorist Ernst Bloch (Taylor 1977). This arose chiefly from Bloch’s idea of music, along with every aspect of human culture, no matter how (seemingly) regressive or degraded, as capable of a different, hope-filled interpretation wherein it would strike the recipient as shot through with gleams of utopian promise (Bloch 1985, 1995). Adorno was himself not entirely averse to such thinking and sometimes permits himself passages that evoke that promesse de bonheur in a prose all the more haunting and powerful for its refusal to grant such promises except on condition of their breaking through against the utmost rigours of negative-dialectical thought. Nevertheless, what makes the dissension between Adorno and Bloch exemplary is that it allows no clear or valid distinction between issues that most analytic philosophers of music—as well as most music theorists and analysts uninfluenced by continental thought—would count as belonging to distinct or usefully distinguishable disciplines. Despite their emphatic differences of philosophical and socio-political-cultural outlook, Adorno and Bloch are agreed on a number of crucial precepts and commitments. These include (1) the inextricable link between modes of musical production/reception and the politics of culture, (2) the need for an adequately complex or, as Adorno insists, sufficiently “mediated” account of that relationship, and (3) the conviction—again more pronounced in Adorno—that this involves both detailed musical analysis of a more or less formal type and the kind of socio-critical analysis required to better understand the various levels and structures of mediation. From which they take it to follow (4) that the traditionally segregated practices of music analysis, musical criticism, music theory, historical musicology, and sociology of music are products of a highly suspect academic ideology, and (5) that only a dialectical, rather than a purely formal, logic can possibly have room for all this as well as maintaining a speculative openness to that which eludes its powers of critical-interpretative grasp (Adorno 1973). Furthermore, (6), the concepts required to stretch around such a challenge are not concepts whose sense, content, or range of application is thought of as static and clear-cut. Rather, these are concepts that may always undergo revision, refinement, or transformation if and when they come up against problems or resistances at any stage of the process whereby music and criticism enter into this peculiarly intimate yet dialectically fraught and reciprocally testing relation.

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Genealogies German and French I hasten to add that I am not taking Adorno and Bloch—or Frankfurt-style Critical Theory in general—as typically continental. Still, their differences and their commonalities can give us a good handle for approaching what is historically and geo-culturally speaking an ill-defined topic. In brief: the term continental as applied to philosophy of music acquires both a reasonably localized genealogy in mainland Europe (the endlessly reworked conceptual legacy of thinkers from Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Nietzsche to Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Derrida) and, consequently, a family resemblance—to use Wittgenstein’s (1953) handily capacious phrase—which reflects that shared range of sources and influences. My list of names in the previous sentence will strike readers as taking a very sharp midway geographical turn from Germany to France, or (in philosophical terms) from German idealism and its sceptical aftermath to phenomenology and its twentieth-century French reception history. Needless to say, this is only one way of reading the relevant history of ideas, although it happens to have become the textbook lore that informs most music-related treatments of that history. My point is that “continental philosophy of music” is a label most plausibly—or least prejudicially—interpreted as referring to the recent (roughly post-1990) uptake among music-oriented philosophers and critical theorists of a body of thought that equates with the mainly French reception of a mainly Austro-German philosophical legacy. And that encounter between France and Austro-Germany is the matrix for some of the most active and far-reaching debates in current continental philosophy of music. Having set the big-picture scene, I shall now focus in more specific detail on some of those debates as they have worked out in particular intellectual contexts.

Debates in (and beyond) Continental Philosophy Structuralism The French element of continental philosophy of music can perhaps best be summarized as a structuralist and post-structuralist take on themes descending from the broadly Idealist philosophical tradition. That claim, however, is very quickly challenged by the fact that developments in German thought from Kant to Husserl were themselves part of a longer-term legacy that started out in seventeenth-century Cartesian rationalism and continued not only through that line of descent but also, more directly, through another distinctive line which rejected anything remotely subject-centred or phenomenological (see Norris 2000; Schrift 2006). The most significant point of encounter between these is that between phenomenology and structuralism in the mid-century—an encounter that occurred primarily on the terrain of philosophical aesthetics and philosophy of art.

96   Christopher Norris Merleau-Ponty had rather little to say about music, but the writings that follow his discovery of Saussure, Jakobson, and the founding texts of structuralism bear witness to his sense that issues of the utmost philosophical as well as creative-artistic importance were raised with uncommon pointedness and force by the impossibility of reconciling structuralist and phenomenological modes of thought (Merleau-Ponty 1964, 1969, 1973). Yet this doesn’t mean that they cannot both be applied to the reading of texts or the analysis/interpretation of music and yield results that are all the more acutely revealing for that inbuilt conflict. It is Derrida’s (1978) point, and one borne out by a good deal of work in theoretically informed music criticism, that such conflicts are intrinsic to reflection on the character of musical works and the question—one of interest in a different way to some analytic philosophers of music—as to whether those works should properly be thought as invented or discovered. In other words, do they exist (as the musical Platonist would have it) in a realm of absolute ideal objectivity where it is the ­composer’s—and perhaps the performer’s—task somehow to make contact with them and then faithfully transcribe or project them from the virtual to the actual domain? Or is it not rather the case that composers and performers create or invent musical works with the material assistance of certain pre-existent tonal resources, harmonic conventions, melodic and rhythmic devices, and so on, but nonetheless in a way that brings something new and previously non-existent into being? (See Currie 1989; Levinson 1990; Norris 2006 for more on this.) Historically speaking, these rival views may be said to correlate with, respectively, the Classical idea of artistic forms as belonging to a fixed or timeless repertoire of ideal types and the Romantic idea of artistic genius as that which brings about a break with all such hand-me-down generic constraints. Structuralism tends to endorse the former, Classical view since it is premissed on an objectivist conception whereby a work’s structural elements are thought to exist in a certain pregiven set of relationships that are modelled on Saussure’s idea of language— la langue—as a network of immanent and purely contrastive “differences without positive terms” (Saussure 1959). Phenomenology tends to adopt the latter, Romantic view since it remains keenly attentive to whatever in a work of music, poetry, or painting goes beyond any currently existent range of techniques, conventions, or ways of ­listening, reading, or seeing. The continental way of addressing this tension has been influenced by those nineteenth- and earlier twentieth-century thinkers—primarily Kant, Hegel, Marx, Husserl, and Sartre—who set the course toward a philosophical mindset characterized by its strongly dialectical leaning, its phenomenological focus, its large allowance for historical factors, its consequent (Hegelian) concern with the complex and historically shifting structures of mediation between subject and object, and—subsuming all these—its often highly speculative nature. This is why continental philosophy of music has been less inclined to raise the issue about musical Platonism in its typically analytic form—are musical works discovered or created?—than to approach that issue not as one of musical ontology, but of coming to see the philosophical issue, like the work itself, as best engaged through the kind of investigative ­treatment that allows room for those problems and dilemmas in our thinking about music to inform our critical-interpretative modes of listener-response.

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Phenomenology This approach is most notably the case with a philosopher-musician like Adorno, every aspect of whose musical, theoretical, and sociological thinking was driven by the desire to achieve not a working synthesis of those elements—a notion he deplored in Hegel and others—but a critical sense of the obstacles to any such synthesis when pursued with sufficient negative-dialectical rigour (Adorno 1973). That sense is also present in a good deal of French-language philosophy of music which comes out of the phenomenological tradition and combines an extreme sensitivity to details of melodic and harmonic nuance with a well-developed grasp of medium- and long-term musical structure and a striking capacity for evocative prose. One example is Vladimir Jankélévitch, the Russian-Jewish but French-naturalized philosopher-musicologist who wrote books about Debussy, Fauré, and Ravel, and whose work very clearly reflects the continental, and more specifically dialectical and phenomenological, bringing-together of all those constituent parts (Jankélévitch 1959, 1992, 2003, 2015). He also shows an interest in the cultural contexts of production and reception, and a constant readiness to go beyond the notes on the page or their auditory equivalent to reflection on music’s philosophical import. Among the many topoi that run through his work is that of irony, here conceived—after Socrates and Kierkegaard—as a subtle, often unsettling, and ethically charged dimension of thought and feeling which, in music as in poetry or fiction, is apt to challenge established ideas of interpretative method and truth (Jankélévitch 2011). It finds a more direct precedent in the post-Kantian poet-critics of the Jena School, among them Novalis and the Schlegel brothers, who raised this idea to a high point of doctrine (Simpson 1988). For them it signified the abyssal gulf that opens up beneath the interpreter’s feet once stable meaning gives way to unstable irony or once the regulated counterpoint of authorially controlled double-meaning gives way to a bewildering multiplicity of possible perspectives. Romantic irony of this sort—or the idea of it—became a watchword for avant-garde literary theorists and, latterly, for speculative musicologists of a deconstructive bent who appreciate its uses in subverting received notions of meaning, thematic develop­ acouement, formal unity, and so forth (Cook and Everist  1999; Nancy and L Labarthe  1988; Norris  1988). For Jankélévitch, concerned as he is with irony in its ­ethical aspect, the point is not so much to undermine all our certitudes but to emphasize how—in the encounter with certain kinds of text or music—irony can draw out otherwise unknown resources of interpretative sensitivity and tact. This is evident in his writing on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French music where he discovers an extreme subtlety of thought and feeling that evokes, and indeed properly requires, an answering response in the listener. One problem here, as might be ­anticipated, is that those qualities have their local habitation in just that geo-cultural-­ temporal locale that engaged his deepest commitment. More than that: it is evident in many passages that Jankélévitch regards them as in many ways representing ­humanity’s best hope against other, as he thought, less humane, self-aware, and civilized e­ lements in European culture and political history. There is a danger of chauvinism here, or of

98   Christopher Norris presenting certain period- and culture-specific values as if they were of transhistorical or universal import. Paul de Man (1983) pointed to a similar liability in Husserl’s phenomenological project, namely the curious (and one supposes unwitting) trick of thought by which he flips across—as in the title of his late work The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Husserl 1970)—from a localized (however large-scale) geo-cultural perspective to one that claims transcendental warrant for all human beings by virtue of their shared humanity. In Jankélévitch it is more a matter of privileging certain expressive traits that emerged most strikingly during a given period of French music and investing them with a normative or quasi-universal significance. His influence within musicology has grown since the American musicologist Carolyn Abbate translated his best-known book La Musique et l’ineffable in 2004. Abbate’s own work, likewise focused on twentieth-­century French repertoire and on Wagnerian opera—including a study of the first Parisian performance of Tannhäuser—reflects Jankélévitch’s conviction that bodily experience, rather than any form of abstract thought, provides our most vivid and immediate access to a realm beyond reach of express articulation (Abbate  1991; Abbate  2004; Jankélévitch 2003; for more, see Abbate and Gallope , “The Ineffable (And Beyond),” ch. 36, this volume; Merleau-Ponty 1969; Nancy 2007; and Nancy, “Galant Music,” ch. 50, this volume. Phenomenology is for them the discipline that comes closest to providing a philosophical account of such experiences, although it encounters a limit-point paradox in attempting to give voice to what avowedly eludes any possible statement. Abbate’s musicological work thus reveals the influence of continental philosophy in numerous ways, among them its drawing on literary-theoretical ideas from poetics and narrative theory, its emphasis on the performative or enactive dimension of music and language, and—not least—its constant invocation of structuralist ideas and motifs even when seeking to move beyond them. It also exemplifies my earlier point about the way that continental philosophy of music found its chief influences first in mainly German, then in mainly French sources or, more accurately, in a version of those same German sources refracted through the prism of post-war French thought. Thus her criticism combines an abiding interest in AustroGerman nineteenth-century opera not only with close study of its French reception-history but also with a theoretical approach deeply indebted to recent French thought. Perhaps the process of philosophical reflection on music is especially apt to generate antinomies like those of structure versus expression or universalism versus cultural particularism. In Husserl this took the form of a lifelong oscillation between the claims of “life-world phenomenology” and “transcendental phenomenology”: the former a mode of reflection rooted in the sensuous and cultural-historical specificities of human experience, the latter a more conceptually rigorous practice of abstraction from all such limiting contexts. Similar considerations arise with Ernest Ansermet’s Les Fondements de la musique dans la conscience humaine (1987), a massive two-volume work by the Swiss conductor-musicologist-philosopher who offered by far the most ambitious attempt to extend Husserlian phenomenology to the domain of musical criticism, theory, and aesthetics. His book displays a strongly marked focus on French music, a bias toward contemporary (i.e., early to mid-twentieth-century) repertoire, and—subsuming these—a

Continental Philosophy of Music   99 systematic intention to establish tonality as the indispensable basis for any music that would claim to conserve and continue the great tradition of Western music. Beyond that, many passages strongly imply that Ansermet believes Western tonal music to possess certain virtues—of expressiveness, depth, harmonic resource, dynamic range, and so forth—that are not to be found in other cultures. What he proposes, in short, is a thesis concerning that tradition and its future prospects which tends, like Husserl’s in the Crisis, to alternate between universalism and cultural specificity, or a desire to stake claims of the utmost scope and an attachment to time-and-place associations much nearer home. Ansermet is nonetheless putting the case for a conception of music, its authentic character and rightful destiny—or path of development—that is point for point opposed to the conception advanced by those theorists who had placed the Austro-German line of Classical-Romantic descent squarely at the centre of their own elective genealogy (for example, Schenker 1979; for critical perspectives see Blasius 1996; Narmour 1977). For them, the great tradition was one that ran from Bach, via Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, to Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and/or Wagner, Bruckner, and thereafter any composer whose advocates could claim—with due warrant on the strength of detailed thematicstructural analysis—that they stood securely in that august line. The Ansermet– Jankélévich (basically Francophile) musical ideal was one that attached its highest estimation to values like harmonic subtlety, melodic grace, tonal nuance, delicacy of texture, orchestral colour, and the play of suggestively ironic inflections. The Austro-German ideal as handed down to present-day music analysts with a chief interest in the ClassicalRomantic tradition is one that mainly values attributes such as structural complexity, ­thematic transformation, tonal dynamism, and the long-range formal integration of maximally contrasting materials. Thus the two conceptions can be seen as involving yet another form of the generative tension between phenomenology and structuralism. Here it is played out as a cultural agon that pitches the claims of a civilized (sensitive and responsive) musical and critical discourse against those of a credo grounded on the one hand in a strain of national aestheticism and on the other in a doctrine that counts structural analysis—in whatever specific guise—the sine qua non of any criticism worthy the name.

Deconstruction and New Musicology I hope to have set the scene for more recent debates in continental philosophy of music where that old strife is still very active. First among these is a strain of deconstructive thinking that became prominent in 1980s and 1990s music studies. Sources for this thinking include Marxism, post-structuralism, certain kinds of (mainly French) feminist theory, psychoanalysis (most often a “French Freud” read via the structuralistinfluenced writings of Jacques Lacan), and that strain of radical antinomian thought taken up from Nietzsche by thinkers as different as Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze (some of these will be touched upon later in this chapter). What deconstructive music

100   Christopher Norris studies makes of these sources is a deep scepticism towards all notions of organic form, thematic integration, structural unity, and musical value (Kerman  1983,  1985; Korsyn 1993; Narmour 1977). Thence comes the resolve of deconstructive theorists to challenge the practice of music analysis along with what they see as its institutionally embedded, deeply conservative, and ideologically laden agenda. (See for instance Bergeron and Bohlman 1992; Cook and Everist 1999; Kramer 1993, 1995; Leppert and McClary 1987; Lochhead and Auner 2002; McClary 1991, 2004; Treitler 1989.) Analysis, as practised by mainstream music theorists, is taken to have a threefold aim: first, to establish Western art music’s high-art status and vindicate the claim in respect of particular works; second, to hold such works up as canonically acknowledged classics and thereby vindicate criteria of greatness; and third—in a perfectly circular fashion—to vindicate the analyst’s own claim to an order of perceptiveness, structural grasp, and professional competence that qualifies him or her as a worthy practitioner. The whole business as standardly practised in the best, that is to say, most accredited journals, books, and institutions of learning can be seen as a large-scale promotion exercise that both depends on those canonical works and creates the kind of academic culture where they in turn depend on the analyst’s best, most dedicated efforts to maintain their high standing. The musicologist Joseph Kerman was among the first to make this case in a hugely influential essay entitled, so as not to conceal its polemical intent, “How We Got into Analysis, and How to Get Out” (1980). His argument—later developed into a book (Kerman 1985)—shook up the profession of musicology by questioning not only the idea of analysis as a core discipline but also prevailing conceptions of music history, musical criticism, and music theory. He advised taking a lesson from the recent history of literary studies and injecting a large measure of continental or continentally influenced theory in order to pose challenges to each of those (as he saw them) sclerotic and superannuated subdisciplines. The combined effect of exposure to (among other sources) phenomenology, hermeneutics, post-structuralism, reception theory, and deconstruction would be to jolt music studies out of its jointly positivist and analytic slumbers and force it to confront the limits of its own philosophically naïve or bankrupt assumptions. Such had been the case in literary studies, Kerman maintained, where the joint hegemony of the “old” New Criticism and historical scholarship came under increasing pressure from continental imports from the late 1960s until they were compelled to vacate the intellectual high ground (compare Wimsatt 1954 and 1976). Much further back in this intellectual history, although Kerman doesn’t say as much, loomed the original falling-out between Britain and its New World colony as well as the American-French alliance of revolutionary interests that found a common inspiration in radical thinking and a common enemy in the British philosophy of empiricism. That history is subliminally present in the historical-cultural-intellectual background when the so-called Yale deconstructionists—Derrida’s cohort in the vanguard of US literary theory—deployed the ideas of continental philosophers as tactical counters against what they saw as the erstwhile dominance of a distinctively British tradition in literary studies (Hartman 1971, 1982). Certainly Kerman is looking to heterodox (continental)

Continental Philosophy of Music   101 ideas for something more theoretically substantive than their potential usefulness in dislodging an incumbent orthodoxy. Still there is more than a hint of that in the alacrity with which deconstructive music theorists and other adepts of what is sometimes called the New Musicology seize upon mainland European sources as a means of levering academic discourse away from its subscription to the Arnoldian idea of criticism as a ­second-order discourse inherently devoid of intellectual creativity or inventive flair. The most visible sign of this has been the turn against analysis—or against one specific, post-Schenkerian or principally Austro-German-derived conception of analysis— in the name of a larger, more theoretically adventurous and philosophically informed idea of what analysis might yet come to signify in a more expansive and inclusive intellectual culture (Kerman 1980; Narmour 1977). That turn has been prompted for the most part by a sense that analysis in its narrower applications—such as the strictly formalist approach of New Criticism or the protocols of Anglo-American analytic philosophy—is a mode of thought peculiarly blind to its own limitations and ideological agenda. Above all, the New Musicology (now widely seen as past its intellectual prime) sought to resist the idea of an intrinsically superior line of descent that places Austro-German composers firmly stage-centre and marginalizes music, such as that of Debussy, which fails to meet the specified standard. This was not, or not merely, a tiff between the upholders of two musical cultures with differing systems of evaluation as regards such (surely false) oppositions as structure versus texture, harmony versus melody, or—worst of all—­ formal versus expressive considerations. Rather it became a question of how far, and in what precise direction, thinkers about music were willing to press these issues towards a philosophical (and inherently speculative) mode of treatment.

French Feminism This question remains very much present in the case of music scholars influenced by the currents of thought brought together under the label of convenience “French feminism.” These include psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, a heterodox philosophy of language or discourse, and a highly critical take on earlier or non-French feminist ideas (Fraser and Bartky 1992; Irigaray 1991; Kristeva 1986; Moi 1987; Oliver 2000). Central to this approach is the idea of écriture feminine, that is to say, a mode of writing (not a style, still less a language) that may be thought to give feminine (not just biologically female) writers and readers access to as-yet-unstructured or patriarchally unprocessed libidinal energies and desires (Lacan 2006). One can see why this idea should appeal to feminist musicologists, or how they might transpose what French feminists say about practitioners of écriture feminine such as Virginia Woolf to a musical context where it likewise signifies the power of the Lacanian unconscious to disrupt and subvert the regulative structures of the socialized symbolic order. There is the version of this theory, best known through the controversial writings of Susan McClary, that compares the music of canonical composers—prototypically Beethoven and Schubert—in terms of a gendered opposition between two antithetical

102   Christopher Norris mindsets or (more to the point) two contrasted psycho-libidinal economies (McClary 1991). On the one hand are Beethovenian symphonic first-movement developmental structures that exhibit the presumptively male attributes of aggression, subordination, hierarchical order, categorical rigidity, and so on, and which thereby assert their formal claim to mastery over submissive (“merely” sensuous or female) melodic material. On the other are the more Schubertian kinds of development which allow melody its way with the structural course of things and gently though firmly resist any formal imposition—or structural-thematic-harmonic imperative—that would repress, restrain, or forcibly rechannel its natural expressive bent. Such thinking rejects any formalist or analytically oriented music criticism premissed on the classical ideas of organic unity, structural coherence, thematic development, or the ultimate integration of opposing forces through exercise of long-range structural control. There is analysis of a kind here but it is analysis deployed very much against the grain of what music analysis more typically aspires to do. This again invites comparison with the analytic–continental dualism as it figures in the lexicon and textbook account, if not so straightforwardly in the actual practice, of present-day academic philosophy. Thus the analytic variant, like musical analysis in its more resolutely score-focused versions, is typified by a programmatic aversion to what are regarded locally—and have been so regarded since Russell’s famous anti-Hegelian turn—as the speculative excesses of continental thought. Indeed, many of its central debates have had to do with issues in philosophy of language and logic that find a striking analogue in musical analysis. These included the much-discussed question whether individual words, thoughts, propositions, statements, or chunks of discourse (for which read: notes, phrases, themes, sections, movements) can be thought to make sense apart from their role in and syntactic-semantic dependence on some larger cultural-interpretative context (see Blackburn 1984). This context might be just the next size up or, quite conceivably, so large as to be deemed coextensive with the cultural horizon of linguistic or musical intelligibility at any given time. However, while analytic types in either field prefer to raise these issues in a formal way that sets their own terms for debate, continentally oriented scholars move quickly into areas—such as hermeneutics and deconstruction—where there is more going on in the way of complex inter-involvement between analysis and reflective or speculative thought.

In Structuralism’s Wake The years following the May 1968 événements saw a widespread shift in a generation of French philosophers and literary intellectuals from direct political activism to the kind of intensive theoretical engagement with issues in the cultural superstructure that enabled a certain strategic averting of one’s gaze from the melancholy failure of yet another large-scale revolutionary movement (Anderson  1976). Among the results of this superstructuralist ferment of ideas was the way that avant-garde writers and literary theorists looked to developments in the theory and practice of musical composition

Continental Philosophy of Music   103 (Harland  2002). Thus one finds Roland Barthes, in his extraordinary 1970 text S/Z, invoking the ultra-modernist composer Pierre Boulez on the topic of total serialism and treating it as somehow analogous to his own idea of the scriptible or “writerly” (= anticlassical and genre-subverting) text (Barthes 1975). What gave theoretical heart to this otherwise somewhat tenuous claim was the equation between tonality, or the hitherto dominant Western tonal system, and “classical bourgeois realism,” here conceived—in nascent post-structuralist terms—as a set of culturally enforced narrative-linguistic conventions that ultimately served the interests of entrenched socio-political power. And Boulez, sure enough, returned the compliment by citing Barthes and other writertheorists associated with the avant-garde journal Tel Quel as likewise engaged upon a thoroughly iconoclastic quest to challenge and subvert those interests (Boulez 1991). This pattern of reciprocal exchange has continued to be a prominent feature of French speculative thought during the past three decades. So Jean-François Lyotard, a leading proponent of postmodernism, turns to music as well as philosophy, literature, and world-political events in quest of further support for his claims about the postmodern “incredulity toward metanarratives” (Lyotard 1992, 1994). By this he means our supposed loss of faith in those large-scale, optimistic, ethically and politically confident narratives of nineteenth-century origin that told us that things were tending in a progressive, emancipatory direction (Lyotard 1984). Lyotard’s postmodernist rejoinder is to say that those master-narratives have broken down beyond hope of repair and that henceforth we had better get used to living with what he calls “first-order natural pragmatic narratives.” This works out in musical terms as the odd combination—though one that is growing quite familiar—of an Adorno-like emphasis on music’s development through stages of increasing tonal complexity to the point of Schoenberg’s atonal-serial breakthrough with an anti-progressivist agenda that requires contemporary music to repudiate all such suspect notions and emphasize instead its resolute indifference to values like tonal emancipation and the liberation of the dissonance. In their place, Lyotard substitutes the idea of the “sonic event” or geste that would, in exemplary postmodern style, exclude any further appeal to those purportedly obsolete values by presenting the listener with something—an auditory, sensuous, maybe tactile, anyway not harmonically or long-range thematically structured thing—that holds out against traditional (let alone Adornian) modes of analysis. Whether the non sequiturs and dubious claims have to do with Lyotard’s postmodernist conception of logic or his less than secure knowledge of contemporary music is a question I have not space to pursue. Other postmodernist writers on music take a lead from the philosopher Gilles Deleuze whose ideas, on the face of it, are much more amenable to deployment in this domain than those of Lyotard. One main focus of his work is the idea of intensive multiplicities, defined as those that involve an irreducibly qualitative range of values (like differences in heat or luminosity) and therefore cannot be precisely quantified or measured (Deleuze 1995). The distinction between intensive and extensive properties is one that goes back to Henri Bergson in the early years of the twentieth century and which goes strongly against the main current of Western philosophical thought. The great attraction of Deleuze’s metaphysics is that it opens the way to thinking of music as our best,

104   Christopher Norris most direct and intimate means of access to the experiential flux that—as Bergson claimed—precedes and underlies all the concepts and categories imposed upon it by inherited structures of thought (Bergson  2002; Deleuze  1990). This goes along with Deleuze’s replacement of the analytic dualism of possible vs. real with that of virtual vs. actual, a move that allows him to evoke the continuous passage through time and intensive modality of sonorous experience that is conveyed most vividly in music. Another theme from Deleuze that has exerted some influence on music theory is that of “minor literature,” conceived as literature produced by marginalized writers who, for a variety of geographical, historical, socio-political, cultural-linguistic, and biographical reasons, find themselves writing in a language not securely or “authentically” their own (Deleuze and Guattari 1986). This puts their writing closely in touch with what Deleuze identifies as the power of such texts (Kafka’s in particular) to turn that marginality around, so to speak, and put it to work as a means of opposing and subverting the values of a dominant language or mainstream literary culture. In musical terms this is most often seen as equating to the way that certain underground, counter-cultural, or officially sniffed-at modes of production and reception can exert their own kind of disruptive pressure on other, more orthodox or reputable modes. It connects with Deleuze’s various terminological innovations, all introduced with a view to resisting the operations of power in a social body characterized—as he sees it—by “molar,” “territorializing,” and “arboreal” structures for channelling and taming the unruly energies of an otherwise “molecular,” “deterritorializing,” and “rhizomatic” desire. Among his followers this is taken to signify a rejection of any analytic method, formal conception, or (quite simply) way of listening to music that sets up a tree-like system of hierarchical relations between the different levels or elements of a musical work. Indeed the very notion of “work” is under attack as hopelessly in hock to outmoded ideas of canonical status or organic form (Goehr 1994). Thus a Deleuze-inspired approach is apt to find its favoured instances in the practice of c­ omposers—like Luciano Berio, David del Tredici, George Rochberg, and Osvaldo Golijov—whose music complicates received ideas of unified or integrated structure.

Alain Badiou The contrasts between continental and analytic approaches that I have outlined thus far may help to explain why, for instance, a work like Alain Badiou’s Being and Event has received no attention from analytic philosophers even though it installs the mathematics of set theory at the heart of philosophical enquiry and does so, moreover, with ­constant reference to issues that are squarely in analytic philosophers’ own bailiwick (Badiou 2005; Norris 2009). The main trouble, from an analytic point of view, is that he raises those issues in a range of other contexts or connections that strike some as ­random, ill-assorted, or downright rhapsodic. Yet Badiou lays out the pertinent set-­ theoretical issues in exemplary analytic style, here taking the term in its properly evaluative sense. To that extent, it seems as though Badiou escapes the various categories of continental philosophy that I have proposed here without being enfolded into the

Continental Philosophy of Music   105 analytic tradition. Instead, he puts forward a singularly individual conception of the musico-philosophical nexus. By virtue of his bringing together such a range of intellectual forces, a slightly more detailed account of his work forms the culmination of this overview of continental debates. Being and Event combines rigorous exposition with speculative argument in a tour de force of critical-creative thought that yields nothing in conceptual precision for all its philosophically adventurous character. In crude outline, Badiou’s purpose is to specify the conditions under which there may occur genuine events—revolutions, inventions, breakthrough discoveries, moments of decisive and unpredictable change—brought about when some existing ontological scheme encounters irresolvable problems or anomalies and so gives way to another. Those conditions—science (primarily mathematics), art, politics, love—are what supply philosophy with its essential subject-matter since in itself philosophy has no such substantive contribution to make. Rather Badiou regards philosophy as the place where thought brings to bear the resources of set­theoretical reasoning so as to reflect on singular moments of transformation and also— crucially—to articulate the various orders of relationship between those four constitutive conditions of its own most productive exercise. In Badiou’s more recent work, music has figured with increasing prominence. One reason is that Logics of Worlds, Badiou’s second magnum opus and a sequel to Being and Event, is intended to answer one major criticism of the earlier work by providing a ­phenomenology of lived, that is, sensory-perceptual and real-world-situated, human experience to populate that work’s inherently austere ontological vistas (Badiou 2009). Among its more extended references to music are a remarkable discussion of Dukas’s opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue and a somewhat more predictable account of the Second Viennese School which more or less follows René Leibowitz in treating the atonal-serialist revolution as, in terms of Western art music, a signal advance or paradigm event (Leibowitz 1949). Finally, Badiou’s subsequent study of Wagner strongly contests any version of the case against Wagner as some kind of proto-Nazi ideologue and argues that Parsifal can best be understood as marking the event of a purely secular (immanent) ­ritual or ceremony that involves no regressively mythical appeal to transcendent ­mysteries (Badiou 2010a). Badiou’s point is that moments of radical advance in any area, music included, are explicable only with reference to a certain decisive breakthrough whose advent was necessarily unforeseeable since it figured nowhere in the antecedent state of scientific knowledge, artistic technique, or affective-erotic relations. For him, the legacy of events such as these, in common with landmark political events like the Paris Commune of 1871 or the Paris evénéments of May 1968, is one that gives subjects the ultimate choice of working through their implications and longer-term consequences or falling back into reactive or counter-revolutionary postures (Badiou 2010b). By “subject” he means nothing like the traditional humanist or even Sartrean existentialist conception of subjectivity; rather it signifies the motivating factor, whatever that might be, that impels those militant for truth in various domains to keep faith with some past or present event whose occurrence may, at some future date, prove to have presaged developments beyond the scope of currently attainable knowledge. Thus knowledge and truth are utterly distinct, the former

106   Christopher Norris signifying just what falls within our cognitive or epistemic grasp at any given time, the latter that which we would—counterfactually—be able to grasp were it not for those gaps, unresolved problems, or (in logic, mathematics, and the formal sciences) moments of aporia that will only later be seen to have negatively indexed a future discovery. Badiou takes set theory as his starting point because it provides a rigorous basis for defining what counts retrospectively as a genuine event as opposed to those seemingly major occurrences that in truth possess no such binding force on the allegiance of later subjects. In this respect his is the single most powerful truth-based rejoinder to Kuhn’s doctrine of scientific paradigm-relativism, along with other modish cultural-relativist or “strong” sociological notions (Kuhn 1970). When conjoined with the phenomenological orientation of Logics of Worlds, however, it is also envisaged as showing how revolutions come about in spheres, such as that of music, where any such radical change must involve a lived or experiential aspect that is by no means explained or exhausted once account has been taken of its purely formal, structural, or mathematically specifiable aspects. The emphasis is on salience in worlds, or the relative degrees of prominence accorded to certain elements in a given composition, taking that term in the broadest sense that extends all the way from pictorial (painterly), musical, and literary compositions to the sociopolitical and cultural composition of this or that historical conjuncture. Those elements typically include human beings, most often occupying class positions marked out within a structural order of unequally distributed power and privilege, some of them accorded recognition—represented, acknowledged, or accredited—by the dominant “count-asone,” while others (like the sans-papiers or undocumented migrant workers) enjoy no such status. For Badiou it is precisely here, in the difference between elements belonging to and included in some given set, that modern set theory is able to capture what occurs at epochal moments in politics when—starting at some evental site or potential flashpoint—that ratio abruptly undergoes some radical shift and those who were excluded from the count thereby achieve an active and potentially world-transformative role. Badiou’s thinking about music is thus a curious mixture of: (1) a high-modernist conception premissed on the (Schoenberg-promoted) idea of Schoenberg and his school as inheritors of the great Austro-German legacy; (2) a phenomenologically oriented approach where French music tends to assume greater prominence; and (3), most prominent in his book on Wagner, a Blochian concern—sometimes expressed in opposition to Adorno—with the redemptive or transformative possibilities contained in what might seem unpromising works. In the words of the Internationale that he is understandably fond of quoting, “nous ne sommes rien, soyons tous” (we are nothing, let us become everything).

The Future of Continental Philosophy In this essay I have concentrated on ideas and movements in continental philosophy of music that I took to be of particular significance for three main reasons. In short, they merited treatment either (1) because they pointed up the difference between it and its

Continental Philosophy of Music   107 analytic counterpart, (2) because they figured importantly in the background of contemporary debates, or (3) because they seemed likely to presage future trends and developments. Thus the issue between phenomenology and structuralism, taking those terms in their widest sense, is one that will always emerge at a certain point in the process of reflecting philosophically on the relationship between feeling and form, expression and articulation, genesis and structure, or speech and language (Saussure’s parole and langue). These antinomies continue to trouble, provoke, and stimulate critical discourse, as do the issues about music’s socio-political pertinence raised most sharply between Adorno and Bloch, or the question as regards analysis—its scope, limits, and ideological baggage—posed so insistently by New Musicologists. If continental philosophy of music, like continental philosophy generally, may be said to denominate a set of approaches that possess a distinct family resemblance then it is because those concerns, and its ways of addressing them, are still quite distinct from anything to be found on the agenda of mainstream analytic philosophers. At the heart of that distinction as I have drawn it here is the extent to which continentally oriented thinking about music has involved issues of a depth, complexity, and speculative reach beyond anything envisaged by those who incline to pure-bred conceptual analysis. Indeed, as I have said, the two traditions can be seen to divide most fundamentally on just this question as to whether or not the very phrase “philosophy of music” is one where the genitive construction conceals a dualism of language and creative-artistic expression on the one hand and analytical discourse on the other. What unites all the continental thinkers I have discussed is the conviction that no such divorce can possibly do justice either to music or to philosophy.

Concluding Projections Any attempt to speculate on future developments in music and philosophy will need to start by asking what seem to be the currently most promising forms of this exceptionally close relationship. One promising direction already taken in literary studies—very often a bellwether discipline—is that of “creative criticism,” or a hybrid mode that combines fictive or poetic elements with speculative commentary either on literary texts or on issues in literary theory (Benson and Connors 2014; Norris 2016; Poovey 2000). This is just the kind of outcome one might reasonably predict if one envisaged a practice of music criticism jointly informed by phenomenology, hermeneutics, post-structuralism, deconstruction, and also—crucially—the kinds of “post-analytic” thinking that have lately emerged among anglophone philosophers and music theorists alike (Rorty 1982, 1989, 1997). What these latter both involve, mutatis no doubt mutandis, is a willingness to press beyond received, classical modes of analysis to a point where reflection on their scope and limits produces a discourse sufficiently inventive to create or discover other possibilities yet retaining sufficient analytic (self-)awareness to make good its critical function. Something similar often happens towards the close of a period of high formalism, whether in the arts or in philosophy, when practitioners begin to

108   Christopher Norris chafe at the restrictions arbitrarily placed on their freedom to innovate in matters of style and technique. It was highly visible in the waning years of New Criticism as a dominant force in US literary academe in the late 1960s when some of the more creative (and hence more restive) amongst its erstwhile proponents began to explore the kinds of heterodox thinking that ventured beyond the tightly sealed limits of the poem as sacrosanct “verbal icon” (Wimsatt 1976; Hartman 1980). That ferment of dissident ideas, however arcane or non-world-shaking, can all the same be seen to have heralded the imminent arrival of another, this time continentally sourced, movement of thought—Derridean deconstruction—that decisively finished the job begun in such a tentative way by those first relatively timid shakers of the faith. My point here is that continental philosophy of music is currently in a fair position to undergo something like the efflorescence of critical creativity that characterized both Jena Romanticism in the period following Kant’s transcendental-idealist revolution in philosophy of mind and Yale deconstruction as it developed during the years just before and just after Derrida’s tumultuous advent (Simpson  1988; Hartman  1982; Bloom et al. 1979). The parallels are quite precise and revealing. In all three cases there is a movement through and, to some extent, beyond formal analysis such that its real ­benefits are conserved—especially its uses as a prophylactic against naïve expressivist doctrines or excesses of appreciative criticism—while its cramping effects are progressively undone by the powers of hermeneutic inventiveness. This brings about a creative transformation of conceptual resources that might offset, though without negating or countermanding, the effects of a critical-reflective approach to some of the more ideologically laden discourses of cultural value. Almost forty years ago, Roland Barthes lamented what he saw as the domestication of once radical-seeming structuralist methods, such as those he had pioneered in Mythologies, and suggested that from now on the truly radical thing to do was to practise a mode of writing that would challenge, subvert, transform, and reconstitute the structures concerned (Barthes 1977b, 2013). Only writing could do so, he thought, and then only writing which made the grade as veritable écriture, rather than everyday, functional-communicative écrivance. Such was the difference between “writerly” (scriptible) and “readerly” (lisible) texts, or those which prefigured, welcomed and celebrated and those which denied, resisted, or occluded that epochal event—the “death of the author”—which Barthes now took to be a precondition for the birth of the active, fully participant reader (Barthes 1975). Of particular interest in this regard is the extent to which Barthes articulated these ideas about literature with reference to music and, in particular, to that dimension of music that conjured a response beyond adequate description by any of the models, methods, theories, or philosophical conceptions currently on offer. His later texts include some exquisitely written and wonderfully evocative pieces about piano and vocal music—especially composers, like Schumann, whose works he loved playing—yet manage, precisely through nuances of style or idiom, to avoid ever having recourse to the kind of “adjectival criticism” that he once denounced as the last refuge of subjectivists, appreciative critics, and journalist-hucksters (Barthes 1977a, 1985). Roughly speaking, those essays occupy a zone surrounding some projected or imaginary point of

Continental Philosophy of Music   109 intersection between phenomenology, post-structuralism, semiology, somatics, and an as-yet non-existent (at least in disciplinary terms) erotics of writing, reading, and listening. If that point is off the map in current philosophical terms—if indeed it seems to elude any more secure or confident categorization—then this should perhaps be viewed by philosophers of music as a salutary challenge to their standard cartography rather than a sign that here be the dragons of post-structuralist theory. What it might restore to philosophical dignity is that whole bodily dimension in the experience of music that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology promised to retrieve and that has often been invoked by cultural theorists in revolt against overly abstract or cerebral modes of thought. Geoffrey Hartman, typecast as a Yale deconstructionist but the most creatively gifted and adventurous of literary critic-theorists, used to speak of “criticism as answerable style” at a time (the late 1970s) when he and his colleagues were tentatively feeling their way beyond the strictures of formalism (Hartman 1980). By this he meant a practice of writing that combined criticism with philosophical commentary (though not, most emphatically, in metalinguistic mode) and which also—an idea anathema to the New Critics—counted itself perfectly at liberty to use the full range of literary (for example, metaphorical) resources. Continental philosophy of music can find its own notable precedents for this in the works of, among others, E.  T.  A.  Hoffmann, the Schlegel brothers, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bloch, and Jankélévich. It is a mode of writing that would deploy its best creative resources to take criticism beyond the kinds of hobbling dualism—analytic versus appreciative, structure versus expression, form versus force, the Apollonian versus the Dionysian, and so forth—that have often seemed integrally or inescapably a part of what goes on when we think about music. Go beyond, that is, not by brusquely or casually setting them aside in some post-philosophical mood of boredom with all such problematic notions but in just the way that Hartman conducts his brilliantly suggestive critical-­ creative ventures beyond formalism, or Derrida his subtly probing analyses of numerous philosophical and literary texts, or Barthes his incomparably deft and revealing essays on literature and music. There are a great many ways that things might go with continental philosophy of music, given its diverse sources and aspects to date, but creative criticism of the sort sketched here is I think one of the most potentially rewarding.

Works Cited Abbate, Carolyn. 1991. Unsung Voices: Opera and Musical Narrative in the Nineteenth Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Abbate, Carolyn. 2004. “Music: Drastic or Gnostic?” Critical Inquiry 30, no. 3 (Spring): 505–536. Adorno, Theodor W. 1973. Negative Dialectics. Translated by E. B. Ashton. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Adorno, Theodor  W. 1974. Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life. Translated by E. F. N. Jephcott. London: New Left Books. Adorno, Theodor  W. 2002. Essays on Music. Edited by Richard Leppert. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

110   Christopher Norris Adorno, Theodor W. 2006. Philosophy of New Music. Translated and edited by Robert HullotKentor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Anderson, Perry. 1976. Considerations on Western Marxism. London: New Left Books. Ansermet, Ernest. 1987. Les Fondements de la musique dans la conscience humaine. 2 vols. Rev. ed. Edited by Jean-Claude Piguet and Rose-Marie Faller-Fauconnet. Neuchâtel: La Baconnière. Badiou, Alain. 2005. Being and Event. Translated by Oliver Feltham. London: Continuum. Badiou, Alain. 2009. Logics of Worlds. Translated by Alberto Toscano. London: Continuum. Badiou, Alain. 2010a. Five Lessons on Wagner. Translated by Susan Spitzer. London: Verso. Badiou, Alain. 2010b. The Communist Hypothesis. London: Verso. Barthes, Roland. 1975. S/Z. Translated by Richard Miller. London: Jonathan Cape. Barthes, Roland. 1977a. Image–Music–Text. Translated by Stephen Heath. London: Fontana. Barthes, Roland. 1977b. “Change the Object Itself.” In Barthes 1977a, 139–145. Barthes, Roland. 1985. The Responsibility of Forms. Translated by Richard Howard. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Barthes, Roland. 2013. Mythologies. Translated by Annette Lavers and Richard Howard. New York: Hill & Wang. Benson, Bruce Ellis. 2003. The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue: A Phenomenology of Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Benson, Stephen, and Clare Connors. 2014. Creative Criticism: An Anthology and Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Bergeron, Katherine, and Philip V. Bohlman, eds. 1992. Disciplining Music: Musicology and Its Canons. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bergson, Henri. 2002. Bergson: Key Writings. Edited by Keith Ansell Pearson and John Mullarkey. London: Continuum. Blackburn, Simon. 1984. Spreading the Word: Groundings in the Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Blasius, Leslie  D. 1996. Schenker’s Argument and the Claims of Music Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bloch, Ernst. 1985. Essays on the Philosophy of Music. Translated by Peter Palmer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bloch, Ernst. 1995. The Principle of Hope. Translated by Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Bloom, Harold, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Geoffrey Hartmann, and J. Hillis Miller. 1979. Deconstruction and Criticism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Boulez, Pierre. 1991. Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship. Translated by Stephen Walsh. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bowman, Wayne D. 1998. Philosophical Perspectives on Music. New York: Oxford University Press. Cook, Nicholas, and Mark Everist, eds. 1999. Re-Thinking Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Currie, Gregory. 1989. An Ontology of Art. New York: St Martin’s Press. Deleuze, Gilles. 1990. Logic of Sense. Translated by Mark Lester and Charles Stivale. New York: Columbia University Press. Deleuze, Gilles. 1995. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press.

Continental Philosophy of Music   111 Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. 1986. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. de Man, Paul. 1983. Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism. 2nd ed. London: Routledge. Derrida, Jacques. 1973. “Speech and Phenomena” and Other Essays on Husserl’s Theory of Signs. Translated by David B. Allison. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Derrida, Jacques. 1978. Writing and Difference. Translated by Alan Bass. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Fraser, Nancy, and Sandra Lee Bartky, eds. 1992. Revaluing French Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Goehr, Lydia. 1994. The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gracyk, Theodore, and Andrew Kania, eds. 2011. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. London: Routledge. Hamilton, Andy. 2007. Aesthetics and Music. London: Continuum. Harland, Richard. 2002. Superstructuralism. London: Methuen. Hartman, Geoffrey. 1971. Beyond Formalism: Literary Essays 1958–1970. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Hartman, Geoffrey. 1980. Criticism in the Wilderness: The Study of Literature Today. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Hartman, Geoffrey. 1982. Saving the Text: Literature/Derrida/Philosophy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Husserl, Edmund. 1970. The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Translated by David Carr. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Hylton, Peter. 1992. Russell, Idealism and the Emergence of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ingarden, Roman. 1986. The Work of Music and the Problem of Its Identity. Translated by Adam Czerniawski. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Irigaray, Luce. 1991. The Irigaray Reader. Edited by Margaret Whitford. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Jankélévitch, Vladimir. 1959. Ravel. London: John Calder. Jankélévitch, Vladimir. 1992. Fauré et l’inexprimable. Paris: Plon. Jankélévitch, Vladimir. 2003. Music and the Ineffable. Translated by Carolyn Abbate. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Jankélévitch, Vladimir. 2011. L’Ironie. Paris: Flammarion. Jankélévitch, Vladimir. 2015. La Musique et l’ineffable. Paris: Points. Kant, Immanuel. 1998. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kerman, Joseph. 1980. “How We Got into Analysis, and How to Get Out.” Critical Inquiry 7, no. 2 (Winter): 311–331. Kerman, Joseph. 1983. “A Few Canonic Variations.” Critical Inquiry 10, no. 1 (September): 107–125. Kerman, Joseph. 1985. Musicology. London: Fontana. Korsyn, Kevin. 1993. “Brahms Research and Aesthetic Ideology.” Music Analysis 12, no. 1 (March): 89–103. Kramer, Lawrence. 1993. Music as Cultural Practice, 1800–1900. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

112   Christopher Norris Kramer, Lawrence. 1995. Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Krausz, Michael, ed. 1993. The Interpretation of Music: Philosophical Essays. Oxford: Clarendon. Kristeva, Julia. 1986. The Kristeva Reader. Edited by Toril Moi. New York: Columbia University Press. Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Lacan, Jacques. 2006. Écrits. Translated by Bruce Fink. New York: W.W. Norton. Lacoue-Labarthe, Philippe, and Jean-Luc Nancy. 1988. The Literary Absolute: The Theory of Literature in German Romanticism. Translated by Philip Barnard and Cheryl Lester. Albany: State University of New York Press. Leibowitz, René. 1949. Schoenberg and His School. New York: Philosophical Library. Leppert, Richard, and Susan McClary, eds. 1987. Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance, and Reception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levinson, Jerrold. 1990. Music, Art and Metaphysics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Lochhead, Judy, and Joseph Auner, eds. 2002. Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thought. New York: Garland. Lyotard, Jean-François. 1984. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Translated by Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Lyotard, Jean-François. 1992. The Inhuman: Reflections on Time. Translated by Geoff Bennington and Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Lyotard, Jean-François. 1994. Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime. Translated by Elizabeth Rottenberg. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. McClary, Susan. 1991. Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. McClary, Susan. 2004. Modal Subjectivities: Self-fashioning in the Italian Madrigal. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1964. Signs. Translated by Richard McCleary. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 1969. The Visible and the Invisible. Translated by A. Lingis. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1973. The Prose of the World. Translated by John O’Neill. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Moi, Toril, ed. 1987. French Feminist Thought: A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell. Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2007. Listening. Translated by Charlotte Mandell. New York: Fordham University Press. Narmour, Eugene. 1977. Beyond Schenkerism: The Need for Alternatives in Music Analysis. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Norris, Christopher. 1988. Paul de Man and the Critique of Aesthetic Ideology. New York: Routledge. Norris, Christopher. 2000. Minding the Gap: Epistemology and Philosophy of Science in the Two Traditions. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Norris, Christopher. 2006. Platonism, Music and the Listener’s Share. London: Continuum. Norris, Christopher. 2009. Alain Badiou’s Being and Event: A Reader’s Guide. London: Continuum. Norris, Christopher. 2016. The Winnowing Fan: Verse-Essays in Creative Criticism. London: Bloomsbury.

Continental Philosophy of Music   113 Oliver, Kelly, ed. 2000. The French Feminism Reader. New York: Rowman and Littlefield. Poovey, Mary. 2000. “Creative Criticism: Adaptation, Performative Writing, and the Problem of Objectivity.” Narrative 8, no. 2 (May): 109–133. Rorty, Richard. 1982. Consequences of Pragmatism. Brighton: Harvester. Rorty, Richard. 1989. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rorty, Richard. 1997. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1959. Course in General Linguistics. Translated by Wade Baskin. New York: Columbia University Press. Schenker, Heinrich. 1979. Free Composition. Translated and edited by Ernst Oster. New York: Longman. Schrift, Alan D. 2006. Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers. Oxford: Blackwell. Simpson, David, ed. 1988. The Origins of Modern Critical Thought: German Aesthetic and Literary Criticism from Lessing to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Solie, Ruth A., ed. 1993. Musicology and Difference. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Stock, Kathleen, ed. 2007. Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Taylor, Robert, ed. 1977. Politics and Aesthetics. London: New Left Books. Treitler, Leo. 1989. Music and the Historical Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wimsatt, W. K. 1954. The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. Wimsatt, W. K. 1976. Day of the Leopards: Essays in Defense of Poems. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Witkin, Robert W. 1998. Adorno on Music. London: Routledge. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1953. Philosophical Investigations. Edited by G.  E.  M.  Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

pa rt I I


chapter 6

A ncien t Gr eece Armand D’Angour

Where does music come from and what is its purpose? What effects does it have on listeners, and how can these be best exploited? How are the sounds of music to be described and analysed? Such questions were the object of keen inquiry by ancient Greeks, evidence for whose musical practices goes back to prehistoric times (Younger 1998). In the archaic, classical, and post-classical periods (spanning roughly a thousand years from around 750 bce), Greek writings present a vigorously musical environment in which emotional, aesthetic, and ethical dimensions of music were subjected to a range of analysis and philosophical discourse. This extensive and sophisticated written record laid the basis for subsequent philosophizing about music in the Western world (see Bowman 1998; important modern contributions include Kivy  1984,  1997; Levinson  1990; Budd 1995; and Scruton 1997). Greeks attributed to the philosopher-sage Pythagoras of Samos (c.570–495 bce) the discovery that musical intervals can be analysed in terms of numerical ratios, as demonstrated by the way a vibrating string or a hollow pipe will produce different pitches when different proportions of their length are utilized: the octave is produced by the ratio 2:1, the fifth by 3:2, the fourth by 4:3.1 In the face of these phenomena, early Pythag­oreans ascribed a cosmic and ethical significance to music as they did to number. Music was esteemed as a tangible earthly counterpart to the mathematical pattern of the universe; and the ratios of musical attunement were believed by Pythag­oras and his successors to reflect the principle of cosmic order, the so-called harmony of the spheres, with the resulting sounds being thought to have magical and therapeutic qualities (see Rocconi 2009). In addition to sayings attributed to Pythagoras, the earliest evidence for Greek ideas about music is found in testimonies regarding the chorus director Lasus of Hermione (late sixth century bce) and citations of the sophist Damon of Oa (mid-fifth century bce); these were practising musicians and thinkers interested in analysing musical structures. Influences from these quarters, explicit or otherwise, are evident in Plato (427–347 bce) and his pupil Aristotle (384–322 bce), who along with later theorists also preserve discussions of epistemological, methodological, and metaphysical ideas

118   Armand D’Angour relating to music. Fundam­ental ancient categories of philosophical inquiry into the mimetic, inspir­ational, and ethical-emotive aspects the nature of music were laid out in the lengthy if unsystematic discussions in the dialogues of Plato, followed by the more methodical analyses of Aristotle. Subsequently, Aristotle’s pupil Aristoxenus of Tarentum (born c.375 bce) made major contributions to musical theory in his voluminous writings, of which only Elements of Harmony (nearly complete) and fragments of other works survive. Later divergent treat­ ments of philosophical and theoretical importance include the On Music of the Epicurean philo­sopher Philodemus of Gadara (first century bce), the Harmonics of the mathematician Ptolemy (born c.90 ce), and the compendious On Music of Aristides Quintilianus (third century ce). In addition, the scholar-philosopher Athenaeus of Naucratis (early third century ce) provides important information about music in a discussion presented in his Deipnosophistae (Experts at Dinner); elements of all of these are valuably compiled in a work once attributed to the historian Plutarch now known as the Pseudo-Plutarchan On Music (perhaps fifth century ce). In addition to these writings there are around sixty “musical documents”, texts preserved on papyrus and stone that have come to scholarly attention since the sixteenth century, featuring ancient Greek melodic signs. The pitches indicated by the signs are known from tables preserved in a precious handbook that has survived in manuscript tradition from the time it was compiled in late antiquity (perhaps fifth century ce) by Alypius.2 Scholarship on ancient music, beginning with the important Renaissance treatise of Vincenzo Galilei Dialogo della musica antica e della moderna published in 1581, has focused on discussing and elucidating the ancient accounts.3 While the focus of attention has tended to be technical rather than philosophical, discussion has also revolved around the vexed question of the role of ethos—ethical character—in relation to the mimetic (i.e., representational or imitative) qualities of musical modes, or harmoniai. Modal ethos and mimesis were key concerns for Plato and Aristotle; but it should be noted that harmonia in archaic Greece (which has almost nothing to do with harmony in its modern sense) connotes something different from the scale-structures used in later Church music, and that Aristotle disagreed with Plato in many areas and details of the interpretation of modal ethos, as exemplified by his rejection of Plato’s commendation of the Phrygian harmonia as suitable for inculcating good character. Uncertainty about the precise sonic referents of such terms has meant that important modern discussions of ethos in ancient Greek music are prone to offer general reflections and analyses rather than to relate the issue to specific musical examples (see, for example, Lippman 1964; Anderson 1966; Mathiesen 1999; Halliwell 2002; Barker 2007; and in general Rocconi 2009). Musical referents are generally assumed to be available to be heard in discussions of more recent music, and this chapter attempts a novel approach to ancient Greek music by seeking to relate philosophical and theoretical discussions to what is known about how actual sounds might have been heard. (For a fuller account of this approach, see Phillips and D’Angour 2018.) The attempt to relate theoretical perspectives to ancient auditory realities has generally been considered an impossibility in view of the scant evidence for the actual sounds. However, a better understanding of

Ancient Greece   119 these sounds is clearly desirable, since faulty assumptions in this regard are bound to vitiate, if not altogether impugn, attempts to engage with or critique Greek philosophical approaches. If we seek, for instance, to understand what Plato meant by the calling the Dorian mode “manly” and the Ionian “effeminate,” it will help to know something of the sounds produced in practice by voices or instruments performing in those modes. The study of ancient music has also been bedevilled by excessively technical presentations and the unhelpful application of obscure ancient terms.4 In recent years, however, investigations into practical, organological, and ethnographic aspects of ancient performance have begun to illuminate how some kinds of music in ancient Greece may have sounded in practice (West 1992; Pöhlmann and West 2001; Hagel 2009).5 The task of relating these sounds to ancient musical philosophy may now be tentatively attempted: later in this chapter I discuss some actual examples of ancient Greek songs preserved on stone and papyrus, attempting to relate them directly to what we learn about music from philosophical and theoretical discourses.

Archaic Greece (c.750–500 bce): The Age of Epic and Lyric Song In ancient as in modern times, music was widely associated with religious worship and ritual activity. The Greeks believed that the gods were required to be honoured and gratified by sung invocations and prayers, and music itself was spoken of by Greek poets as being a creation and gift of the gods. The invention of the principal instruments of the string and wind families, the lyre and the aulos (double pipe), was attributed to divinities Hermes and Athena respectively.6 The found­ational literary figures of Greek culture, the epic poets Homer and Hesiod (eighth–seventh centuries bce), attribute the inspiration for their own musical practices and skills to the Muses, goddesses of song, dance, and story, who are invoked at the beginning of their songs. From the name of the Muses (Mousai) arose the technical term mousikē. This had a much wider connotation than our term “music,” embracing a variety of disciplines and genres as suggested by the names attributed to the goddesses by Hesiod that were indicative of their appropriate domains. Thus, Melpomene was later identified as the Muse of tragic song (molpē), Terpsichore the Muse of dance (choreia), and others of the nine Muses were assigned to forms of musico-poetic expression including epic song (Calliope), love songs (Erato), comedy-pastoral singing (Thaleia), and historical narrative (Clio).7 These genres are for the most part intimately wedded to discursive structures and semantic content, and their disparate character makes it difficult to ascribe to mousikē a uniform set of ethical or aesthetic categories. The musical idioms and styles of Greek song were in large part related to the natural musicality of spoken Greek: prior to the change to dynamic stress accents around the mid-second century ce, the language had a quantitative rhythmical structure and an

120   Armand D’Angour intrinsic melodic component (Horrocks 2010, 167). The rhythmic basis arose from the relative durations that were accorded in everyday speech to each syllable, which conventionally were assigned either short or long quantities. For the purposes of song, these were combined into more or less complicated regular patterns to which metrical names such as “dactyl” and “iamb” were later accorded. The melodic element of speech involved a rise or fall (or both) in pitch, usually on the vowel of one particular syllable of a word. These pitch-changes were eventually indicated by the writing of accents (acute, grave, and circumflex) over the vowels (Probert 2003, 3–8). Both the melodic and rhythmical elements formed inescapable aspects of archaic and classical song, or melos, a term that covers much of the poetic and literary output of ancient Greek song-culture. (For the notion of “song-culture” see Herington 1985, 3–4.) In the earliest literary accounts of musical practices, those depicted in the epics of Homer and Hesiod, music is presented as an adjunct to words and dancing. It is conceived as a divine gift to be enjoyed both in public (by Homeric audiences who invariably listen in silence) and in private. In a scene in Homer’s Iliad, the hero Achilles, having withdrawn from the fighting in anger at being slighted, “gladdens his heart” by singing of the feats of warriors, accompanying himself on an elaborately decorated lyre. The narrative of Homer’s Odyssey features two minstrels (evidently modelled on Homer himself) who are experts on the lyre (phorminx) and sing songs describing stories of heroes and gods, attributing their skill both to self-instruction and to divine favour (Homer, Odyssey 22.347). The sounds of the minstrels’ songs, which are likely to reflect Homer’s own output, may be speculatively reconstructed from the texts of epic poetry whose words preserve evidence for both their rhythm and melodic shape. The rhythm used by Greek bards was dactylic hexameter, called by Aristotle (Poetics 1459b34) “the stateliest and weightiest” of metres. In it, words are placed into a regular syllabic pattern consisting of six dactyls, a dactyl being ♩♪♪ or ♩♩ (the contracted form was always used in the last bar of each verse). The melody was likely to have accorded with the pitch contours inherent in Greek speech, with the melodic line restricted to a few fixed notes that follow the pitches to which the strings of the phorminx were tuned (West 1981 offers a speculative musical reconstruction). The general musical effect would have been formulaic, repetitive, and perhaps somewhat hypnotic; one of the key Greek terms used to describe its effect is thelxis (enchantment) (Halliwell 2011, 47–51). The assumption that epic songs were not melodically arresting or adventurous is supported by the fact that by the sixth century bce they were no longer sung to their original melodic formulae, but declaimed by professional reciters called rhapsodes. On contemporary vase-paintings, rhapsodes are invariably shown with an arm outstretched resting on a staff, rather than holding a musical instrument; and in the fifth century new musical settings of Homeric passages were performed by kitharodes, who sang to the accompaniment of the kithara (Power 2010). Meanwhile, new kinds of musical expression had been developed during the centuries following Homer, notably music used to accompany the solo lyric songs of poets (properly singer-songwriters) such as Sappho and Anacreon, and choral lyric songs such as those of Stesichorus and Pindar. Information

Ancient Greece   121 about how these poets’ songs and instrumental accompaniments sounded is virtually non-existent, though some indications can be derived from the texts themselves through analyses of rhythms and details provided of instrumental accompaniment. Prior to the appearance of a standard system of notation (first attested in the late fourth century and probably devised in the mid-fifth century bce), the melodies to which words were set are likely to have involved semi-formulaic manipulations of melodic shapes within a received framework of harmonic idioms. (One suggestion for a Pindaric melodic setting can be found in D’Angour 2013.)

The Classical Period (c.500–300 bce): From Lasus to Aristotle Alongside the mathematical approach to musical sound, Greeks of the sixth and fifth centuries bce pondered the ethical aspects of music in relation to its role in forming character, promoting social harmony, and educating young citizens. Those influenced by Pythagorean thought made progress in investigating the acoustic underpinnings of musical sound, but alongside such scientific approaches the notion that music has a transcendent, divine origin and inspiration persisted. However, a distinction arose between the work of investigators of musical sound (mousikoi, “experts on music,” later also called harmonikoi, “experts in harmonia”) and its practical realization by singers, instru­mentalists, and choral directors. While musical composition and performance continued to follow their own practical logic, “harmonics” was to develop along its own path, eventually becoming (as music in mathematized form) one of the disciplines in the quadrivium of the Renaissance educational curriculum. Performers in the late sixth century bce are said to have made changes in many elements of traditional music, introducing fresh rhythmical and melodic forms and new harmonic modulations. Testimonies from contemporaries such as the poet Pindar and later scholarly commentators confirm the interest of the famous lyric poet and choir conductor Lasus of Hermione in questions of euphony and choral coordination. For example, he is known for having sought to reduce the unpleasant effect of clashing sibilants in the dithyramb, a ritual song in honour of Dionysus involving large forces of singer-dancers, first by removing the “s” from his compositions altogether, and later by reforming the performance arrange­ment from a line to a circle to ensure better visual and aural coordination (D’Angour 1997). The tendency towards greater complexity of melodic form and musical mimeticism brought critical reactions from traditionalists. Authoritative commentators from the late fifth century bce onwards tend to commend the simplicity and decorum of earlier music, in contrast to what they heard as the disreputable and excessive styles of later musicians, particularly the socalled New Musicians whose heyday was the mid- to late fifth century (see Csapo 2004).

122   Armand D’Angour The sophist Damon of Oa is quoted approv­ingly by Plato as insisting that “any change in styles of mousikē invariably leads to major disruptions in the political and social sphere” (Republic 424c). Taking his cue from Damon, Plato made his own determination of the right kind of music to be permitted in an ideal state by adjudicating on the presumed ethical dimensions of different modes. His discussions concentrate on the qualities of Greek song-poetry, and in particular on the ethos that might be attached to or associated with harmoniai, the specific harmonic structures recognized as underlying the melodic, non-polyphonic, expression of song (see Winnington-Ingram 1936). Plato’s main concern was that these harmoniai and the words to which they were sung have the power, via an unexplained process of mimesis, to affect the condition of the soul or psyche (psūchē). In consequence, he writes, those who are looking for the best kind of singing and music must look not for the kind that is pleasant, but that which is correct. An imitation would be correct, we claim, if it turns out to be like the object imitated in quantity and in quality. (Laws 668b4–7)

Different harmoniai were thought to possess distinguishable, intrinsic ethical qualities and effects: thus Plato claims that the Dorian harmonia is “manly and conducive to courage,” the Phrygian harmonia “represents moderation,” while the Lydian is “effeminate and over-emotional” (Republic 398d–e). He gives no account of how a particular ethos arises from the sounds produced by these harmoniai, whether on voice or instruments. Crucial to understanding the scope of Plato’s concern and of the ethical issues raised by him is the fact that the mousikē on which he focuses his attention is attached to a verbal compon­ent in genres such as epic, lyric, or tragic poetry. Although by the time of Lasus the nature and effect of musical sound was analysed separately from those of words, Plato argued that logos, which means both “reason” and “speech,” was central to all human activity. This led to his repudiation of purely musical sounds, whether they were melodic, rhythmic, or instru­mental effects, as insusceptible to and unworthy of philosophical examin­ation (Laws 669e). Given that the use of any particular harmonia was regularly associated with the singing of specific musico-poetic genres, it may seem surprising that the philosophers did not consider (as Philodemus was later to argue) that the different effects of harmoniai arose largely, if not wholly, from the semantic associations of the texts with which different harmoniai were traditionally associated. Plato’s ethical focus was to mean that issues of musical aesthetics long remained undeveloped in ancient Greek thought. Alongside his ethical preoccupations with mousikē, however, Plato acknowledged en passant that music as such can provide straightforwardly auditory pleasure. In the dialogue Philebus (51d), we read: Sounds which are smooth and clear and emit a single pure note are beautiful, not relatively, but absolutely, and there are pleasures which relate to these by nature and result from them.

Ancient Greece   123 Plato’s recognition of the sheer sensual power of sound is clear from his concern in his Republic that a young man should not be “unharmonized” by allowing music “to captivate his soul with its piping, and to pour into his soul through his ears, as through a funnel, the sweet and soft and mournful harmoniai, so that he spends his whole life humming, enraptured by song (melos)” (Republic 411a5–9). The pleasure afforded by musical sounds could, however, be guided to good purpose through the use of reason (logos): The function of compositions that make use of audible sound is to express harmony. Harmony has motions akin to the revolutions in our souls; it is a gift of the Muses if we engage with it intelligently, i.e., not for the sake of irrational pleasure in the way most people now make use of it, but as an ally for bringing order to the revolutions in souls that have lost their harmony so as to restore them to concord.  (Timaeus 47c7–d7)

Plato’s admission that “irrational pleasure” (alogos hēdonē, in literal terms “pleasure without logos”) is what most people derive from music indicates that the predominant response was held to be an aesthetic one: an engagement of the senses with musical sound rather than an ethical or cognitive approval of a song’s poetic content. But Plato advised that in practice the choice of mousikē should be guided by the judgements of older and wiser men whose notions of pleasure were better informed than those of the man in the street: I agree with the majority that pleasure is a proper criterion in the arts, but not the pleasure felt by just anybody. The finest productions of the Muses are the ones that appeal to men of high caliber and good education, and particularly to those whose education and moral standards are superior to others.  (Laws 658e6–659a1)

Aristotle and Musical Aesthetics Aristotle took his cue from Plato by taking the mimetic basis of music as his point of departure. He argues in Politics that since music influences the character or disposition of those who listen to it, it must involve the right kind of ethical representation: Rhythm and melody supply imitations of anger and gentleness, and also of courage and temperance, and of all the qualities contrary to these, and of the other qualities of character, which hardly fall short of the actual affections, as we know from our own experience, for in listening to such strains our souls undergo a change. (Aristotle, Politics 1340a)

Aristotle takes leave of Plato, however, in arguing that music can reasonably be used for purposes of recreation and pleasure rather than solely for education, and that even purely instrumental music can be a means of relaxation and enjoyment:

124   Armand D’Angour It is generally agreed that the conduct of life should allow not only goodness but pleasure, since happiness comes from a combination of the two. We all say that music, whether purely instrumental or accompanied by song, is one of the most pleasurable things there is.  (Politics 1339b)

Despite this acknowledgement of the frankly aesthetic appeal of music per se, we find no systematic explanations of how the distinctive elements of musical sound—its specific rhythms, harmoniai, instrumental timbres, and so on—achieve their effects, pleas­ur­a­ble or otherwise. A writer of Aristotle’s school outlines an argument of the kind that the philosopher himself might have proposed: Why does everyone enjoy rhythm and melody and all concordant sounds? Is it because we naturally enjoy all natural movements? An indication of this is that children enjoy these from the moment they are born. We enjoy different kinds of melody because of their ēthos, but we enjoy rhythm because it is divided up in a distinctive and regular way and moves us in an orderly manner. Orderly movement is more closely akin to us than disorderly, so is more natural.  (Pseudo-Aristotle, Problems 19.38)

Even if it were accepted that what is “natural and orderly” is a prerequisite for pleasure (and the Greeks themselves were often uncomfortably aware that unnatural soundeffects and irregular rhythms could be no less appealing to listeners), surviving ancient treatments give limited help in explaining how music achieves its impact in practice. Moreover, while Aristotle was still wedded to the notion that certain kinds of music created different ethical states in listeners, others were already inclined to deny it: the anonymous philosophical author of the Hibeh musical papyrus argues that empirical observation proves that different musical styles cannot engender the ethical qualities that are claimed as their effects.8 The strongest rebuttal of the idea of musical ethos emerges in the incompletely preserved work of the Epicurean writer Philodemus of Gadara, writing in the first century bce. Philodemus asserts that musical sound evokes solely aesthetic responses, and that the ethical effects of music arise solely from the words it accompanies. The function of music, he argues, is to provide pleasure or entertainment through sound alone, which plays no part in rational thought: Musicians also produce pieces which have no significance, such as instrumental music and trills . . . Men like Pindar and Simonides were not simply musicians, but musicians and poets: it is as musicians that they gave pleasure, and as poets that they wrote the words.  (On Music 4, 143.17–21, 27–33)

Coming after and opposing the attempts by Plato and Aristotle to find an ethical basis for music (particularly for educational purposes), such a view might be characterized as “reductive” (Halliwell  2002, 242). Philodemus’s thoughts may be related both to the argument of the Hibeh papyrus author and to modern debates about musical formalism, but he does not form part of a continuous tradition of musical philosophizing. It is

Ancient Greece   125 noteworthy that he raises a distinction between music and words in the work of two named lyric poets—a rare example of comment on the specifically musical effects created by particular ancient composers whose music the author would have been in a position to hear performed. Even less common is comment on the music of a particular song or section of song. A passage in which Dionysius of Halicarnassus, writing in the first century bc, analyses the musical effects of some lines of a Euripidean choral song is unusual enough for Pöhlmann and West (2001, 10–11) to accord it the status of a “document of ancient music” in its own right. There is no similar commentary that might allow us to understand better the way the melody or rhythm of, say, a song of Sappho or a passage from a Homeric hymn were heard in ancient times. Rare and passing mention is found in classical writers about the musical effect of the works of composers such as the tragedian Phrynichus of Athens, who “was always sipping on the nectar of ambrosial melodies to bring forth sweet song” (Aristophanes, Birds 748–751; cf. Wasps 220); or Tynnichus of Chalcis, whose paean (prayer to Apollo) “is virtually the most beautiful of all songs” (Plato, Ion 534d5–e1). Nowhere do we find an articulation of the reasons why particular melodies should be honoured for such qualities as sweetness or beauty, let alone a description of their specific musical features. Of course, having an understanding how a particular song or piece of music sounded is not the same as having a sense of how it was heard by listeners in ancient times. The comic parodies of the dramatists’ songs in Aristophanes’s Frogs perhaps offer the most valuable (if partial and, given the context, exaggerated) evidence for the way the effects of melody or rhythm in specific instances might have been received by contemporaries. Otherwise we are largely dependent on authors of the Roman period and later for scattered and unsystematic insights into the musical impact of songs or poetic compositions. Thus, the grammarian Dionysius of Halicarnassus (first century bce) illustrates the way specific Homeric verses were felt to deploy rhythmic effects, while Pollux (second century ce) preserves details about the structure and intended effects of the Pythian Air (see West  1992, 212–213). Aelian (early third century ce) records how the sixthcentury statesman Solon of Athens, entranced by his nephew’s singing of a melos of Sappho, expressed the feeling that he might happily die if only he could be taught to perform the piece (fr. 187). As neither the poem in question nor the precise basis of Solon’s enthusiasm is identified, it is unclear how far the reported response should be thought to relate to the words of the song rather than to its rhythmic or melodic expression or to the particular vocal and instrumental virtues displayed on the occasion. The ecstatic response to a song performance is likely to have depended on a combination of all these factors; but the attempt to find musical commentary on a particular text is particularly impeded by the tendency of ancient authors to conflate words and music when commenting on the effect of mousikē. Many modern scholars of ancient music overlook this tendency due to the modern predilection for understanding music as distinct from semantic content. (For an approach to distinguishing words from music in ancient discussions of mousikē, see D’Angour 2015.) When the literary critic Longinus many centuries later (the date of his treatise is not certain, but is generally thought to be

126   Armand D’Angour third century ce) presents a descriptive interpretation of a specific song by Sappho, the musical dimension is wholly submerged: his treatment of a substantial portion of the poem deals exclusively with style and imagery (Longinus 10). What might account for the apparent lack of interest by ancient authors in recording and preserving the specific melodies that formed such a large part of their musico-literary heritage? One element is that while melody was not a negligible aspect of a song’s power in ancient ears, it was in theory secondary to rhythm.9 Although the particular musical realization of a song might have made a difference to its reception, the absence of comment on the nature of a melodic line or passage from the classical period may suggest that in many cases the tune was not considered to be a fixed and memorable feature of the poet’s composition. This thesis is consistent with the fact that the philosophers’ and musical theorists’ emphasis is less on melody than on harmonia.10 In the absence of a system of vocal notation classical poet-composers and singer-performers may have employed variable, orally-transmitted melodic motives conforming to appropriate harmoniai (see D’Angour 2011, 203–204). As with oral folk music traditions universally, melody will often have been applied in a flexible and relatively free fashion.11 Consequently, the melodies of most sung texts until around the mid-fifth century might seldom have been determinate or carried significant authorial status. Strikingly, no ancient source raises the distinction between the words of a song and its music as such. The disposition of rhythm, however, which was a function of the syllabic quantities of words, was to a greater extent at the author’s command, and during the earlier period of Greek musical history, when standard rhythms were being established, metre was considered of greater importance than melody.12 But equally, the rhythms that arose from words—iambic (∪ − ∪ −/∪ − ∪ − . . .), dactylic (− ∪ ∪/− ∪ ∪ . . .), paeonic (− ∪ −/− ∪ ∪∪ . . .), and so on—­ rapidly became conventional within their generic contexts. Although a few individual composers, most strikingly the fifth-century poet Pindar and the dramatists of the period (the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and the comic poet Aristophanes) in their choral compositions, created new and original bodies of rhythmical movement for their songs, the rhythmic effects of a particular song or passage tended to attract notice in ancient sources only if they were heard as being wilfully unconventional.13

Rhythm in Musical Texts In addition to the songs that survive solely as literary texts, some precious fragments of ancient Greek music survive inscribed on stone and papyrus, and detailed explanations of the notation used in these documents are preserved from late antiquity. The fragments offer invaluable indications of how ancient music and song were heard and played in practice, and provide a new basis for evaluating philosophical approaches to ancient music. Scholarly work in recent decades (West 1992; Pöhlmann and West 2001) has led to a more or less accurate transcription into modern musical notation of the bulk of musically notated papyri and inscriptions. What remains to be done is to elicit musical

Ancient Greece   127 sense from the scores, a task that has hitherto led to expressions of frustration such as “that way madness lies” (Matthiesen 1999, 5). Before considering the evidence of these melodic “scores,” it is worth attempting to extract the way rhythms inherent in Greek texts might repay analysis of their musical effects. The late Roman musical author Aristides Quintilianus writes: Long syllables create magnificence in diction, short ones the opposite . . . Feet in which long syllables come first, or cannot be resolved, or form the foot’s boundaries, or are in the majority, are the most elegant and dignified . . . Those in which short syllables predominate are plainer and less elevated.  (Aristides Quintilianus 2.11.35–42)

In practice, the composition of verses using predominantly long or short syllables creates a far greater variety of effects than those described. Some of these are obviously intended to be mimetic. Thus we find in the Iliad a wholly spondaic verse (twelve long syllables), the sound of which clearly aims to represent the emotional keening of Achilles over his slain companion: “repeatedly calling on the spirit of poor Patroclus” (Iliad 23.221). Elsewhere, predominantly dactylic verses depict the agitated galloping of mules (Iliad 23.116) or (in the Odyssey) imitate the clattering descent of Sisyphus’s rock as “the irrepressible boulder tumbled back down to the plain” (Odyssey 11.598). Such metrical onomatopoeia is combined with suggestive assonance and consonant clusters representing the rattling of hooves or the clattering of the boulder over rocks. Verbal music of this kind, of which many instances of a more subtle kind may be detected, is more regularly found in Latin verse; however, the occasions for purely mimetic effects in poetry are infrequent, and programmatic effects would become hackneyed if overused. While the above examples point to an undoubted awareness of Greek musician-poets and their followers that metrical devices, along with other aural techniques, might be employed for musical function and effect, they are rarely highlighted in this way by ancient theorists, who tend to concentrate on the imagery evoked by a poet’s choice of words rather than on the qualities of rhythm and sound. This may be because metrical effects were largely taken for granted; and it is also significant that the dynamic rhythm (i.e., the pulse) of Greek verse may have been articulated by bodily movement as much or more than in the enunciation of words. Aristides writes: Rhythm as a whole is perceived by these three senses: sight, as in dancing; hearing, as in melody, and touch, by which we perceive, for instance, the pulsations of our arteries. Musical rhythm is perceived by two of them, sight and hearing. In music, rhythm is imposed on the movement of the body, on melody, and on diction, either on their own or in conjunction with the others.  (Aristides Quintilianus 1.13.16–22)

While bodily sensation is the basis for both the generation of rhythm and its appeal, the purely quantitative study of metre elides any presence of a felt pulse. Aristoxenus speaks of arsis and basis in metrical feet, terms which refer literally to the “raising” and “stepping” of a dancer’s feet or body (the term thesis for “placing” is later more common), but he leaves unclear how the rhythmical pulse of a particular metre was heard in practice.

128   Armand D’Angour A few instances of the use of diacritical marks on the musical documents, in the form of dots or points (stigmai) placed above syllables and indicative of arsis, give pointers to how certain rhythms may have worked in practice. While they give invaluable indications of the rhythmic feel of some metrical systems, they equally demonstrate that we cannot wholly rely on our own rhythmic assumptions or aesthetic intuitions when attempting to appreciate the pulse underlying Greek metre. The discrepancy is demonstrated when we consider the metre of the Seikilos song, a complete four-line ditty dating from the second century ce, inscribed on a marble column (Pöhlmann and West 2001, 88–91). It may be translated thus to preserve a sense of its rhythm and rhyme: While you live, shine bright; don’t let sorrow you benight; We don’t have life for long, my friend; To everything Time demands an end.

The song’s metre is in theory iambic (the basic unit being short–long–short–long ∪ − ∪ −, or long–long–short–long − − ∪ −), and it contains both syncopation (literally elided beats, for example, ∪ − ∧−, but in vocal practice a prolongation of syllables) and resolution (two short syllables in place of a long one, for example, ∪ ∪∪ ∪ − for ∪ − ∪ −). In the absence of other indications, the second line of the song, standardly scanned in the Greek text − ∪ ∪ −/∪ − −, is likely to be read with dynamic stresses on the long positions and a compensatory shortening of the value of the double-short element, creating a somewhat insistent and offbeat effect (cf. West 1982, 23–24). The duration-signs and stigmai show, however, that the intended rhythm of those words had evenly spaced pulses, as indicated by the modern transcription in Example 6.1. The balanced musical phrases seem designed to have a tranquil and measured effect, well suited to the meaning of the song. The composition also reflects a surprisingly familiar sensibility regarding melodic shape: there are, for example, mimetically falling cadences on the word “benight” and on the plangent last syllable of the song. In its general musical effect, the melody of this late pagan music would not seem out of place in the context of Gregorian chant from seven centuries later. It seems

Example 6.1  “While you live, shine bright; don’t let sorrow you benight; we aren’t alive for long, my friend; to everything time demands an end.” Seikilos Song, transcribed from an ­inscription on stone (2nd century AD). Transcription and translation by the author.

Ancient Greece   129 perverse to rule out a connection (as scholars have been inclined to do) to the earliest acknowledged Christian roots of the Western musical tradition. Another instance of counter-intuitive rhythmic indications, this time from the classical period, appears on the papyrus fragment that contains part of a choral ode from Euripides’s Orestes (lines 338–344), including what scholars generally suppose was Euripides’s own musical setting. The ode is in dochmiacs, a metre found in choral passages in every extant Greek tragedy and known for exhibiting qualities of agitation or passion, as the accompanying words here (“I weep, I weep for you! Your mother’s blood is driving you to frenzy!”) make explicit. The agitation is inscribed into the metre’s irregular pattern of heavy and light syllables, and is intensified by its tendency to admit extensive resolution (the replacement of a heavy position by two light ones) and to drag syllables so that they become heavy where they are standardly light in that position of the metre. The basic dochmiac colon is ∪ − − ∪ − (short–long–long–short–long), and when a reader stresses the heavy positions, the result is the rhythm of the mnemonic “the wise kangaroos [. . . di dum] / prefer boots to shoes [. . . di dum].” This realization of the metre also serves to regularize it by attributing syllable durations to each metron of 1–3–2–1–3 [+2] (i.e., ending with two beats’ rest). This regularization, however, does not respect the ratio of 2:1 that ancient musical theorists propose as the standard relation of heavy to light syllables: the correct time-durations of syllables in a pair of conjoined dochmiac cola should be 1–2–2–1–2/1–2–2–1–2. The papyrus marks stigmai over the first and third syllables, thus indicating that the dancer’s feet should rest on the ground on the second and fourth + fifth elements of the pattern. If these syllables bore the resultant dynamic stress, a very different effect emerges: a more accurate mnemonic (with stresses italicized) would run “that ol’ man river, he jus’ keeps rolling” (see D’Angour 2006b, 491–492). The correct time-durations splits the colon into an unequal ratio of syllable durations (3:5), reinforcing what ancient musical authors speak of as the mixed rhythm of the dochmiac: with its cross-rhythms and offbeat stresses, this was a naturally agitated rhythm. The offbeat nature of the dochmiac bespeaks a connection between the use of particular metrical patterns and the evocation of different kinds of aesthetic appreciation. “Compound rhythms are more emotional,” writes Aristides, because the rhythms which constitute them are generally unequal. The impression they give is turbulent, because the pattern by which they are constructed doesn’t keep the same order of parts—sometimes starting long and ending short, sometimes the reverse, sometimes starting with a downstep and other times not . . . By imposing a diversity of movement on the body they lead the mind into great ­confusion.  (Aristides Quintilianus 2.15.34–44)

In a fragment from an early fifth-century satyr-chorus by Pratinas of Phlius, the dram­a­ tist employs a medley of different metrical cola, drawing explicit attention to the agitated conflict of rhythm and melody by coining an extravagant compound word “rhythm-tune-step-violating.” With their effusive verbal expressions, the satyrs

130   Armand D’Angour c­ondemn the transgressive volubility of the aulos, mimicking through sound and rhythms the restless excitement aroused by the instrument’s sonic effects: What commotion is this? What are these dance-steps? What outrage has reached the noisy altar of Dionysos? . . . . . . . . . . . . Strike the pipe with its breath of dappled toad! Burn the spit-consuming reed with its deep-voiced chatter, the rhythm-tune-step-violating body moulded by the drill! (Pratinas, Poetae Melici Graeci 708:1–2, 10–12)

The surviving lyrics of late fifth-century New Musicians such as Timotheus of Miletus demonstrate a similar rhythmic freedom and exuberance of a kind that made them feel strikingly lawless to musical traditionalists, but ensured their widespread popularity and continued appeal for centuries (Csapo and Wilson 2009).

Melody, Voice, Instruments Sound quality and melodic composition are no better served by ancient comments and analyses than are rhythm and metre. The Greek term commonly used to commend a quality of musical sound produced by voices or instruments is ligus, “clear” or “penetrating.” An Aristotelian commentator describes the quality as being pure and concentrated, like the voices of cicadas, grasshoppers, and nightingales, and generally like any pure vocal emission with no extraneous noise mixed in. It is characterized not by loud volume, low register, or interacting sounds, but by a high-pitched utterance that is pure and well-defined.  (Pseudo-Aristotle, De Audibilibus 804a21–28)

Ligus is found with reference to both human and animal voices, and to instruments that include both the lyre and the aulos. The appreciation of sonic qualities was bound to be partly a matter of taste, which Plato connected to the moral inclinations of individual hearers: People to whom what is said or sung or performed in any way is congenial (on the basis of their nature, habits, or both together) enjoy them and praise them, and are bound to call them good. Those to whose nature or disposition or habit they are contrary cannot enjoy or praise them, and must call them bad.  (Plato, Laws 655d7–e5)

Aristides Quintilianus follows Plato’s lead in connecting the enjoyment of particular instruments to the way these seem to imitate the particular ēthos of a hearer: Just as no one kind of voice or harmonia is pleasing to every listener, but one gives delight to some and another to others, so with instruments, whatever sounds a

Ancient Greece   131 ­ articular character resembles will lead him to enjoy and approve of the correp sponding instruments.  (Aristides Quintilianus 2.16.17–22)

Plato insisted, as we have seen, that music can only be judged good if it is correct in its imitation of action and character. But how should such correctness be interpreted in practice? As regards the use of instruments, Plato proposed banning the aulos altogether from his ideal state, not because of the sounds it produced (though its sheer volume and volubility may have added to its excessive and disreputable associations) but because of its suspect “panharmonism,” that is, its ability to be played in all the different harmoniai. Such versatility attested to its promiscuous character by comparison with instruments such as the lyre, whose strings would have to be tuned to one particular harmonia and ideally would not be required to deviate from that mode.14 Styles of musical composition should similarly be restricted, in Plato’s view, to what is appropriate and fitting in mimetic terms: The Muses would never make so gross an error as to compose words suitable for men and then give the melody a colouring suitable to women, to put together a melody and postures of free men, and then fit to them rhythms proper to slaves and servile persons . . . nor would they ever put together in the same piece the sounds of wild beasts and men and instruments, and noises of all sorts, ostensibly in imitation of a single object.  (Plato, Laws 669c3–d2)

The objects of Plato’s distaste will have included popular bravura instrumental performances of pieces for solo kithara or aulos, the latter being well exemplified by the “Pythian Air,” a dramatic musical depiction of the myth of Apollo’s slaying of the python at Delphi. This variegated five-part competition piece, composed and performed by the sixth-­ century piper Sakadas of Argos, included virtuoso technical devices such as the use of the aulos to imitate the hissing of the dying snake. A prize-winning fifth-century performance of the “Many-Headed Air,” a piece with similar mimetic and structural qualities depicting the slaying of the Gorgon by Perseus, may be the event celebrated by Pindar in his Twelfth Pythian Ode (Phillips 2013, 39–40). The longevity of these pieces suggests that Greek audiences were enthralled by their extravagance and variety.15 Plato’s repeated repudiation of common musical taste indicates that the majority of hearers did not share his aesthetic conservatism in this respect. A similar expressive mimeticism informed the narrative songs (nomoi) of Timotheus, which boldly exploited musical onomatopoeia and dynamic extremes: one of his pieces (“Nauplios”) had a musical representation of a storm, while another imitated Semele’s cries in labour (“Birthpangs of Semele”).16 The fact that the “Pythian Air,” as an auletic composition, had no place for words (logos) will have compounded its ethical baseness in Plato’s eyes. Correctness for Plato would require, at least partly, that musical sound conform accurately to the rhythms and pitches of spoken Greek: We should not pursue intricately varied rhythms with every kind of motion, but find the rhythms that belong to an orderly and upright life. When we have found them we

132   Armand D’Angour must make the foot and the melody follow the words proper to such a life, and not make the words follow the foot and the melody.  (Plato, Republic 399c9–400a2)

The few surviving musical scores of songs appear to obey Plato’s strictures, in that the melodies are for the most part composed according to the pitch-profiles of Greek words. This conformity would have made the melodization seem natural to traditionally minded listeners, and it was something that musically educated youngsters in classical times was trained to observe by instructors: When they have taught him the use of the lyre, they introduce him to the poems of other excellent poets—the lyric poets—setting their verses to the lyre, and familiarizing the children’s souls to their rhythms and harmoniai. (Plato, Protagoras 326a6–b2)

Conformity to the rhythms of everyday speech will standardly have required setting no more than a single musical note of appropriate duration to a syllable, a practice indicated by the strictness with which metres are generally handled and responsional verse is composed. “Every Greek poet was his own composer,” writes Ann Dale, “and no poet would write words in elaborate metrical schemes merely to annihilate and overlay these by a different musical rhythm” (Dale 1969, 161). While this dictum seems to be largely true of the classical period, it should not be assumed that a convention of carefully metricized verbal composition cannot coexist with a looser approach to the application of melody to words. Deliberate deviation from pitch-accents for the sake of effect in a composed melody may have been a New Musical innovation adopted or even pioneered by Euripides himself (see D’Angour 2006a). Significantly, such nonconformity is a feature of the Orestes musical papyrus, where the melodic line appears to be composed to match the words’ meanings rather than their pitch inflections: thus, the last three syllables of katolophuromai (I lament) and kathiketeuomai (I beseech) are set to a falling cadence while the final three syllables of anabakcheuei ([your heart] leaps like in frenzy) are set to a strikingly higherpitched note than what precedes them. A commentator on this text notes that when it came to the words “terrible toils,” the chorus did not sing but loudly declaimed the words, a prefiguring of the technique of Sprechstimme with a striking effect in performance. This kind of word-painting was considered a notable feature of the New Musicians’ oeuvre; to many listeners it will have represented an emotionally powerful, rather than simply disreputable, aspect of the avant-garde musical aesthetic (D’Angour 2020).

Conclusions The aim of this discussion has been twofold: first, to suggest that the understanding of musical philosophy in ancient Greece might aim to go beyond standard restatements of ancient ideas of ethos and mimesis, and secondly to indicate something of the potential

Ancient Greece   133 that exists once actual musical sounds from antiquity—some only recently revealed, but others (such as metre) often overlooked in accounts of the material—are brought into the discussion. While the unspoken assumption of modern philosophers of music is that a body of familiar sound makes references to music relatively uncontroversial, the same cannot be said for students of ancient music, for whom the philosophical approaches of ancient thinkers can pose something of a challenge and a puzzle, not least due to the lack of knowledge of sonic referents. As another part of this discussion as demonstrated, the puzzle has been further deepened by the tendency of scholars to overlook the broad and strongly verbal connotations of the Greek word mousikē when discussing ancient philosophical approaches to music. In this chapter I have tried to offer a clearer delineation of the domain of investigation, and to provide a more focused approach to how we might think of the relationship of philosophical terms such as ethos and mimesis to that domain.

Notes 1. The attribution to Pythagoras is undoubtedly fanciful: see discussion in Burkert  1972, 375–383. 2. Barker  1984–9 gives translations of musically relevant passages in Homer, Pindar, and other poets, as well as the key musical writings of Aristoxenus, Ptolemy, Aristides Quintilianus, Pseudo-Plutarch, and Athenaeus. The musical documents are expertly compiled, laid out, and discussed in Pöhlmann and West 2001. 3. Galilei’s Dialogo has been translated into English, with introduction and notes, as Palisca 2003. 4. Even the significance of non-technical terms may be far from obvious: Mathiesen 1984, for example, analyses the rhythm of musical fragments using Aristides’s terminology of “masculine” and “feminine” notes, as if the aural implication of these terms were self-evident. 5. Painstaking reconstructions of ancient auloi discovered by archaeology have been undertaken since 2013 by the European Music Archaeology Project ( 6. Homeric Hymn to Hermes, Pindar, Twelfth Pythian Ode. 7. Hesiod, Theogony 77–9; the spheres of musico-poetic operation of the canonical Nine Muses was probably a Hellenistic (third-century bce) development. 8. Barker 1984–9, 1:183–185. The date of the author is unknown: West (1992, 247) writes “perhaps around 390 bc.” 9. See West 1992, 129–130. However, many passages of ancient poetry may be thought to suggest a play on words between mélē (songs) and mélei (it matters): see D’Angour 2005, 98. 10. Plato, for instance, while prepared to discuss the ethos of different harmoniai at length, pays little attention to the specifics effects of melos itself, and warns of the dangers of tunes generated in less admirable harmoniai; see Republic 411a5–9. 11. This is an uncontroversial point for ethnomusicologists, but it bears repetition as the stand­ard model for modern Western music (regularly projected on to ancient music) is to think of the music (that is, melody/harmony) as a determinate component. 12. Pseudo-Plutarch, On Music 1138bc (quoting Aristoxenus). How rhythm worked in nonvocal music is a matter of speculation, but some evidence may be extracted from theorists or derived from poetic sources (for example, see Phillips 2013).

134   Armand D’Angour 13. Aristophanes’s extended prolongation of the first syllable of heilissō in Frogs (1314, 1348) aims to parody Euripides’s violation of this principle; see D’Angour 2006a, 277. Although West states (1992, 201) that “no increase in duration. . . is implied or indeed admissible in these cases,” the repetition of the diphthong hei- (up to seven times, according to one MS) can hardly have failed to extend the syllable beyond its normal duration. 14. Plato, Republic 399c7–e3. The modulations employed by the New Musicians were felt to corrupt even lyre-playing, as indicated by a lively passage from the comedy Muses by Pherecrates: see D’Angour 2006a, 269. 15. A parallel may be drawn with aesthetic criteria for visual art, which emphasized illusionistic sensation and naïve representationalism, see D’Angour 2011, 151–153. 16. Athenaeus 8.337–8, 352a; see also Csapo and Wilson 2009, 283.

Works Cited Anderson, Warren D. 1966. Ethos and Education in Greek Music. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Barker, Andrew. 1984–9. Greek Musical Writings. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barker, Andrew. 2007. The Science of Harmonics in Classical Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bowman, Wayne D. 1998. Philosophical Perspectives on Music. New York: Oxford University Press. Budd, Malcolm. 1995. Values of Art: Pictures, Poetry, and Music. London: Allen Lane. Burkert, Walter. 1972. Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Csapo, Eric. 2004. “The Politics of the New Music.” In Music and the Muses: The Culture of “Mousikē” in the Classical Athenian City, edited by Penelope Murray and Peter Wilson, 207–248. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Csapo, Eric, and Peter Wilson. 2009. “Timotheus the New Musician.” In The Cambridge Companion to Greek Lyric, edited by Felix Budelmann, 277–294. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dale, Anne M. 1969. Collected Papers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. D’Angour, Armand. 1997. “How the Dithyramb Got Its Shape.” Classical Quarterly 47 (2): 331–351. D’Angour, Armand. 2005. “Intimations of the Classical in Early Greek mousikē.” In Classical Pasts: The Classical Traditions of Greece and Rome, edited by James  I.  Porter, 89–105. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. D’Angour, Armand. 2006a. “ The New Music: So What’s New?” In Rethinking Revolutions Through Ancient Greece, edited by Simon Goldhill and Robin Osborne, 264–283. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. D’Angour, Armand. 2006b. “Metre.” In The Edinburgh Companion to Greece and Rome, edited by Ed and Tom Harrison, 489–494. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. D’Angour, Armand. 2011. The Greeks and the New. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. D’Angour, Armand. 2013. “Sound and Music in the Dithyramb.” In Dithyramb in Context, edited by Barbara Kowalzig and Peter Wilson, 198–209. Oxford: Oxford University Press. D’Angour, Armand. 2015. “Sense and Sensation in Music.” In A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, edited by Pierre Destrée and Penelope Murray, 188–203. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ancient Greece   135 D’Angour, Armand. 2020 “ ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Music: The Ideology of Mousikē.” In A Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Music, edited by Tosca A. C. Lynch and Eleonora Rocconi, 409–420. London: Wiley-Blackwell. Hagel, Stefan. 2009. Ancient Greek Music: A New Technical History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Halliwell, Stephen. 2002. The Aesthetics of Mimesis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Halliwell, Stephen. 2011. Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Herington, John. 1985. Poetry into Drama. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Horrocks, Geoffrey. 2010. Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers. 2nd ed. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Kivy, Peter. 1984. Sound and Semblance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Kivy, Peter. 1997. Philosophies of Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levinson, Jerrold. 1990. Music, Art and Metaphysics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Lippman, Edward A. 1964. Musical Thought in Ancient Greece. New York: Columbia University Press. Mathiesen, Thomas  J. 1984. “Harmonia and Ethos in Ancient Greek Music.c Journal of Musicology 3, no. 3 (Summer): 264–279. Mathiesen, Thomas J. 1999. Apollo’s Lyre: Greek Music and Music Theory in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Palisca, Claude V., ed. 2003. Dialogue on Ancient and Modern Music by Vincenzo Galilei. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Phillips, Tom. 2013. “Epinician Variations: Music and Text in Pindar Pythians 2 and 12.” Classical Quarterly 63, no. 1 (May): 37–56. Phillips, Tom, and Armand D’Angour, eds. 2018. Music, Text, and Culture in Ancient Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pöhlmann, Egert, and Martin  L.  West. 2001. Documents of Ancient Greek Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Power, Timothy. 2010. The Culture of Kitharôidia. Washington, DC: Centre for Hellenic Studies. Probert, Philomen. 2003. A New Short Guide to the Accentuation of Ancient Greek. London: Bloomsbury. Rocconi, Eleonora. 2009. “Music.” In The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, edited by George Boys-Stones, Barbara Graziosi, and Phiroze Vasunia, 569–578. New York: Oxford University Press. Scruton, Roger. 1997. The Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. West, Martin. L. 1981. “The Singing of Homer and the Modes of Greek Music.” Journal of Hellenic Studies 101: 113–129. West, Martin. L. 1982. Greek Metre. Oxford: Oxford University Press. West, Martin. L. 1992. Ancient Greek Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Winnington-Ingram, Reginald. P. 1936. Mode in Ancient Greek Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Younger, John  G. 1998. Music in the Aegean Bronze Age. Jonsered, Sweden: Paul Äströms Förlag.

chapter 7

The M iddl e Age s Elizabeth Eva Leach

The rather large and ill-defined time period that is problematically lumped together as the Middle Ages is far from monolithic in its attitudes to both philosophy and music. It also differs significantly from later periods in that music and philosophy are not radically separated but were tightly related and mutually informing, even if the relative neglect of medieval music and philosophy in recent musicological and philosophical scholarship obscures our contemporary understanding of that connection. The medieval discipline of musica occupies a conceptual field that overlaps with yet differs from that of the modern term “music,” being specifically a speculative science of music theory that forms a significant subset of philosophical inquiry. As I stress in the Conclusion, this means that medieval music should not be understood through the commodity filter of modernity since its definition lies beyond the sonic; and it is never acousmatic since its producers shared the same space as its listeners.1 In the early medieval period especially, some of the key texts on both musica and other, more widely applicable branches of philosophy, are by the same writers, notably Augustine and Boethius (see Dyer 2009; Rico 2005a). Moreover, the huge stylistic and institutional changes in music across the medieval period, and the highly various ­socio-political formations within which it flourished, are matched by the changing ­institutional locations of philosophical inquiry, so that eventually philosophical preoccupations surface clearly in genres of song, its interpretation, and its notational precepts. Although traces of notation specifically for music in the West only begin in the ninth century, there are frequent references to music from before this period, especially in regard to its ethical aspects. Classical authorities continued to be copied and cited throughout the Middle Ages and were highly influential as they become refocused and reinterpreted in the newly Christian environment of Western Europe. Despite the prominence of music in the writings of medieval philosophers, modern histories of medieval philosophy very rarely mention music. When they do, it is in passing as one of the disciplines of the mathematical quadrivium. Modern accounts of medieval music theory often treat musica only as a discussion of acoustics, which they consider as belonging not to philosophy, but rather to an early and speculative form of music theory, the more interesting parts of which focus on practical matters of notation,

138   Elizabeth Eva Leach modal classification, rhythm, and so on, as they relate to the actualities of musical practice. Nonetheless, even ostensibly acoustic treatises, such as Boethius’s De Musica, discussed below, yield insights beyond the merely scientific and numerical. As I am by training a musicologist and not a philosopher, what follows evaluates how musicology has understood the relation of philosophical writings—both those of the Middle Ages and, in the final section, those of later periods—to musica as a theoretical field and to surviving pieces of medieval music. In each section, I begin by outlining the current work of scholars of philosophy and music theory, and then turn to my own engagement with both primary and secondary texts from these diverse disciplines, their synthesis, and their application to seemingly unrelated themes and practices. Other treatments of this theme might have organized the reflections chronologically around particular authors of the particular branch of music theory that treats music as a part of philosophy: musica. Such an account might start with the Platonism of Augustine’s writings on music, then Boethius’s, before proceeding to the Aristotelian treatises of the later Middles Ages. I prefer, instead, to treat the issues thematically, and to include not only writing directly on musica, but also to extend the argument to aspects of musical thought and practice that can be read as having been indirectly influenced by other branches of medieval philosophy. I start, therefore, with a section on music’s definition and being, noting the implications that its numerical and rational underpinnings had for sounding musical practice. The second section treats the ethics of music, which involves a double-edged discussion. It considers, firstly, the anxieties that sounding music could elicit, anxieties that took a specific form relating to human gender, and which from time to time enabled certain strictures to be placed upon musical practices, even if these were seldom effective. It then considers, conversely, the positive uses adduced for music, from its evangelical power, through its association with good governance (of both self and polity), to its role as consolation in late medieval courts. In the third section, I adduce various ways that contemporary scholars have posited an indirect relation between medieval musical materials and discourses in medieval philosophy that do not specifically mention music. This covers innovations in grammar, logic, and dialectic, as well as the impact these appear to have had on musical notation, and the meaning inherent in specific “cross-over” genres like the motet, which seem to combine incompatibly sacred and secular materials.2 My synthesis of these materials within the present chapters suggests the potential for future directions in thinking about philosophy and music which attempt to range beyond the mere listing of musica as a subject of the medieval university’s mathematical quadrivium.

Unsound Studies: The Medieval Ontology of Music Medieval writings on musica frequently start with definitions that tend towards to the etymological, based not on scientific etymology as we would recognize it today, but on similarity of word sound. These do not talk, as definitions might today, about music as

The Middle Ages   139 sonic or as relating to human musical performance. Rather, music is typically linked to the muses (citing the encyclopedist Isidore of Seville), or to “moys,” which, various authors explain, means “water” (Swerdlow 1967). Given that the literate tradition for music in the Middle Ages is exclusively for vocal music, and that grammatica et cantus were taught together in the medieval song-school as children learned Latin by singing the Psalms, many music treatises unsurprisingly use grammar as a model for their own pedagogy (Desmond 1998; Leach 2009a; Boynton and Rice 2008). Grammar treatises typically start with a definition of vox (voice or note), the fundamental element of grammar and only a subset of the larger field of sonus (sound). Definitions of vox are thus useful in revealing the place of music as it intersects with a more general group of sounds in the Middle Ages. In mainstream medieval opinion, music is perforce a rationally engaged human production. Excluded are the writable but meaningless voices of birds and other animals, but also the music-like sounds made by human agents who are acting merely imitatively and thus not employing the reason that would distinguish their production from that of animals (Leach 2007, especially 11–54). Thus the ontological status of music as music is placed squarely in the domain of production: neither its immanent sonic properties nor the opinions of those listening have the ultimate determination, and much energy is spent in urging those listening to ascertain the source of the music in order to judge it correctly. On the one hand the emphasis on production befits a philosophical position that recognized the importance but unreliability of the senses in gaining knowledge and the elevation of God-given rationality as the defining part of the human soul. On the other hand, the emphasis on production fits the general definition of music in which audible sound (musica instrumentalis) was one of three subdivisions, the others, which drew on Classical definitions, being musica mundana (the universe’s harmonious proportions, or “music of the spheres”) and musica humana, the relation of body and soul (Ilnitchi 2002). Platonic views, for example, replicated the idea that number was at the root of musical harmony/­ concord. While Plato’s Republic excludes most sounding human music-making, his entire universe is animated by the sung notes of celestial sirens (Fritz  2000, 146–149). The idea that music’s existence is defined poietically, that is, from the perspective of its domain of production, also fits a period before acousmatic transmission was the norm, since close contact with the humans producing the music (who were normally in the same physical space as the listeners and often under their command) was usual; there was also a far smaller section of the audience who were not also the performers, since much music-making was communal, whether in various ecclesiastical spaces or in court dances. In such settings, the intention and formation of the performers was readily available to those listening, since they were often also singing: effectively they were being urged to ensure their own rational engagement and understanding. This definition of music thereby placed a strong burden on performers—mainly singers, in the literate tradition at least—to understand their practice as rational, not least because that rationality was a unique feature of the human soul that signalled humanity’s special place in the divine creation, and these singers were often involved in Christian religious

140   Elizabeth Eva Leach duties. Those who failed were no better than beasts, as the widely copied opening metrum of Guido of Arezzo’s Regulae stresses: Musicorum et cantorum magna est distancia Isti dicunt illi sciunt que componit musica Nam qui facit quod non sapit diffinitur bestia Ceterum tonantis vocis si laudent acumina, superabit philomelam vel vocalis asina. [Between musicians and singers there is a vast distance: the latter perform; the ­former know what music comprises. For he who does what he does not understand is termed a beast. Furthermore, if one praises the loudness of a thundering voice, even a jenny [she-ass] in full bray will surpass the nightingale.] (Guido d’Arezzo 1999, 330–333)

This precept was taught to boys in the medieval choir schools of Europe not just through music theory but through the practice of singing itself. The widely copied Latin song “Aurea personet lira clara modulamina”, in the same metre as Guido’s opening metrum, served similarly as a memorable means of teaching boys the correct situation of their own musical practice within a world of music-like noises. While ostensibly praising the nightingale and comparing its song to human music-making of various kinds, its ending implies the supremacy of the boys’ human voices even over that of the nightingale. At the end of the song, the singers speak about their own act of singing: Iam preclara tibi satis Que in uoce sunt iocunda Ad scolares et ad ludos Tempus adest, ut soluatur Ne fatigent plectrum lingue Ne pingrescat auris prompta

dedimus obsequia, et in verbis rithmica, digne congruentia. nostra uox armonica, contionum tedia, fidium ad crusmata.

[Now we have rendered you enough splendid services which are pleasant in sound and rhythmic in wording, worthily proper to young scholars and their pastimes. The time is at hand to end our harmonic song, lest the length of the songs should tire the plectrum of the tongue, lest the attentive ear should grow indifferent to the single notes.3] (Ziolkowski 1998, 46–47)

The nightingale, as the singing boys claim in their praise of it, excels two of the three subdivisions of sounding music (musica instrumentalis), that is, musica ritmica (instruments made to sound by striking) and musica organica (made by wind instruments). Moreover, the nightingale is the equal and mirror of the monochord, the instrument used to teach the intervals of the scale. The third division of musica instrumentalis, the music of the human voice (musica harmonica), however, is even better than the nightingale. The boys can sing the nightingale’s praises, having learned the discrete notes of the diatonic scale present in the nightingale’s song from that song’s fitting peer, the

The Middle Ages   141 ­ onochord. But singing praise requires words, and of all the kinds of music named in m this song, the joining of “rhythmic” words and “pleasant” notes is “worthily proper” only to the “young scholars” (for a longer discussion see Leach 2009a, 207–211). In short, the proper taxonomization of sounding music places human language sung by human voices to correctly tuned notes at the pinnacle of sublunary achievement.

Ethics The proper use of music was the subject of discussion in the field of ethics, since what music was for was tightly connected to theories of its affective power over the listener. Music conceived of in Platonic terms—that is, as rational proportion, which could be rendered in sound, rather than being by definition sonic—was deemed to have a character that could accord or discord with the character of the person exposed to it, emphasizing similarity and challenging difference, and, if powerful enough, changing the listener so as to became more similar to the character of the music. (On music and Platonism, see Hicks 2017.) Boethius (1989, 1–8) gives examples of warlike music making a warlike person more warlike and of an angry and vengeful lover being calmed down by music of a pacific kind. Music’s ability to act on a person’s constitution through the fact of it sharing proportions with the body–soul music of musica humana explained its efficacy as medicine, as in the biblical example of David healing Saul even though medieval authorities argued over the exact mechanism of the cure (see discussion in Hentschel 2000). These positive examples given in Boethius form the credit side of medieval discussion of musical ethics, but music’s valence was variable and twin discourses of proposal and detraction permeate its entire history, including the Middle Ages. Medieval philosophers took both sides, some, like Augustine and Boethius, representing both positions, sometimes even within the same work.

The Dangers of Musical Seduction Various medieval authorities worried about music’s power over human listeners, but its chief dangers seem to draw on worries about the interrelation between gender and sexuality, in the light of the opposition between passive and active aspects of the definitions of both these concepts.4 If singers failing to deploy due rational control over their musicmaking were no better than beasts, listeners who similarly failed to engage active ra­tional control became passive and, in line with the understanding of sexual relations as something an active male partner did to a passive female one, feminized. While this might not be a problem for female listeners, most writing addresses male listeners, who are expected to resist such aural misgendering.5 The basic set-up for this problematic is present in Augustine’s Confessions, in which, led by his senses running ahead of his

142   Elizabeth Eva Leach r­eason, Augustine worries that the pleasure he takes in hearing liturgical singing in church is a sin of the flesh. Having admitted that he sometimes desires the extreme austerity of banning singing from the Church entirely, he remembers the tears it caused him to weep when he found his faith originally, and is forced to admit that, in terms of its power to convert, singing is useful “so that by the delights of the ear the weaker minds may be stimulated to a devotional mood. Yet when it happens that I am more moved by the singing than by what is sung, I confess myself to have sinned wickedly, and then I would rather not have heard the singing” (10.33.49; emphasis mine).6 In De Musica, Boethius, summarizing Plato’s strictures in the Republic, defines music of the highest character as “temperate, simple, and masculine (modesta, simplex, m ­ ascula),” rather than “effeminate, violent, or fickle (effeminata, fera, varia)” (Boethius 1989, 3). These binaries are repeated verbatim by a vast array of subsequent theorists (see Leach 2006a, 2009b). In terms of medieval rhetorical tropes which insisted that gender categories were biologically determined and immutable, producing good music meant de-emphasizing passive appreciation of music’s beauty as something feminine, seductive, de-­rationalizing, effeminizing, in favour of an active engagement with music’s rationality as something masculine, numerical, quantifiable, and part of the active mental engagement of a ­performer. This was especially the case in the Christian Middle Ages when the sung ­liturgy of the Church was necessary to the everyday praise of God—banning music in church was simply impractical. To ensure that it was the right kind of music, the teaching and study of music—the discipline of musica—developed a specific pedagogy in which the very definition of what was and was not music was based on music’s expression of a rationality that belongs only to humans and not to other animals. Most typically in ­theoretical and pedagogical contexts, this rationality expressed itself in the ability to understand the mathematical ratios that underlie the correct tuning of musical intervals with the range of notes used in chant. Many later writers sought to impose strictures on what they viewed as feminine and feminizing excesses in performance. The twelfth-century writer John of Salisbury criticizes the “lightness and dissolution of dainty voices designed to achieve vain glory in the feminine manner” when singing the Divine Office. “You would think,” John cautions, “that these were the most delicious songs of very pleasing sirens—not of men—and you would marvel at the lightness of voice, which cannot be compared in all their measures and pleasing melodies to those of the nightingale or parrot, or any other more clear sounding bird that might be found” (John of Salisbury 1993, 48–49; see also discussion in Leach 2006b, 188–189, and 2007, 153, 203–209). The effeminacy and feminizing powers attributed to these male singers are stronger and all the more worrisome on account of their virtuosity. John describes the singers as more eloquent than two natural avian practitioners, but says that their sound would make a listener mistake them for sirens— women–bird hybrids—rather than men. Rationality is the defining feature of the human soul, masculinity, and musica alike, and differentiates men both from beasts (including birds) and from women. In this example, by contrast, vocal prowess and the kind of music sung to exhibit it are understood to deprive the singers of both their humanity and their masculinity, making them effeminate, monstrous, unnatural.

The Middle Ages   143

From Conversion to Consolation Via Politics Music’s positive power was noted by earlier writers and singing was a daily part of Christian worship, but that was precisely why its practice was so tightly regulated by theorizations that emphasized rationality. While being mainly anxious, Augustine also noted music’s positive effect (albeit on weaker listeners), who would be moved to Christian conversion. Augustine stresses, however, that reason must lead the senses rather than the other way round, with reason residing in the words of the chant and accessed through the sense of hearing. Many church authorities were concomitantly suspicious of untexted music, especially that used for dancing. Elsewhere in his writings, however, Augustine talks more positively about the textless, musical element of singing in his discussion of the jubilus melisma that closes the Alleluia of the Mass. The Alleluia as a whole is not entirely without text, but this long melisma at the end is so much an extension of a single syllable of text (“-a”) that it seems, according to Augustine, to give acceptable expression to pure emotion: One who jubilates does not speak words, but it is rather a sort of sound of joy without words; for the voice of the soul is poured out in joy, showing as much as it is able the feeling without comprehending the sense. A man joying in his exultation, from certain unspeakable and incomprehensible words, bursts forth in a certain voice of exultations without words, so that it seems he does indeed rejoice with his own voice, but as if, because filled with too much joy, he cannot put into words what it is in which he delights. (Augustine, Enarrationes in psalmos, Ps. 99 (100), 4; translation in Holsinger 2001, 76)

The heart rejoicing in the praise of God is acceptable to Augustine, although it should be noted that he speaks of the performer’s perspective: ethics, like ontology, is a matter of production. The rise of Aristotelianism in the University of Paris in the thirteenth century saw many challenges to Platonic views of music and a broadening of its ethical uses. As ­university-trained clerics began to serve in larger numbers in secular court administrations, Aristotle’s Politics (translated into Latin in the later thirteenth century and into French in the fourteenth), contained ideas that could be used to argue that music might form an important part of the moral education of the elite. While Plato and Aristotle exhibit remarkably similar views on the proper ends of music and its ethical role in education and politics, their main difference concerns the emphasis on music’s pleasurable qualities. For Plato—at least in the Republic—nearly all kinds of music must be banned, since musical pleasures were entirely subordinated to moral goodness. For Boethius, too, the personification Lady Philosophy could only console the sorrowing narrator of The Consolation of Philosophy when the Muses were dismissed from the narrator’s bedside in Book 1, Prose 1 as “theatrical tarts.” For Aristotle, conversely, more modes and instruments could be permitted, with the proviso that a proper education would allow correct judgement of them, because he considers pleasure an integral part of a fulfilled life, provided that it is not seen as an end in itself (see Schoen-Nazarro 1978).

144   Elizabeth Eva Leach In Book 8 of his Politics, Aristotle notes music as proper to the early education of free men, an idea he explores further in his Nichomachean Ethics. Some of the precepts which apply to music’s suitability as a form of virtuous princely relaxation were already present in the Middle Ages in the works of Augustine and Isidore.7 But after the translation of Aristotle’s ethical works in the later thirteenth century, music theorists were not slow to exploit the power of Aristotle’s authority in praise of music’s virtuous power. The Prologue of Jean de Murs’s Musica speculativa in particular, a book designed to explain Boethius’s music treatise to a world that Jean alleges has deliberately forgotten the old learning it now finds too demanding, cites Aristotle on matters that pertain to issues of sensation, pleasure, relaxation, and virtue: Although we have reason to reprove the excesses of voluptuous bestiality by which the unbridled passions of taste and touch ruin the intellect (according to Aristotle, [Nichomachean] Ethics Book 1 “many savages elect to live like beasts”), we do not at all, however, condemn the ordered and moderate pleasures afforded by vision and audition, which, being filled with a purer and more generous function, are subservient to the intellect (as Aristotle says in [Nichomachean] Ethics Book 3, on the matter of the moderate man who “pursues existence with moderation as must all who wish for health and a good constitution”). Vision attracts more praise than audition “because it is the principal instrument of knowing and shows us all the diversity of things.” However, experience shows us that voices and all the subtlest sounds composed by human artifice bring to the intellect, through the intermediary of audition, the sweetest joys. Once the work which occupies all serious affairs and which human nature may not neglect without discontinuing is finished, music offers to those whose ears are prepared, the benefit of a perfectly honest repose. And this is perhaps what Ulysses wanted to say in poetry according to Aristotle’s account in the Politics Book 8[.3] when he said that he said the best leisured pursuit is when men, congregated under one roof, listen, rejoicing, to the nightingale [Odyssey 9.7–8]. (Murs 2000, 134)8

While an extensive discussion of the proper role of pleasure in promoting virtue is contained in Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, it is his Politics that discusses the role of music in the education of the young and in governance specifically. Book 8 of the Politics outlines a programme of education for the young, which should feature letters and drawing, because they are useful, as well as gymnastics, because it gives health, courage, and vigour. Education should also involve music, although the reasons for, and role of, music in education are so problematic that of these four it is discussed at greatest length. Aristotle comments that although most people learn music (learn to listen to it, not play it) for pleasure, it is also potentially a form of noble leisured activity or leisured pursuit (scholē). Despite children not being capable of truly leisured pursuits, the habit of music appreciation learned young would benefit them in adulthood, allowing them to relax in a way that promotes good living.9 Everyone gains natural pleasure from music, which is why people of all ages and characters enjoy it. Nicole Oresme, who translated the Politics into French in the fourteenth century at the behest of Charles V of France, glosses this statement by citing Macrobius’s ­comments

The Middle Ages   145 that even beasts and birds appreciate the delectation naturele that music has (Menut 1970, 348). But it is not just this common pleasure that makes music suitable in the education of the young; music’s nature goes beyond usefulness to something far more laudable. First, audible music gives the listener occasion to consider inaudible kinds of music, such as the music of the spheres, preparing the soul for contemplation.10 Second, as in Plato, it affects its listener’s character and soul because rhythms and melodies contain “likenesses of the components of character.” As virtue is “a matter of enjoying, loving, and hating in the right way, it is clear that nothing is more important than that one should learn to judge correctly and get in to the habit of enjoying decent characters and noble actions” (Aristotle 1998, 235; cf. Menut 1970, 349). Music alone among perceptible objects contains such “likenesses of character (imitations ou similitudes de meurs)” (Menut 1970, 350; cf. Aristotle 1998, 235) and so teaching proper judgement of music is a way of teaching judgement of character, useful for assessing both others and the self.11 Music is therefore ideal for education and its natural sweetness enables children to learn it, even though they are as yet too young for truly leisured pursuits. Aristotle’s ethical works legitimized the pleasures of certain courtly recreations (notably hunting and listening to music), provided that self-control was exercised, and, as noted above, was formative of the views of those university-trained clerics who entered newly enlarged secular courts as administrators in increasing numbers during the long fourteenth century.12 As well as Aristotle’s works, the other key philosophical text reworked in the secular courtly context in the long fourteenth century was Boethius’s Consolation. Given that Boethius’s text is effectively a philosophical treatise with songs, this central literary activity served to relate music and philosophy within the court context (Huot 2002; Kay 2008). The reinterpretation of Boethius’s Consolation for an audience who were not only Christians serious about the state of their souls, but also nobles committed to cultural and sporting activity was considerably aided by the Aristotelian idea of leisured pursuit (scholē, scholazein). In the translated versions of Boethius’s Consolation, particular focus was given to book 2, in which Philosophy ventriloquizes the allegorical figure of Lady Fortune and suggests ways to combat her vagaries and constant inconstancy. The twin roles of Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300–77) as an important composer of music and writer of poetry is significant here. Sylvia Huot (2002) has noted that Machaut’s narrative poem Le Remede de Fortune might be subtitled the “Consolation of Poetry,” with the art of love allied to the art of poetry and a full programme of courtly music copied in situ in the narrative poem to substitute for the songs in verse (metra) that had punctuated the prose of Boethius’s original. As such, the countering of Fortune’s ills through the complete dismissal of the muses in Boethius’s Consolation is recast as Machaut’s narrator learns to use the right kinds of music (ars nova notated, refrain-form lyric for communal performance) to sublimate his desire (Leach 2011a, 82–131). Gace de la Buigne’s even more widely copied mirror-of-princes and hunting-debate poem, Le Roman des Deduis, specifically cites one polyphonic piece by each of Denis le Grant and Philippe de Vitry in support of an argument for the need for aural discernment and, ultimately, as a way of proving the admonitory narrative point that that which is most pleasurable is not always

146   Elizabeth Eva Leach that which is most noble. This last point has, however, been wilfully misunderstood by modern scholars wishing to see it as auguring modern commodified musical culture by promoting purely sonic pleasure (Leach  2007, 175–237; I return to this theme in the Conclusion). Thus, it seems that writers in the fourteenth century chose to relegitimate musical pleasure under carefully controlled circumstances, using a combination of earlier philosophical texts, refracted through contemporary vernacular literary works.

Medieval Philosophy, Modern Musicology Aside from treatises on musica and other medieval philosophical discourses that specifically mention music, several other central philosophical fields in the Middle Ages can be perceived to have had an indirect influence on contemporary musical practice, even while the musical practices themselves were not directly treated. In the thirteenth­century period of systematic analysis and speculation that corresponded to “a new degree of rationalization in politics and society,” fields which saw significant development and change by later medieval thinkers included grammar, logic, mathematics (especially the tension between the arithmetic and geometric explanations of the universe), and radical nominalism (Marrone 2003, 10). Modern musicologists have adduced that these fields influenced late medieval music with particular reference to music’s highly literate aspects—the signs that make up the notation, and elite reading practices that offer interpretations of musical works that cannot be gleaned simply from hearing the music performed. As I discuss in the Conclusion, modern scholarly attitudes to literate music’s high seriousness and elite character in this period have shifted in parallel with the changes in the academy’s attitudes to elitism and popular culture. Nonetheless, I claim in this section that late medieval musical pieces were able to enact a kind of thinking, giving access to knowledge by demanding interpretation. This involved both sonic expression and auditory pleasure, but was neither defined nor limited by them. Rather, it relied on vision (reading) and memory such that music can function as itself a kind of philosophy.

Grammar, Logic, and Mathematics: Notation and the Construction of Ideas in Music Musicology has traditionally described the history of medieval musical notation as plotting a course from a mere aide-memoire of neumes that do not show even relative pitches to ever more precise, square-drawn, heighted notations showing relative pitch and, eventually, relative duration (for an accessible summary, see Kelly 2014). While one may now prefer a less triumphalist and teleological narrative, noting that increased notational prescription was accompanied by elements of loss and resistance, and that

The Middle Ages   147 older notational styles persisted well after more accurate (in our terms) notations were available, the basic outlines of a trend from non-rhythmic notation, through notation in fixed rhythmic patterns (modal notation), to mensural notation can be accepted broadly for what follows here. Accepted, too, is the fact that the earliest explicit notations of nonternary rhythmic relations between notes is a phenomenon of what has come to be called the ars nova (for binary relations) and ars subtilior (for relations in other proportions). It is in this ability to notate relative duration (often loosely referred to as rhythm) that the indirect operation of philosophical speculation can be observed. Max Haas (1982) has noted that the influence of grammar on basic medieval rhythmic pedagogies, which worked relatively well for modal rhythm, worked less well for later, mensural notation so that ars nova theorists began to adopt a frame of philosophical reference drawing instead from Aristotelian metaphysics. Late medieval philosophical interest in the meaning of signs, language, and representation has been held to have been reflected in the proliferation of musical signs (that is, musical notations) in the fourteenth century, especially in so far as such signs relate to rhythmic complexity. Dorit Tanay (1999) has argued that the rhythmic theories of the later Middle Ages reflect the pervasive influence of Aristotle (on quantity), of modal grammar (on ligatures), and of mathematics (especially in the eventual use of Arabic numerals). In particular, she claims that Ockhamist nominalism—the idea that universals are abstractions without extra-mental existence and that therefore only various individual particulars actually exist—fuelled “the quest to represent musical processes in all their possible temporal manifestations,” as, for example, in the work of Jean des Murs, a music theorist who was also a mathematician and astronomer (Tanay 1999, 9; see also Gushee 1969). For Tanay, “the context of the ontological and epistemological revolution of Ockhamist Nominalism” (Tanay 1999, 8–9) serves to explain the radical changes in the goal of musical notation in the fourteenth century, towards utmost rhythmic variety represented by figures of the utmost simplicity and immediacy. Nonetheless, the practice of notation fell somewhat short of this programme (9). In practice, sub-minim values, in various heuristic and provisional notational forms, start to appear fairly early in the history of French ars nova notation. As I have argued elsewhere (Leach 2007), on the basis that many are associated with the depiction of birds’ voices, these sub-minim values illustrate a form of resistance from singers (and composers) who resented notational prescription and overly rationalist (as opposed to pragmatic) systematization. Such pragmatic and unrationalized notations might thus be linked instead with a more heuristic, empirical attitude, drawing on what Joel Kaye (1998) has identified as a new interest in approximation, estimation, and a more geometric, relational mathematics, which arguably influenced university speculation via its more pragmatic use in the increased economic activity of this time. Tanay already diagnoses the notational puzzles of the so-called ars subtilior as part of a late medieval sophism and it seems possible to argue that several specific elements of ­fourteenth-century logical exercises might have cognate forms in musical pieces. The emphasis on the investigation of puzzles involving self-referentiality in the field of philosophical logic might readily be linked to the penchant for punning canons and picture

148   Elizabeth Eva Leach notation in mid to late fourteenth-century music, such as Jacob Senleches’s La Harpe de melodie, notated in the form of a harp, the anonymous En la maison Dedalus, written as a maze, or those songs using some other graphic oddity to point, often obliquely, to a compositional oddity, such as the upside-down writing which accompanies the retrograde canon of Guillaume Machaut’s “Ma fin est mon commencement” (R14) (see Leach 2007, 112–220). And just as the new logic extended into theology, opening up questions to new standards of proof, a theological impetus can arguably be detected behind the new logical puzzles of music: for example, Machaut’s R14 is a self-conscious song that voices the grounds for its own performance and has been read as a deep meditation on life as a Christian soul (Eisenberg 2007; Leach 2011a, 296–301; Cerquiglini-Toulet 2012; Bain 2012). Literary scholars have long noted the medieval philosophical exercise of the disputatio, a more or less formalized debate, playing out in various literary debate genres, narrative and lyric (see summary in Cayley 2006, 12–51). Some of the lyric debate forms are also musical, because they are songs, which means that troubadour tenso and joc-partit, as well as their northern French equivalent, the jeu-parti, could be said to represent a philosophically influenced musical form, associated with clerics active in northern puys (Saltzstein 2012). In my own work (Leach 2010), I have claimed the polytextual debate songs of Machaut and others as a similar staging of a quaestio (the specific question that was the subject of a given disputatio) using music’s unique ability to voice both sides of the formal debate at once.13 While no one has directly suggested that the specific form of “obligations,” where, according to Stephen P. Marrone (2003, 37), “the aim was to catch an opponent in contradiction as a result of accepting apparently quite consistent premises,” might have a musical outcome, what Thomas Brothers (1997) calls the “musica ficta essay” might readily fit this bill.14 In some of these musica ficta essays—songs where unusual or excessive placement of accidental signs triggers corollary pitch adjustments and requires solving correctly by the singer—differently notated pitches may end up sounding the same because of the logical constraints of the application of hexachordal signs (Marrone 2003, 37). Some of the “play” with musica ficta that I have diagnosed in Machaut arguably effects a smaller-scale version of such a technique, and might have served to provoke the same kinds of rational, argumentative conversation between those reading music in a court context as obligations or the afternoon philosophy lecture (the disputatio) might have done in a university context (Leach 2002, 493–495). Certainly the exploratory and performative practices of philosophy can be seen as radically congruent with similar practices in musica, itself—at least strictly and notionally—still a part of philosophy.

Philosophical Disputation, Exegesis, and the Motet: Music as Knowledge By the thirteenth century, all university disciplines accepted the disputational form as a means of disseminating knowledge.15 I have argued for the specific refraction of quaestiones and more puzzle-led forms such as obligations in polytextual music and play with

The Middle Ages   149 the logic of notational signs above. In addition, the more general admission of contradiction and the extension of the either/or of Augustinian exegesis to include the both/ and of later medieval logic, widely affected musical culture (on this shift see Newman 2013, 7–12). The central polyphonic genre of the motet often explicitly presents voices singing erotic and worldly texts, literally grounded by the lower or lowest voice, which sings a piece of liturgical chant. Love songs ambiguously praise a lady that could be an idealized and erotic courtly one or might equally be the Virgin Mary. Extremely worldly songs are copied alongside devotional and even liturgical items, in manuscripts that we know to have been housed by, and even produced for, monastic libraries. Modern musicology is polarized on the issue of how to explain the combination of apparently incompatibly sacred and secular elements in, for example, polytextual motets. One view claims that the sense of the texts is irrelevant, since they are obscured in polytextual performance, and emphasizes instead their sonic effects and pleasures (Page  1993a;  2000). For commentators holding this view, most fully articulated by Christopher Page, the modern scholarly urge to ignore the sonic in favour of the textual and to deploy elite intellectual techniques to extract meaning from textual juxtaposition is driven by those scholars’ own position as intellectuals, not performers.16 Page reacts specifically against Sylvia Huot’s (1997) approach to the motet in which she deploys sophisticated allegorical tools to diagnose medieval attempts to sacralize the secular and/or secularize the sacred. While it would be unwise to discount the possibility that the motet had an audience wider than the university-trained clerics who developed it, or that that wider audience (or anyone) could find pleasure in their purely sonic aspect, it is important to consider the way that motets’ compositional and performative contexts were inflected by scholastic philosophical norms. These norms might in fact nuance the more polarized positions in motet scholarship that have derived from the careful work of Page and Huot (Dillon 2012; Rothenberg 2011; for an attempt to bridge this gap, see Clark  2007). Such norms might at once legitimate textual reflection on oral performance (as seen, for example, in the written collections of both quaestiones and motets), and persuade us not to view the sacred and secular as a controlling binary that can be mapped onto others (Latin/vernacular; devotional/erotic, liturgical/courtly) in a simple act of allegoresis. Thinking from the perspective of medieval philosophy might demand instead that we see these elements not as contradictions, but as part of the same philosophical (and thus theological) understanding of the world, the universe, and human being. Barbara Newman’s (2013, 7) idea of “crossover” within a default category of the sacred (or, in my terms, theology in particular or even philosophy in general) approaches this perspective, although simply refusing the very terms “sacred” and “secular” removes the necessity seen in Newman to specify that the category of sacred be considered the default one without being necessarily dominant, univocal, or even theologically serious. Once one views the semantics of a genre like the motet taking place in the broad field of philosophy, there is no sacred and secular, just as there is “neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Medieval theological hermeneutics allowed at least some scholars to view a Bible full of contradiction as Scriptural truth: truth does not need to eschew contradiction. Musical forms like polytextual motets and

150   Elizabeth Eva Leach songs provide sonic proof of this knowledge by reconciling irreconcilable texts in a both/and (that is, sung simultaneously) of (literal) harmony, which is temporally animated (that is, it works contrapuntally) through its integration of dissonance. Music’s ability to concretize metaphor so powerfully lent it a special place in the cultural activity of those who found complex cogitation rewarding.

Conclusion: Modern Problems with Medieval Ideas Explicit and focused musicological interest in music’s place within the broader field of medieval philosophy is relatively rare, and medieval philosophy, similarly, is not greatly prominent within philosophy as a discipline, so that medieval philosophy of music within philosophy barely registers. Nonetheless, this chapter has outlined how some knowledge of medieval philosophy might aid an understanding of (attitudes to) medieval music, and perhaps even vice versa. Philosophy seems an irrelevance to music in the twenty-first century, largely because of music’s definition, use, and value in the modern world, in tandem with contemporary popular perception of philosophy’s own value. Music today is principally a commodity form, usually accessed purely sonically, mediated electronically, and used principally for pleasure and entertainment. Philosophy is none of those things and thus seems irrelevant to music. And relations to pleasure and entertainment are governed by a democratization of taste, deregulated by postmodern relativism, which will not brook elite university professors telling others what to listen to and how to understand it. The contrast between the present-day situation and the prevailing didacticism of, for instance, the long fourteenth century, and the idea that a reader must submit to having their mind enlarged, could not be starker (see Kay 2007, 1–4). The tendency, therefore, is to attempt to modernize the Middle Ages and to seize on any strands of medieval thought that can be read as making medieval music, musicians, and listening more like our own. Finding familiarity in the Middle Ages is not impossible because the Middle Ages is not a monolithic age. In particular, the coexistence of Platonic and Aristotelian ideas and their shifting relation, especially as new translations or more of the Aristotelian corpus became available from the thirteenth century onwards, should be recognized. This had implications for music’s ontology: Johannes de Grocheio, for example, dismisses musica humana, although his scorn is rather unique in music theory. It has nonetheless found favour with modern scholars wanting to find in medieval music and music theory something closer to the emotion-led understanding of later music (see Page 1993b). More widespread was a new attitude to the harmony of the spheres, which Aristotle denied made any sound, forcing various writers to attempt a difficult “harmonization” between the authorities of Plato and “the Philosopher” (Rico 2005b).17 Aristotle’s work was absorbed in what was still at base a Platonic form of learning, and many remained critical of Aristotle, even at the height of his influence (Marrone 2003, 34). Led by the very scant evidence for university music

The Middle Ages   151 curricula having any relation to, or influence on real music making (in Paris, for example), some have rejected the Boethian-Pythagorean strain of philosophical approaches to music as largely irrelevant, con­ven­iently dropping its attendant ethical prerogatives and prescriptive ontology. As a result, those influenced by Aristotelian ideas produce statements that speak to our age well, with a debunkingly empirical attitude to music as anything other than sound, the very aspect that is not coincidentally music’s most saleable feature in the present period of mass-market electronically mediated music. Modern anti-elitism and focus on the popular should be viewed for what it is: a late capitalist valorization of commodity, the commercial, and what can be monetized. Devaluing of expertise and the rejection of medieval seriousness about the correct judgement of the motivations of those producing what is heard is linked to the rejection of complicated reading practices as not really representing what “normal” people would think. Latent within this wish to equate medieval listening practices with our own popular listening practices is the idea of musical consumption of a fast turnover of works, listened to (or danced to) once without any explication. It seems more likely to me, however, that medieval musical pieces were appreciated over a longer time and cumulatively from many angles, including listening, performing, and discussion—perhaps even from seeing the written text, although a spoken text (lecture) is equally feasible. While nobles might lack formal training, they were apt for receiving informal (lay) instruction from their formally trained (clerical) servants at court. This is not to deny that individuals could show diversity of interest and degrees of understanding, but the prestige of elite culture was an aspirational interest of many medieval aristocrats. Contemporary narratives that see the medieval court as a refreshingly enlightened secular space in a rapidly secularizing later Middle Ages are also questionable for the post-Enlightenment (and, ultimately, postmodern) attitudes to religion that they embody. Modern attitudes to theology, (the possibility of) truth, and the intellectualemotional meaning of music affect what scholars pick and choose from medieval writings on music and philosophy. The modern appreciation of music as primarily gustative, for consumption and uncomplicated enjoyment (often physical) is partly useful (because medieval music accompanied movements in the liturgy, in dance—also sometimes liturgical!—and ceremonial), but mainly obscures the very real seriousness of music in elite discourse in the Middle Ages when it really was a branch of philosophy and could thus embody and prompt thought, even if it did so through pleasure. To claim that pleasure was not the (proper) end is not to say that medieval audiences did not enjoy music, but rather that they understood their enjoyment within a context that was distinctly pre-modern, pre-capitalist, and undemocratic. That this context was a fundamentally philosophical one did not limit it to philosophers.

Notes 1. I would like to thank Eleanor Giraud, Henry Hope, J. P. E. Harper-Scott, Jonathan Morton, and Emily X. X. Tan for their comments on earlier drafts of this chapter. 2. The term is taken from Newman 2013.

152   Elizabeth Eva Leach 3. See Ziolkowski 1998, 196 for note on crusma, a single discrete pitch on the lyre. 4. Some of the arguments in this section were first presented in Leach 2006a, which was later challenged in Fuller 2011. For my response to Fuller, see Leach 2011b. 5. The problem for female listeners was instead one of excessive gendering, which correlated, in line with medieval anti-feminism, with hyper-sexualization. See Leach and Zeeman, 2020. 6. The Latin text reads: “ut per oblectamenta aurium infirmior animus in affectum pietatis adsurgat. tamen cum mihi accidit ut me amplius cantus quam res quae canitur moveat, poenaliter me peccare confiteor et tunc mallem non audire cantantem.” Text is available at Translation in Augustine 1955. For a fuller exposition, see Leach 2013 and Holsinger 2001, 61–83. 7. Augustine (1977, 171) explains that noblemen properly use music to relax from their labours; Isidore, Etymologies 3.17 mentions that “music soothes the mind so that it can endure toil, and song assuages the weariness encountered in any task” (McKinnon 1998, 40). 8. Homer’s text and Aristotle’s Greek refer to a human minstrel here, not a bird. Jean de Murs and Nicole Oresme probably used William of Moerbeke’s Latin translation, which has philomela at this point; see note for I, 7 in Jean de Murs 2000, 134. Oresme notes that the citations from Homer at this point are not verse in their Latin translation, are obscure, and appear in variant versions in different sources (Menut 1970, 342–3). 9. “Leisured activity” (scholē, scholazein) is happiness as an end accompanied by pleasure. See Aristotle 1998, 229. The fourteenth-century French translation by Nicole Oresme renders it as “vaquer, ce est a dire reposer en vie contemplative” (Menut 1970, 341). 10. “Et la musique sensible donne occasion de considerer de la speculative. Et ovecques ce, elle prepare l’ame a contemplation.” Menut 1970, 348. 11. Aristotle allows that objects of sight admit faint representations of character but only by use of signs for, rather than direct imitations of, character. 12. While a far older tradition of Stoic rather than Aristotelian virtue ethics already tolerated courtly pursuits (see, for example, Moos 2012), the larger number of university-trained court administrators in the later Middle Ages, led to the predominant influence of Aristotle’s political and ethical works in this period. On the changing size and shape of court personnel, see Clanchy 1993; Vale 2001. 13. More recently, Yolanda Plumley has noted that the dialogic exchanges formerly associated with the jeu-parti transferred to the updated ballade form of the fourteenth century; see Plumley 2013, 268–269. 14. More specifically, the respondent in obligationes has to follow certain rules in answering questions about a hypothetical situation (usually a counterfactual one); the person posing the questions attempts to force the respondent into self-contradiction. While the situation with the musica ficta essay is not identical, the process is arguably analogous. The interactions between singers attempting to realize such pieces might be imagined regularly to have forced such contradictions as to bring the rehearsal process to a (temporary and humorous) standstill. For more on the musica ficta essay see Brothers 1997, 138–142 and Lefferts 2007. 15. See Marenbon 1987, 14: “Gradually, the quaestio-technique became, not just a method for organizing the theological summae, but a way of thought which could be used in any subject and which shaped the practice of teaching in the medieval universities.”

The Middle Ages   153 16. For example, Page 1993a, 63–64: “It is possible to dwell in a learned paradise of documents, variant readings in chant manuscripts, and the other material deriving from clerical ‘high’ culture, forgetting all the while that medieval mechanisms for transmitting ideas and other intangible resources sometimes worked in ways that the modern bookish mind may never envisage.” 17. While the philosophical tradition inherited from the late antique schools already combined Aristotelianism and Platonism, the later Middle Ages is marked by the specific incoporation of a wider range of Aristotle’s works newly translated into Latin.

Works Cited Aristotle. 1998. Politics. Translated by C. D. C. Reeve. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett. Augustine. 1955. Confessions. Translation by Albert C. Outler, available from http://www.ccel .org/ccel/augustine/confessions.txt. Augustine. 1977. “On Music.” In Writings of Saint Augustine, Vol. 2, edited by Robert Catesby Taliaferro, 151–379. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press. Bain, Jennifer. 2012. “ ‘…et mon commencement ma fin’: Genre and Machaut’s Musical Language in His Secular Songs.” In A Companion to Guillaume de Machaut, edited by Deborah L. McGrady and Jennifer Bain, 79–101. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus. 1989. Fundamentals of Music. Translated by Calvin M. Bower. Music Theory Translation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Boynton, Susan, and Eric Rice, eds. 2008. Young Choristers, 650–1700. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer. Brothers, Thomas. 1997. Chromatic Beauty in the Late Medieval Chanson: An Interpretation of Manuscript Accidentals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cayley, Emma. 2006. Debate and Dialogue: Alain Chartier in His Cultural Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cerquiglini-Toulet, Jacqueline. 2012. “ ‘Ma fin est mon commencement’: The Essence of Poetry and Song in Guillaume de Machaut.” In A Companion to Guillaume de Machaut, edited by Deborah L. McGrady and Jennifer Bain, 69–78. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Clanchy, M.  T. 1993. From Memory to Written Record: England 1066–1307. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell. Clark, Suzannah. 2007. “ ‘S’en dirai chançonete’: Hearing Text and Music in a Medieval Motet.” Plainsong and Medieval Music 16 (1): 31–59. Desmond, Karen. 1998. “Sicut in grammatica: Analogical Discourse in Chapter 15 of Guido’s Micrologus.” Journal of Musicology 16, no. 4 (Autumn): 467–493. Dillon, Emma. 2012. The Sense of Sound: Musical Meaning in France, 1260–1330. New York: Oxford University Press. Dyer, Joseph. 2009. “Speculative ‘Musica’ and the Medieval University of Paris.” Music & Letters 90, no. 2 (May): 177–204. Eisenberg, Michael. 2007. “The Mirror of the Text: Reflections in Ma fin est mon commencement.” In Canons and Canonic Techniques, 14th–16th Centuries: Theory, Practice, and Reception History, edited by Katelijne Schiltz and Bonnie J. Blackburn, 83–110. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters. Fritz, Jean-Marie. 2000. Paysages sonores du Moyen Âge: Le Versant épistémologique. Paris: Champion.

154   Elizabeth Eva Leach Fuller, Sarah. 2011. “Concerning Gendered Discourse in Medieval Music Theory: Was the Semitone ‘Gendered Feminine’?” Music Theory Spectrum 33, no. 1 (Spring): 65–89. Guido d’Arezzo. 1999. Regulae rithmice. In Guido D’Arezzo’s Regulae Rithmice, Prologus in Antiphonarium, and Epistola ad Michahelem: A Critical Text and Translation, edited by Dolores Pesce, 327–403. Musicological Studies 73. Ottawa: Institute of Mediaeval Music. Gushee, Lawrence. 1969. “New Sources for the Biography of Johannes de Muris.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 22, no. 1 (Spring): 3–26. Haas, Max. 1982. “Studien zur mittelalterlichen Musiklehre. I: Eine Übersicht über die Musiklehre im Kontext der Philosophie des 13. und frühen 14. Jahrhunderts.” In Aktuelle Fragen der musikbezogenen Mittelalterforschung: Texte zu einem Balser Kolloquium des Jahres 1975, edited by Hans Oesch and Wulf Arlt, 323–456. Forum Musicologicum 3. Winterthur, Switzerland: Amadeus. Hentschel, Frank. 2000. “Der verjagte Dämon: Mittelalterliche Gedanken zur Wirkung der Musik aus der Zeit um 1300, mit einer Edition der Quaestiones 16 und 17 aus Quodlibet VI des Petrus d’Auvergne.” In Geistesleben im 13. Jahrhundert, edited by Jan  A.  Aertsen and Andreas Speer, 395–421. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Hicks, Andrew. 2017. Composing the World: Harmony in the Medieval Platonic Cosmos. New York: Oxford University Press. Holsinger, Bruce W. 2001. Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Huot, Sylvia. 1997. Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet: The Sacred and Profane in Thirteenth-Century Polyphony. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Huot, Sylvia. 2002. “Guillaume de Machaut and the Consolation of Poetry.” Modern Philology 100, no. 2 (November): 169–195. Ilnitchi, Gabriela. 2002. “Musica Mundana, Aristotelian Natural Philosophy and Ptolemaic Astronomy.” Early Music History 21: 37–74. Jean de Murs. 2000. Musica speculativa. In Jean de Murs: Écrits sur la musique, edited by Christian Meyer, 133–193. Paris: CNRS. John of Salisbury. 1993. Policraticus. In Ioannis Sarisburiensis Policraticus I–IV, edited by K.  S.  B.  Keats-Rohan. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio mediaeualis 118. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols. Kay, Sarah. 2007. The Place of Thought: The Complexity of One in Late Medieval French Didactic Poetry. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Kay, Sarah. 2008. “Touching Singularity: Consolation, Philosophy, and Poetry in the French dit.” In The Erotics of Consolation: Desire and Distance in the Late Middle Ages, edited by Catherine E. Léglu and Stephen J. Milner, 21–38. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Kaye, Joel. 1998. Economy and Nature in the Fourteenth Century: Money, Market Exchange, and the Emergence of Scientific Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kelly, Thomas Forrest. 2014. Capturing Music: The Story of Notation. New York: W. W. Norton. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2002. “Death of a Lover and the Birth of the Polyphonic Balade: Machaut’s Notated Balades 1–5.” Journal of Musicology 19, no. 3 (Summer): 461–502. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2006a. “Gendering the Semitone, Sexing the Leading Tone: FourteenthCentury Music Theory and the Directed Progression.” Music Theory Spectrum 28, no. 1 (March): 1–21. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2006b. “ ‘The Little Pipe Sings Sweetly While the Fowler Deceives the Bird’: Sirens in the Later Middle Ages.” Music & Letters 87, no. 2 (May): 187–211.

The Middle Ages   155 Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2007. Sung Birds: Music, Nature, and Poetry in the Later Middle Ages. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2009a. “Grammar and Music in the Medieval Song-School.” New Medieval Literatures 11:195–211. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2009b. “Music and Masculinity in the Middle Ages.” In Masculinity and Western Musical Practice, edited by Ian Biddle and Kirsten Gibson, 21–39. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2010. “Music and Verbal Meaning: Machaut’s Polytextual Songs.” Speculum 85, no. 3 (July): 567–591. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2011a. Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2011b. “Reading and Theorizing Medieval Music Theory: Interpretation and Its Contexts.” Music Theory Spectrum 33, no. 1 (Spring): 90–98. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2013. “The Sound of Beauty.” In Beauty, edited by Lauren Arrington, Zoë Leinhardt, and Philip Dawid, 72–98. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Leach, Elizabeth Eva, and Nicolette Zeeman. 2020. “Gender: The Art and Hermeneutics of (In)differentiation.” In The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music, edited by Delia da Sousa Correa, 125–144. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Lefferts, Peter M. 2007. “A Riddle and A Song: Playing With Signs in a Fourteenth-Century Ballade.” Early Music History 26 (October): 121–179. Marenbon, John. 1987. Later Medieval Philosophy (1150–1350): An Introduction. London: Routledge. Marrone, Stephen P. 2003. “Medieval Philosophy in Context.” In The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Philosophy, edited by A. S. McGrade, 10–50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McKinnon, James, ed. 1998. The Early Christian Period and the Latin Middle Ages. Source Readings in Music History 2. New York: W.W. Norton. Menut, Albert Douglas. 1970. “Maistre Nicole Oresme: Le Livre de Politiques d’Aristote, Published from the Text of the Avranches Manuscript 223.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, ns 60, no. 6 (November): 1–392. Moos, Peter von. 2012. “Du miroir des princes au Cortegiano. Engelbert d’Admont (1250– 1331) sur les agréments de la convivialité et de la conversation.” In Formes dialoguées dans la littérature exemplaire du Moyen Âge, edited by Marie-Anne Polo de Beaulieu, 103–162. Paris: Champion. Newman, Barbara. 2013. Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular against the Sacred. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Page, Christopher. 1993a. Discarding Images: Reflections on Music and Culture in Medieval France. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Page, Christopher. 1993b. “Johannes Grocheio on Secular Music: A Corrected Text and a New Translation.” Plainsong and Medieval Music 2, no. 1 (April): 17–41. Page, Christopher. 2000. “Around the Performance of a Thirteenth-Century Motet.” Early Music 28, no. 3 (August): 343–357. Plumley, Yolanda. 2013. The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut. New York: Oxford University Press. Rico, Gilles. 2005a. “Music in the Arts Faculty of Paris in the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries.” Doctoral diss., University of Oxford. doctoral-dissertations/rico/. Rico, Gilles. 2005b. “ ‘Auctoritas cereum habet nasum’: Boethius, Aristotle, and the Music of the Spheres in the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries.” In Citation and Authority in

156   Elizabeth Eva Leach Medieval and Renaissance Musical Culture: Learning from the Learned, edited by Suzannah Clark and Elizabeth Eva Leach, 20–28. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer. Rothenberg, David  J. 2011. The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music. New York: Oxford University Press. Saltzstein, Jennifer. 2012. “Cleric-Trouvères and the Jeux-Partis of Medieval Arras.” Viator 43 (2): 147–64. Schoen-Nazzaro, Mary B. 1978. “Plato and Aristotle on the Ends of Music.” Laval Theologique et Philosophique 34 (3): 261–373. Swerdlow, Noel. 1967. “ ‘Musica dicitur a moys, quod est aqua.’ ” Journal of the American Musicological Society 20, no. 1 (Spring): 3–9. Tanay, Dorit Esther. 1999. Noting Music, Marking Culture: The Intellectual Context of Rhythmic Notation, 1250–1400. Musicological Studies and Documents 46. Holzgerlingen, Germany: Hänssler Verlag. Vale, Malcolm. 2001. The Princely Court: Medieval Courts and Culture in North-West Europe 1270–1380. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ziolkowski, Jan M., ed. 1998. The Cambridge Songs (Carmina Cantabrigiensia). Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies.

chapter 8

The Ea r ly Moder n Per iod Bruce R. Smith

As a departure point for thinking about music in early modern terms, let us consider a viola da gamba. The example in Figure 8.1 is a bass viol made by John Rose (whether the father or the son is uncertain) in London about 1600. How might we think about the viol in question? What lines of thought present themselves? Where might we find a philosophical purchase on the object in front of us? Taking a cue from Aristotle’s Categories, we might first think of Rose’s viol ontologically. We might consider it as a physical object and scrutinize what we understand it to be, how it came to be, what other objects it is related to, and how it can be used. In his treatise De inventione et usu musicae (c.1487), the first-wave Humanist theoretician Johannes Tinctoris uses the Latin word viola to designate stringed instruments descended from the lute (Woodfield 1988, 38–39). All such instruments belong to the larger lyra family. A prototypical lyra, in Tinctoris’s description, “is made of wood in the shape of a tortoise-shell, with a hole roughly in the center, and a long neck over which the strings are stretched from just below the hole up to the top of the neck” (Weiss and Taruskin 2008, 133). Completing our physical anatomy of Rose’s instrument, we might distinguish it as a viola da gamba (to be placed between the legs and played with a bow) as opposed to a viola da braccio (to be placed on the arm and bowed) or a viola a mano (to be plucked with the hand, as with a lute or a guitar). Then again, we might consider the metaphysics of the viol, its instrumentality in sounding the principles of cosmic harmony. Michel de Montaigne in his “Apology for Raymond Sebound” (1580, with later revisions) recounts a familiar topos that has its ultimate textual origin in Plato’s Timaeus and Laws. “In the most famous schools of Greece,” Montaigne writes, “the world is reputed a god, framed by another greater and mightier god, and is composed of a body and a soul, which abideth in his centre, spreading itself by musical numbers unto his circumference, divine, thrice-happy, very great, most wise and eternal” (Montaigne 1613, sig. Ee5v).1 Robert Fludd’s illustration of the music of all creation, in Figure 8.2, gives visual presence to this pervasive idea.


Bruce R. Smith

Figure 8. John Rose (father or son uncertain), bass viola da gamba (London, c. 1600). © Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Early Modern Period   159 Or we might consider the physics of the viol: how sound is produced by a player on the viol, how that sound is propagated in the air, and how it is received by human ears. Francis Bacon in Sylva Sylvarum, or A Natural History (published posthumously in 1626) observes that “if a lute, or viol, be laid upon the back with a small straw upon one of the strings; and another lute or viol be laid by it; and in the other lute or viol, the unison to that string be stricken; it will make the string move” (Bacon 1626, § 279, sig. K3v). Vibration is the material cause in Bacon’s acoustics. The rhetoric of the viol might be another concern. We might consider what music produced on the viol represents or expresses and how that music affects listeners. Tinctoris describes his rapture at hearing two blind brothers, Charles and Jean, play on an instrument he calls a viola cum arculo (viola with an arched bridge): “I heard Charles take the treble and Jean the tenor in many songs, playing the viol [probably viola in its generic sense] so expertly and with such charm that the viol has never pleased me so well” (Woodfield 1988, 78–79). This is high praise indeed, since Tinctoris considers the viola and the rebec to be “my chosen instruments, those that induce piety and stir my heart most ardently to the contemplation of heavenly joys” (Weiss and Taruskin 2008, 134). Because the viola and the rebec are both stringed instruments, Tinctoris may be thinking here of the metaphysics of the music, but in describing how the sounds “stir my heart most ardently” he is also testifying to the visceral power of the music. In terms that Cicero taught early modern rhetoricians, Tinctoris was “moved” by the brothers’ violplaying, just as auditors of an oration might be “moved” by a speaker. “The French Dancing Master” in Figure 8.3 shows how that moving could be quite literal. On hearing certain kinds of music, a listener is moved to get up and dance. Finally, we might consider the ethics of the viol. In The Book of The Courtier (1528) Baldassare Castiglione has Sir Frederick, one of the main interlocutors in this Ciceronian dialogue, declare that “all instruments with frets” are becoming to a courtier, specifically mentioning the lute and viol (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 328). Blown instruments are deemed less becoming, for three reasons. First, the frets on a viol’s neck allow the instrument to be tuned according to the cosmic ratios shown in Fludd’s image of the music of the spheres (Figure 8.2). Fludd takes quite literally an idea going back to Pythagoras that the numerical ratios governing the disposition of the universe can be replicated in human music. Stringed instruments, furthermore, permit a performer to add words, imbuing the music with logos, whereas blown instruments can communicate only wordless passions. Cosmetics provides the final reason: blowing a wind instrument disfigures the performer’s face with puffed cheeks and pursed lips. The courtly rules Castiglione prescribes are part of music as “ethos”: that is to say, music considered as custom, usage, disposition, character, and social institution (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “ethos, n.,” 1, 2.a), in this case music as a practice for noble males attendant on a prince. There were ethoi other than courts in early modern Europe, each with its own music and its own ways of discoursing about music. All five philosophical “takes” on music—ontological, physical, metaphysical, rhetorical, and ethical—were current in the late fifteenth, sixteenth, and early seventeenth centuries. Furthermore, those approaches existed in a state of confusion and contradiction.

160   Bruce R. Smith

Figure 8.2  The tuning of the spheres, from Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et minoris, metaphysica, physica, atque technica Historia (1617). By permission of the Getty Research Institute.

The Early Modern Period   161 According to Frederick Copleston in A History of Philosophy, medieval thought presents “a variety set against a common and well-defined background.” By contrast, “when one looks at Renaissance philosophy . . . one is faced at first sight with a rather bewildering assortment of philosophies. One finds for instance Platonists, Aristotelians of various kinds, anti-Aristotelians, Stoics, sceptics, eclectics and philosophers of nature . . . the over-all impression is one of a pullulating individualism” (Copleston 1963, 28). What is true of Renaissance philosophy in general is no less true of Renaissance philosophies of music. The Praise of Music (1586, published anonymously but sometimes attributed to the Aristotelian scholar John Case) is typical in drawing together ideas about music from diverse sources without worrying too much about deeper contradictions. Let us consider the five philosophical takes on music one by one. My approach here can be compared to Mladen Dolar’s organization of his 2006 book A Voice and Nothing More according to philosophical categories. In each case we shall seek out manifestations of the ideas in action by attending to particular venues, compositions, and musical practices. And we shall take seriously the “modern” in “early modern,” looking for ways in which our contemporary concerns are anticipated in fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and ­seventeenth-century philosophies of music.2 Existing scholarship on early modern music tends to favour only a single philosophical approach, whether one recognized by early modern practitioners themselves (metaphysical, for example) or one grounded in interpretative theories of our own time (social-materialist, for example, or deconstructionist). We come closer, I would argue, to early modern thought about music by putting multiple approaches into play, even as we own up to our own interpretative preoccupations. To us, as to early modern thinkers, music presents a special test case that calls into question philosophical ideas based primarily on visual experience and on words.

Ontology Focus on an instrument as a physical entity is not static. It invites us to consider not just the instrument’s materiality and form but who made the instrument and how it can be used. The template for this approach is supplied by Aristotle’s four “causes”—material, formal, efficient, and final—as articulated in Metaphysics (5.2.1013a.24–1013b.4) and elsewhere in Aristotle’s works. In The Art of Reason (1573), Ralph Lever turns these tools of “wit-craft” into plain English: There are four causes: the matter, the form, the workman, and the end. 1. Matter is the stuff, whereof a thing is made. 2. Form is the shape and fashion, which added to the matter, maketh the thing perfect, and yieldeth both name and being thereunto. 3. Workmen are doers, from whence moving first cometh. 4. An end is the use of a thing that is made, causing the workman to take the enterprise in hand.  (Lever 1573: sig. L8)

162   Bruce R. Smith

Figure 8.3  “The French Dancing Master” from William Cavendish, The Variety (1639–42), as depicted on the title page to Francis Kirkman, The Wits (1662). By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The Early Modern Period   163 For the lyra viol shown in Figure 8.1 we have ready answers to Lever’s considerations 1, 2, and 3. Following well-established ideas about “viol-ness,” John Rose fashioned this particular one out of wood, glue, and gut in his workshop in the Bridewell district of London in 1598. The fourth “cause” is more open-ended, extending beyond Rose’s immediate intentions. Once finished and sold, to what uses could Rose’s viol have been put? Private musicmaking in a well-set-up household is one possibility. Henry Peacham in The Complete Gentleman (1622) extends Castiglione’s advice about music in The Courtier to a socially broader group of music-makers: I might run into an infinite sea of the praise and use of so excellent an art, but I only show it you with the finger, because I desire not that any noble or gentleman should (save his private recreation at leisurable hours) prove a master in the same, or neglect his more weighty employments: . . . I desire no more in you than to sing your part sure, and at the first sight, withal, to play the same upon your viol, or the exercise of the lute, privately to yourself.  (Peacham 1622, sig. O4v)

Peacham’s syntax and punctuation are ambiguous, but he seems to be distinguishing here between singing and viol-playing as social activities on the one hand and lute­playing as a private activity on the other. Rose’s viol might also have been used in theatrical performances, in which case the performer would have been not an amateur, as Peacham imagines, but a professional musician. In 1598, the very year Rose finished his viol, an inventory of theatrical properties drawn up for Philip Henslowe, impresario of the acting troupe the Lord Admiral’s Men, includes four stringed instruments—a treble viol, a bass viol, a bandore, and a cittern—along with a sackbut, three timbrels, three trumpets, and a drum (Smith 1999, 218–219). Recorders were probably also in the company’s possession. Viols were essential to the cues for “soft music,” “still music,” and “solemn music” in scripts of the period (see Lindley 2006), often in moments when the music of the spheres is invoked to work supernatural effects on mortals. In Shakespeare’s plays such moments include the “still music” that accompanies the appearance of the god Hymen at the end of As You Like It (5.4.106, stage direction), the music that cures and then awakes the deranged King Lear in the first printed text of the play (The History of King Lear, sc. 21), Paulina’s bowing cue “Music; awake her, strike!” when Hermione’s statue comes to life in the last scene of The Winter’s Tale (5.2.98), and Prospero’s command for “some heavenly music” to work his final act of magic at the of The Tempest (5.1.52, cued as “solemn music” at 5.1.58 stage direction). A rather different use for a viol is suggested in Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker’s comedy The Roaring Girl (probably first acted in 1611). (“Roaring” in early modern English meant rowdy and boisterous, and the person doing the roaring was typically a “boy.”) When Moll Cutpurse, the protagonist modelled on the real-life virago Mary Frith, threatens to draw her sword on a male antagonist, he takes down a viol from the wall, hands it to her, and asks her to sing and so allay her fury. Presumably she plays the viol a gamba, between her legs: “I’ll play my part as well as I can,” Moll quips, “it shall

164   Bruce R. Smith ne’er be said I came into a gentleman’s chamber and let his instrument hang by the walls!” (Middelton 2007: sc. 8.85–87) Her interlocutor acknowledges “there be a thousand close dames that will call the viol an unmannerly instrument for a woman” (sc. 8.96–98). In the hands of Peacham’s gentleman amateur, a viol could demonstrate social accomplishment. From the musician’s gallery in the Globe Theatre, it could sound the music of the spheres. Plucked down from a tavern wall and placed between the legs of a woman, it could raise a man’s flesh. We see in Middleton and Rowley’s jokes a verbal counterpart to the images of Fludd’s universe and the dancing French fiddler shown in Figures 8.2 and 8.3: in Figure 8.2, the viol as a symbol of rationality; in Figure 8.3, the viol as an instrument for roaring. Early modern ontology with respect to musical apparatus points us in the direction of the modern idea of “affordances,” the possibilities of action available in a given environment, given the objects available and the user’s perceptions. The term “affordances,” originally introduced by psychologist James J. Gibson in the 1970s, invites us to recognize that a viol is not a simple object with obvious uses but a complex object that can be deployed in different ways, according to the circumstances, and with differing results for listeners’ perceptions (Gibson 2015).

Metaphysics Plato’s ideas about mundane music as emanations of cosmic harmony took on new life in early modern Europe. Marsilio Ficino, resident intellectual at the court of Lorenzo de’ Medici, provides in De triplici vita (Three Books on Life) (1489) a key to Fludd’s finely tuned viol in Figure 8.2. “Now since the planets are seven in number,” Ficino writes, “there are also seven steps through which something from on high can be attracted to the lower things. Sounds occupy the middle position and are dedicated to Apollo” (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 386). Sounds mediate between material elements, subhuman living things, and fine powders and vapours positioned toward the bottom of the viol’s fretted neck and “forms, motions, passions” and acts of reason positioned at the top. As “a most powerful imitator of all things,” song can represent “people’s physical gestures, motions, and actions as well as their characters,” but “when it imitates the celestials, it also wonderfully arouses our spirit upwards to the celestial influence and the celestial influence downwards to our spirit” (387). In Fludd’s image the viol’s neck comprises a double octave. The lower octave passes through the spheres of the four elements (earth, water, air, fire) and the spheres of the moon (stones and metals), Mercury (plants and animals), and Venus (fine powders and vapours), before closing the octave in the sphere of the sun. The upper octave ascends from the sun by eight degrees through Ficino’s “celestials.” The route from Plato to Ficino has been thoroughly charted by Gary Tomlinson in a chapter on “Modes and Planetary Song: The Musical Alliance of Ethics and Cosmology” in Music in Renaissance Magic (Tomlinson  2006, 44–66). Plato’s formulations about

The Early Modern Period   165 music begin with Pythagoras (sixth century bce), who is credited by numerous ancient and medieval authorities as being the “discoverer” of music. As Iamblichus (late third century to the early fourth century ce) tells the story in his biography of Pythagoras, one day the philosopher was passing a brass-worker’s shop and noticed familiar harmonious intervals in the striking of the brass-worker’s hammers. Rushing inside, he discovered that the differences in pitch were the result of different weights of the hammers. Back at home, Pythagoras suspended four strings from a peg in the wall, stretched them by tying hammers to the loose ends, and after experimenting with various weights found that he could reproduce the harmonic intervals by plucking the strings. What is more, those intervals turned out to be measurable in fixed ratios using only the numbers 1 to 4. Thus an octave was produced by plucking strings whose lengths were related in a ratio of 1:2, a fifth in a ratio of 3:2, a fourth in a ratio of 4:3 (Iamblichus 1926, 26). Pythagoras’s discovery helps explain why Castiglione and other early modern writers considered stringed instruments superior to other musical instruments and hence more worthy of a cultivated person’s attention. Harmony in the music that Pythagoras heard, as in Gregorian chant, as indeed in most of the world’s musics today, was monophonic: harmonic intervals measured progressions from one tone to another, not multiple tones sounding at the same time. The introduction in Western art music of polyphony, with two or more melodic lines moving simultaneously, complicated things mathematically for thinkers-about-music and practically for composers, performers, and listeners. As pointed out by both Tomlinson (2006, 71) and Penelope Gouk in Music, Science and Natural Magic in SeventeenthCentury England (Gouk 1999, 137–41), the writers who kept Pythagoras’s model current across a thousand years in fact assumed two quite different mathematical systems: one based on pitch and one based on scales. In the pitch model, as originally articulated by Pythagoras, each planet sounds out a different tone. The result is “the music of spheres” in the plural. In the scalar model, as formulated most influentially by Gioseffo Zarlino in his Institutione harmoniche (1558), each planet is associated with a different scale made up of multiple tones. For theorists taking the long view, it was immensely appealing to associate each scale with one of the ancient modes mentioned by Plato: the Lydian mode inducing sorrow, the Ionian indolence, the Dorian and the Phyrgian courage and strength (Republic 3.398–403). Writing metaphysical music—getting the numbers right—was one thing; making it work for listeners was another. The very possibility of metaphysical listening was debated. Montaigne, for example, in his essay “Of Custom” (1580), regards the music of the spheres as only an idea, not a sound-event. We cannot hear the music of the spheres for the same reason that Egyptians living near the cataracts of the Nile cannot hear the falls: We need not go seek what our neighbors report of the cataracts of Nile; and what philosophers deem of the celestial music, which is, that the bodies of its circles, being solid smooth, and in their rolling motion, touching and rubbing one against another, must of necessity produce a wonderful harmony: by the changes and

166   Bruce R. Smith i­ ntercaperings of which, the revolutions, motions, cadences, and carols of the asters and planets are caused and transported. But that universally the hearing senses of these low world’s creatures, dizzied and lulled asleep, as those of the Egyptians are, by the continuation of that sound, how loud and great soever it be, cannot sensibly perceive or distinguish the same.  (Montaigne 1613, sig. E5)

Shakespeare gives the metaphysical take on music its due when he has Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice (1597–8), looking up into the night sky, tell his new bride Jessica, There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still choiring to the young-eyed cherubins.

But Lorenzo immediately qualifies his declaration by telling Jessica that such listening, in their present circumstances, is impossible: Such harmony is in immortal souls, But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it. (5.1.60–5)

The witty Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (1598) is more blunt. He marvels that “sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies” (2.3.51). The year before Rose was making his viol and Shakespeare was writing Merchant and Much Ado, Thomas Morley published a book that discounted metaphysical aspirations in its very title: A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music (1597). Morley contrasts his own interest in “practical music” with speculative “discourse of music” (Weiss and ­ Taruskin 2008, 195). And yet some people claimed to hear the music of the spheres. The English world traveller Thomas Coryat describes in 1608 the transcendental elation he experienced at hearing a musical celebration of St Roch’s feast day in Venice, a vocal and instrumental performance so good, so delectable, so rare, so super excellent that it did even ravish and stupefy all those strangers that never heard the like. But how others were affected with it I know not; for mine own part I can say this, that I was for the time even rapt up with St. Paul into the third heaven.  (MacClintock 1979, 115)

Coryat’s allusion is to 2 Corinthians 12:2–4, where Paul, presumably referring to himself in third person, describes coming into the presence of God: I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether he were in the body, I cannot tell, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) which was taken up into the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body,

The Early Modern Period   167 I cannot tell: God knoweth) how that he was taken up into Paradise, and heard words which cannot be spoken, which are not possible for man to utter. (2 Corinthians 12:2–4, Geneva Bible)

It was the stringed instruments and the singing in particular that wafted Coryat to that place. An ethereal effect seems to have been produced by three viol-players when they took up theorboes, lutes with long necks, “to which they sung also, who yielded admirable sweet music but so still that they could scarce be heard but by those very near them” (MacClintock 1979, 115). Well into the seventeenth century John Milton in his poem “At a Solemn Music” (published 1645) celebrates metaphysical listening and provides the conditions necessary for it to happen. “Voice” and “verse” in Milton’s formulation provide access to a truth higher than sense perception: Blest pair of sirens, pledges of Heav’n’s joy, Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse, Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ Dead things with inbreath’d sense able to pierce, And to our high-rais’d fantasy present That undisturbed song of pure consent, Ay sung before that sapphire-colour’d throne To Him that sits thereon . . . (Milton 1645, 22; ll. 1–8)

To call Voice and Verse “sirens” as well as “sisters” suggests that either entity, on its own, possesses no more than sensuous power. It is their “mixt power” that allows a listener to hear the “song of pure consent.” No less important, let us note, is the faculty of “fantasy,” which in early modern psychology referred to the synesthetic fusions of sense experience, memory, and imagination that communicated directly between brain and heart (Wright 1604, sig. D7). The qualifier “solemn” in Milton’s title is more than “dignified.” Like a Missa solemnis, Milton’s “solemn music” is “associated or connected with religious rites or observances; performed with due ceremony and reverence; having a religious character; sacred” (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “solemn, adj.,” 1.a). Milton’s usage should prompt us to think more precisely about the “solemn music” cued to accompany Prospero’s ministrations at the end of The Tempest. For us, “metaphysical music” might seem a superannuated, exhausted line of inquiry. Transcendental meaning has been attacked and dismissed in critical analysis of all the arts, not just music. Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology (1967, English translation 1976) remains the foundational text for these operations. Or has Derrida’s book been turned into a transcendental text in its own right? A latter-day version of Platonic philosophy still exists, in the guise of Theory-with-a-capital-T, abstruse and abstract, disconnected from the sound in music as a sounding art. Carolyn Abbate protests against such a state of affairs when, borrowing terms from Vladimir Jankélévitch, she advances the case for

168   Bruce R. Smith “drastic music” over “gnostic music.” “Metaphysical mania,” writes Abbate, “encourages us to retreat from real music to the abstraction of the work” (Abbate 2004, 505). As yet another version of metaphysical idealism we might even consider “absolute music” of the twentieth century: Schoenberg, Webern, Hindemith, Stravinsky. In his Absolute Music: The History of an Idea, Mark Evan Bonds traces the origins of this highly influential concept to Eduard Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (On the Beautiful in Music, 1854), and ultimately to Pythagoras and Plato (Bonds 2014, 17–38). Twelve-tone rows may not be so far from Pythagoras’s cosmically determined intervals, in the act of analysing if not in the experience of listening.

Physics How to turn metas into physicals: that was the problem faced by early modern thinkers about music such as Bartolomeo Ramos de Pareia (Musica practica, 1482), Ficino (De triplici vita, 1489), Francino Gafori (Practica musicae, 1496), Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum, 1526), and Marin Mersenne (Harmonie universelle, 1636). Again, Tomlinson (2006, 77–97) and Gouk (1999, 277–282) have provided summaries and charts that precisely place these thinkers vis-à-vis each other and vis-à-vis the acoustic problem at large. With two competing schemes of cosmic harmony—one based on pitch, the other on scales—just getting the numbers right was not a straightforward proposition. Practical questions about pitches and scales did not stop the poet Jean-Antoine de Baïf and the composer Joachim Thibault de Courville from founding in the late 1560s a ­royally-supported Académie de musique et de poésie dedicated to reviving ancient music—and to recapturing the effects attributed to that music by ancient authorities. As stated in the academy’s statutes, the ultimate purpose of vers mesurés and its attuned musique mesurée, with rhythms regulated by the metres of Greek and Latin verse, is that “by this means the souls of listeners, accustomed and disposed to music in the very form of their faculties, might arrange themselves so as to be capable of higher knowledge, purging themselves of whatever barbarities may remain in them” (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 340). In Florence a few years later similar experiments by the Camerata assembled by Count Giovanni de’ Bardi resulted in the earliest operas, the earliest of all being Ottavio Rinnucini’s drama Dafne (1597–8), set to music by Jacopo Peri and Jacopo Corsi (Abbate and Parker 2015, 40). In Rinnucini’s drama, lyre-playing Apollo is a central figure, and he brought with him the metaphysical baggage we have observed already. According to its composer, Marco Da Gagliano, one of the later settings (1607–8) was staged so as to emphasize the cosmic powers of Apollo’s lyre and the unseen viols that were actually used to sound its powers: when Apollo sings the terzetti Non curi la mia pieanta o fiamme, o gelo he should hold his lyre against his chest . . . It is necessary that it should appear to the audience

The Early Modern Period   169 that the extraordinary melody comes from Apollo’s lyre, so place four viol players . . . in one of the rear exits in a place where, unseen by the audience, they can see Apollo, and when he applies his bow to his lyre, they can play the three written notes, taking care to draw their bows together so it will seem to be only one bow (MacClintock 1979, 193).

In practical terms, the French and Italian experiments fostered two revolutionary developments in particular: chromaticism and monody (Berger  2007, 19–42). Ironically, abandoning Pythagoras’s cosmically sanctioned intervals—or at least moving beyond them—seemed to induce the strong passions that those intervals were supposed to secure on their own. Susan McClary argues in Desire and Pleasure in SeventeenthCentury Music that one chromatic progression in particular—the leading tone—proved to be especially powerful (McClary 2012, 8). Claudio Monteverdi’s 1607 opera L’Orfeo: Favola in musica exemplifies “The Expansion Principle” that McClary locates in new tonalities that move in and out of traditional modes (32–39). In Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, as in Peri and Corsi’s La Dafne, it is a man with a lyre who sounds out as the protagonist. The other new development, monody, is closer to Plato’s prescriptions in carefully aligning words and music in the singing of a single voice. Again, Monteverdi’s Orfeo offers a resonant example. Plato (in Republic 398d) had defined music as consisting of three things: oration, harmony, and rhythm. Seventeenth-century monody, in operas and in lyric songs, restored oration to its proper place as the principle that guides the other two. The “solemn music” that so moved Milton may well have been monody of the sort cultivated by Henry Lawes, who collaborated with Milton on A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle [Comus] in 1634. Yet another way of conjoining the numbers of physics with practices of music is evoked in Morley’s A Plain and Easy Introduction. Morley contrasts “practical music” with “that kind of music which by mathematical helps, seeketh out the causes, properties, and natures of sounds by themselves, and compared with others proceeding no further, but content with the only contemplation of the art” (Weiss and Taruskin 2008, 195). By gesturing towards “mathematic helps” Morley is commemorating an older, already well-established science of music through its place in the medieval quadrivium alongside mathematics, geometry, and astronomy. All four are scientific subjects in that they offer ways of observing, measuring, and systematizing the world of givens within which human beings think, act, and live. Morley may also be recognizing a science of sound that was just beginning to become an independent pursuit when he published his howto-do-things-with-music guide in 1597. Gouk (1999, 3–22) has insisted that the new acoustic science of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries had as much to do with “natural magic” as with what we now understand as “physics.” The “experiments” in Bacon’s Sylva Silvarum are closer to what we would call “experiences”: demonstrations of phenomena like the vibration transmitted from one viol to another that Bacon attempts to explain by using philosophical explanations that already exist. Many of his explanations assume the same occult but naturally occurring causes that distinguished “natural” magic from “demonic” magic

170   Bruce R. Smith (Gouk 1999, 157–192). Bacon knows in advance what the outcomes are going to be; he mainly wants the reader to experience the phenomena at first hand—or in the several experiments with sound, at first ear. In all these experiments Bacon is concerned with the materiality of sound: the material vibrations that are the sources of sound, the material media that transmit sound waves to the ear, the material apparatus of hearing and perception. Take, for example, his explanation of sounds made by a viol: The strings of a lute, or viol, or virginals, do give a far greater sound, by reason of the knot, and board, and concave underneath, than if there were nothing but only the flat of a board, without that hollow and knot, to let in the upper air into the lower. The cause is, the communication of the upper air with the lower; and penning of both from expense, or dispersing.  (Bacon 1626, § 145, sig. G2v)

It is possible indeed to get ahead of the air, so to speak, and “play” one’s ear using the bow from a bow-and-arrows (Bacon 1626, § 149). In another version of the experiment Bacon recommends playing one’s teeth by biting down on the bow and plucking the string (§ 700). Rather than looking for an epistemic shift in seventeenth-century thought about music, Gouk invites us to accept continuities and contradictions, just as Copleston does with Renaissance philosophy more generally. Certainly that is the case with the physics of music, even in the writings of Bacon. Multiple possibilities about the physics of music and its physiological effects are explicitly entertained by Thomas Wright in his treatise on The Passions of the Mind in General (1604). “What,” he asks, “hath the shaking or artificial crispling of the air (which is in effect the substance of music) to do with rousing up choler, afflicting with melancholy, jubilating the heart with pleasure, elevating the soul with devotion, alluring to lust, inducing to peace, exciting to compassion, inviting to magnanimity?” Wright proposes four answers. The first is “a certain sympathy, correspondence, or proportion betwixt our souls and music.” A second answer is “God’s general providence, who, when these sounds affect the ear, produceth a certain spiritual quality in the soul, the which stirreth up one or other passion, according to the variety of voices or consorts of instruments.” Third is the very sound itself, which, according to the best philosophy is nothing else but a certain artificial shaking, crispling, or tickling of the air (like as we see in the water crispled, when it is calm and a sweet gale of wind ruffleth it a little; or when we cast a stone into a calm water we may perceive divers warbling natural circles) which passeth through the ears, and by them into the heart, and there beateth and tickleth it in such sort as it is moved with semblable passions.

Finally Wright considers music’s multiple affects: “diverse comforts stir up the heart, diverse sorts of joys, and diverse sorts of sadness or pain” (Wright 1604, sigs. M4v–M6). In terms of our own categories of thought, Wright’s answers range from ontology (“correspondence” between soul and music as entities) to metaphysics (“God’s general

The Early Modern Period   171 ­ rovidence”) to physics (“a certain artificial shaking, crispling, or tickling of the air”) to p psychology (comforts, joys, sadness, pain). It is symptomatic, perhaps, of what was happening in seventeenth-century thought about music that Wright links physics and psychology. In the ears and minds of some listeners, then and now, to consider music in terms of physics is to consider too curiously. Horatio chides Hamlet for systematically reducing Alexander the Great’s mortal remains to a material substance, a wad of dust: “ʼTwere to consider too curiously to consider so” (Hamlet 5.1.201). But Bacon, true to the physiology in physics, is also attentive to the psychological reception of music. His model embraces not only periodic waves in the air but activation of the “spirits” that early modern physiology took to be the body’s internal communication system. Sound—music in particular—is judged in one of the last experiments to be a more “spiritual” medium than vision. With respect to the eye of the beholder, colours remain “out there.” Smells, tastes, and touches do engage the perceiver’s body, but sound, music in particular, communicates most directly with the perceiver’s spirits: So it is sound alone, that doth immediately, and incorporeally, affect most: this is most manifest in music; and concords and discords in music: for all sounds, whether they be sharp, or flat, if they be sweet, have a roundness and equality; and if they be harsh, are unequal: for a discord itself is but a harshness of di[v]erse sounds meeting. (Bacon 1626, § 700, sig. Z3)

In this formulation the human body, not the mathematics of the cosmos, becomes the material cause of musical effects. Bacon and Wright deliver us to the threshold of a modern psychology of music that recognizes the physics of sound, media, and individual perceptions as equally important components. They also position themselves within the approach to music that early modern listeners found to be a particularly good fit with their own experiences of music: rhetoric.

Rhetoric As much deference as early modern writers may have given to Aristotle and the causes of music, to Plato and the metaphysics of music, and to Pythagoras and the physics of music, the conceptual framework that seemed most habitable was the rhetoric of music. In his Wordless Rhetoric: Musical Form and the Metaphor of the Oration (1991), Mark Evan Bonds demonstrates how rhetoric/oration/persuasion functioned before 1800 as the standard model for explaining musical form, just as organic ideas of form became dominant after 1800. Aristotle’s Rhetoric was the ultimate authority for such an approach, but closer at hand for early modern thinkers were the dialogues of Cicero and Quintilian, whose precepts supplied the principles of Humanist education all over Europe. Rhetoric, as we might say today, was the default mode for talking about music,

172   Bruce R. Smith as indeed it was for talking about all forms of art down to the eighteenth century. For music in particular, rhetoric usefully combined aspects of all the other approaches: the causes of ontology, the idealism of metaphysics, the materiality of physics, and, as we shall discover, the character-formation and the sociality of ethics. “Docere, delectare, et movere”: Cicero in De Oratore (55 bce) specifies the purposes of rhetoric as “to teach, to delight, and to move” (Cicero  1942: 2.19.21). For listeners to music in early modern Europe, that formulation was attractive because it gave them permission to take visceral pleasure in what they were hearing at the same time that they could tell themselves they were experiencing something “higher.” Explicit comparisons of music and rhetoric are provided by several early modern writers. Vincenzo Galilei’s Dialogue on Ancient and Modern Music (1581) is perhaps the most thorough-going. In it, Galilei gives Giovanni de’ Bardi (the same Florentine count who was so influential for the birth of opera) an oration on the fundamental difference between sixteenth-century music (“its sole aim is to delight the ear”) and ancient music (“to induce in another the same passion that one feels oneself ”). Contemporary composers can learn how to recapture the ancient effects, Galilei has De’ Bardi say, by going to the theatre: when they go for their amusement to the tragedies and comedies that the mummers act, let them a few times leave off their immoderate laughing, and instead be so good as to observe when one quiet gentleman speaks with another, in what manner he speaks, how high or low his voice is pitched, with what volume of sound, with what sort of accents and gestures, and with what rapidity or slowness his words are uttered. And so on, for gentlemen speaking with servants, servants with each other, a prince with one of his subjects or with a petitioner, angry and excited men, a married woman, a girl, a child, a harlot, a lover, a man lamenting, a man crying out, a timid man, a joyful man. From these variations of circumstance, if they observe them attentively and examine them with care, they will be able to select the norm of what is fitting for the expression of any other conception whatever that can call for their handling. (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 465–466)

The fusion of oratory, music, and theatre that De’ Bardi advocates here was realized in early operas like La Dafne and L’Orfeo. The declamatory style of these experiments—the stile rappresentativo—must have had appeal beyond the cognoscenti of De’ Bardi’s Camerata, since it was taken up within a dozen years as far afield as England in the declamatory songs that Robert Johnson contributed to plays acted by the King’s Men (including The Tempest in 1610–11) and in Lawes’s music for Milton’s Comus (1634). Music-as-rhetoric, as Tomlinson points out, was a special interest of German writers about music in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 467). In Musica Poetica (1606) Joachim Burmeister recommends that composers structure their pieces like orations. Analysis or “arrangement” of a musical piece begins and ends for Burmeister with the piece’s “affections or periods,” which he aligns with what

The Early Modern Period   173 Cicero and his early modern disciples would have called the dispositio of an oration. In this layout Burmeister distinguishes three sequential elements: (1) an exordium that captures the listener’s attention, (2) “the body of the piece,” and (3) an ending in which the forthcoming close is “clearly impressed on the listeners’ awareness” (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 469). It is the body of the piece that communicates the piece’s argument: “textual passages similar to the various arguments of the confirmatio in rhetoric are instilled in the listener’s mind in order that the proposition be more clearly grasped and considered” (469). Composing a piece of music, Burmeister proposes, is like writing an oration; listening to a piece of music, like attending to an eloquent speech. Both species of rhetoric are designed to advance an argument; both achieve their ends by “winning over” listeners’ “affections.” The example that Burmeister immediately provides is a five-voice motet by Orlando di Lasso. As other examples of Galilei’s and Burmeister’s principles we might turn to early operas. Monteverdi’s exquisitely sensitive music for Arianna’s lament in the otherwise lost opera Arianna (1608) follows the contours of the singer’s passions as she moves from grief over her abandonment by Theseus to pleading to anger to resignation. Di Lasso’s motet and Monteverdi’s aria are like orations in that both declaim words, but the argument that Burmeister has in mind need not be verbal; rather, it concerns “affections.” Abstract music, he implies, can accomplish the same goals. Musical rhetoric has succeeded if it induces in listeners the passions that the composer engages and the musician performs. So just what is a listener “moved” to do? To think, certainly. To feel, even more insistently. But above all to do something. It is the rhetorical mode of thinking about music, not just the metaphysical and the physical modes, that explains why early modern writers loved anecdotes about music’s power to change listeners’ behaviour. Hence the Count’s praise of music in Castiglione: it is written that Alexander was sometime so fervently stirred with it that (in a manner) against his will he was forced to arise from banquets and run to weapon, afterward the musician changing the stroke and his manner of tune, pacified himself again and returned from weapon to banqueting.  (Strunk and Treitler 1998, 326)

The ultimate power of music-as-rhetoric may lie in what it moves listeners to do with their bodies. In effect, listeners yield control of their bodies to music. Beginning with Plato, music was associated with gymnastics. In the Republic, Socrates lays out a scheme of education that moves from letters through music to gymnastics. The three disciplines are deployed sequentially to bring order and harmony to the student’s soul. Gymnastics figures, indeed, as the perfection of letters and music: he who best blends gymnastics with music and applies them most suitably to the soul is the man whom we should most rightly pronounce to be the most musical and harmonious, far rather than the one who composes the strings one with another. (Republic 3.18.412b, in Strunk and Treitler 1998, 18–19)

174   Bruce R. Smith With the nineteenth-century apotheosis of abstract music intruding between us and our early modern counterparts, it may be hard to understand how closely allied music was with dance even as late as W. A. Mozart in the eighteenth century. Taking survey of the major genres of music in 1597, Morley begins with the head but ends with the feet: at the top of the hierarchy he places religious motets, followed in order by “songs and sonnets,” canzonets, Neapolitan songs, villanelles, songs that can be danced to (balletti), drinking-songs, bergamasques, and pastorellas before he descends to “music which is made without ditty” (without words) beginning with fantasies and descending, in order of dignity, through pavanes, galliards, allemandes, French brawls, voltas and courantes before landing on the ground with hornpipes and jigs (MacClintock 1979, 99). Which brings us to the French dancing master in Figure 8.3. Playing a viol a braccio rather than a gamba frees the legs to realize the moving power of music along with head and heart. Thinking about music in whole-body terms, as the rhetorical model invites us, anticipates phenomenology as a modern critical practice.

Ethics “Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me!” Hamlet complains to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have been sent to spy on him. He hands them a recorder. You would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. ʼSblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me. (Hamlet 3.2.351–60)

In a pun typical of Hamlet’s wit, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern irritate him, they make him “fret,” as well as try to play him like a viol or a lute. Most insulting of all, they take him to be a recorder. Hamlet’s outrage at being associated with a wind instrument is all the more understandable when we recall Castiglione’s counsel to his courtier and Peacham’s to his gentleman that only stringed instruments are worthy of being cultivated. Castiglione’s and Peacham’s advice is ultimately an ethical concern, in the original sense of “ethos” as “character or characterization as revealed in action or its representation” (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “ethos, n.,” 1). According to Aristotle in the Politics, music has the strongest power over character of all the arts. Music is uniquely able to fashion character directly, not through indirect means like colour in the case of painting or form in the case of sculpture: “mele [Aristotle’s word for instances of musical art] on the contrary do actually contain in themselves imitations of ethoses,” as we witness in the differing effects worked on listeners by different harmonies and rhythms (Politics 8.5.1340a, in Strunk and Treitler 1998, 29). The social milieux in which Castiglione and Peacham situate their readers—the court in Castiglione’s case, the upper reaches of not-necessarily-noble society in Peacham’s—remind

The Early Modern Period   175 us that ethos is also a social phenomenon: “the characteristic spirit of a people, community, culture, or era as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations” (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “ethos, n.,” 2.a). Ethos offers a way of understanding social institutions, and, in particular, social institutions situated in particular geographical, architectural, and acoustic spaces. Putting together character and cultural context we arrive at a third definition of “ethos”: as a mode of representation. Note the second phrase in the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “ethos”: “character or characterization as revealed in action or its representation” (my italics). The inventory of musical instruments drawn up for Henslowe’s acting company in 1598 suggests a range of musical ethoi as dramatic representations. Use of particular instruments could signal particular ethoi: sackbuts and trumpets for the royal court, trumpets and drums for military life, citterns and timbrels for rustic life. Musical ethoi are represented also in early modern poetry and prose narratives. Torquato Tasso, for example, evokes a Christian ethos that combines the religious and the military in Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), Book 11, when the Christians march towards the Mount of Olives and the walls of Jerusalem. The ethos that Tasso creates is totalizing. Through chants, through echoes, through choral singing, place and character become one. Edward Fairfax’s English translation Godfrey of Boulogne, or The Recovery of Jerusalem (Tasso 1600) sounds all the resonances: Hither the armies went, and chanted shrill, That all the deep and hollow dales resound, From hollow mounts and caves in every hill, A thousand echoes also sung around . . . (11.11.1–4, sig. S3)

The “pagans” gathered on the walls are at first dumbstruck, then let up a “hideous yell” (11.12.1, 6). Acoustically, as well as militarily, the crusaders prevail, inspiring Tasso to invoke the ancient contrast between string instruments and blown instruments: But yet with sacred notes the hosts proceed, Though blasphemies they hear and cursed things; So with Apollo’s harp Pan tunes his reed, So adders hiss, where Philomela sings . . . (11.13.1–4, sig. S3v)

Through music, the Christians, like Orpheus, are able to exert control over the physical world: Nor flying darts nor stones the Christians dread, Nor arrows shot, nor quarries cast from flings; But with assured faith as dreading nought The holy work begun to end they brought. (11.13.4–8, sig. S3v)

176   Bruce R. Smith Miguel Cervantes in Don Quixote is particularly adept at using music and musical instruments to evoke the different ethoi—regal, mercantile, amorous—into which his knight errant wanders. At one point, for example, Don Quixote contemplates taking up the pastoral life of a shepherd: “Lord bless me, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “and what a life shall we have on’t? What a world of hornpipes, and Zamora bagpipes shall we hear? What taboring shall we have? What jangling of bells and playing on the rebec? And if to these different musics we have the albogne too, we shall have all kind of pastoral instruments.”

A rebec is a three-stringed instrument played with a bow, but Don Quixote has to tell Sancho (and us) what an albogne is: “a certain plate made like a candlestick, and being hollow, gives, if not a very pleasing or harmonious sound, yet it displeaseth not altogether, and agrees well with the rustic tabor and bagpipe” (Cervantes 1652, 2.67, sig. Xxx2). As sites for the composition and performance of music—and for talking about it—we might distinguish five ethoi in early modern Europe: (1) church, (2) court, (3) academy, (4) city and town, and (5) country and village. Each ethos had its own distinctive musical forms. Morley’s survey of “the kinds of music” or “divisions of music” begins, as we have seen, with motets and descends through various forms of dance appropriate to court and noble households, academic institutions, and the festivities and domestic life of people known in England as “the middling sort” (Wrightson 2003, 4–6) before ending with hornpipes. In a term from modern psychology, each of the five ethoi had its own “social script.” Most important for our purposes here, each ethos had its own ways of talking about music. Andrew Dell’Antonio has argued that “discourse about music” in seventeenth-century manuals of polite conversation shifted from “participatory” (which Castiglione had assumed a century earlier) to “receptive”: “The company shows itself to be both conversant with the singer’s art (though without any reference to specific sonic issues . . . ) and entirely able to contextualize that art in a more sophisticated web than a professional-class singer would have been considered able to spin” (Dell'Antonio 2011, 7). Peacham’s chapter “Of Music” in The Complete Gentleman is an example. Very briefly Peacham tells his would-be gentleman what musical skills he should cultivate and where he should use them (singing and playing the viol in company, “exercising” himself with the lute in private), but most of the chapter is devoted to cribbed ideas about music and to name-dropping, including brief accounts of major contemporary Italian composers, suitable for the reader’s own cliché-quoting and name-dropping. In just the terms that Dell’Antonio describes, Peacham articulates an ethics of music for noble (and noble-aspiring) society. Differences in discourse are to be found not only among the five ethoi but within each of them. For religious music, testimonials by Coryat and Milton demonstrate that metaphysical discourse continued well into the age of science. In the multiple, almost annual editions of English psalms inaugurated by Thomas Sternhold in 1533, syllable-bysyllable settings according to the practice of Geneva represent both a homely version of

The Early Modern Period   177 monody and a belief in music as rhetoric. Morley’s Plain and Easy Introduction, with its scepticism about “speculative” music, is designed for amateur music-making in households in cities, towns, and country houses. Discourse about music in villages and the countryside is much harder to document. It has to be inferred, not read. Magical uses of music in popular culture—in spells, in songs and dances used only at Whitsuntide and other holidays, in plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream—suggest a persistence of metaphysical ideas about music in throats and feet, not just in the heads and pens of pedants. If we want to understand ideas about music in early modern Europe beyond the social elite in books written by likes of Ficino, Galilei, Zarlino, Bacon, and Mersenne, we must extend our attention to more indirect evidence. For England, Christopher Marsh’s Music and Society in Early Modern England offers an example, with chapters on professional musicians, amateur musicians, popular ballads, dance, psalm-singing, and bell-ringing. Marsh, a social historian who plays the viola da gamba, is concerned not just with how people made music but what they thought about it. To take just one example from Marsh’s book, a London merchant’s chance inventory of a library of popular books and ballads owned by one “Captain Cox” in the 1570s (Marsh 2010, 124–126) implies, in its coherence, a philosophy of music no less than the explicit recording of commonplaces in The Praise of Music (published under academic auspices in 1586). Cox’s philosophy, however, is more fugitive. As a way of thinking about music, ethics allows us to pursue, in distinctively early modern terms, the concerns with culture, politics, and representation that have kept us preoccupied us since the 1970s. At the same time, music puts pressure on the strategies of interpretation we have invented—strategies that typically presume a verbal or visual object. Perhaps the most useful thing about ethos as a concept is that it lets us approach non-elite music and music-making on more equitable terms. Among early modern ways of thinking about music, ethos remains the most vital.

Notes 1. Spelling has been modernized in this and all other quotations from texts in early modern English. Quotations from books published before 1700 are cited, not by page numbers (which are not always accurate), but by the signature number (abbreviated “sig.”) assigned by the printer to gatherings of pages printed at the same time. Quotations from plays are cited by act, scene, and line numbers, or by scene and line numbers if no act is specified; from Bacon’s Sylva Sylvarum by experiment number; from Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata, by book, canto, and line numbers; from Cervantes’s Don Quixote, by book and chapter number. All quotations from Shakespeare are from Shakespeare 2005. 2. For suggestions and for reading earlier drafts of this chapter I am grateful to Christopher Brody, Tomás McAuley, Matthew Milner, Scott Trudell, and the anonymous reviewer for Oxford University Press. A version of the section on ethics in this paper was circulated as part of a workshop on “Listening and Knowledge in Reformation Europe (1500–1650)” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, in May 2015. I am grateful to Anna Kvičalová for inviting me and to the participants for their comments and suggestions.

178   Bruce R. Smith

Works Cited Abbate, Carolyn. 2004. “Music: Drastic or Gnostic?” Critical Inquiry 30, no. 3 (Spring): 505–535. Abbate, Carolyn, and Roger Parker. 2015. A History of Opera. New York: W. W. Norton. Anonymous. 1586. The Praise of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bacon, Francis. 1626. Sylva Sylvarum, or A Natural History. Edited by William Rawley. London: William Lee. Berger, Karol. 2007. Bach’s Cycle, Mozart’s Arrow: An Essay on the Origins of Musical Modernity. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Bonds, Mark Evan. 2014. Absolute Music: The History of an Idea. New York: Oxford University Press. Bonds, Mark Evan. 1991. Wordless Rhetoric: Musical Form and the Metaphor of the Oration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Cervantes, Miguel. 1652. The History of the Valorous and Witty-Knight-Errant, Don-Quixote, of the Mancha. Translated by Thomas Shelton. London: Andrew Crooke. Cicero. 1942. De Oratore. Translated by E.  W.  Sutton and H.  Rackham. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Copleston, Frederick. 1963. A History of Philosophy. Vol. 3, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy. New York: Doubleday. Dell’Antonio, Andrew 2011. Listening as Spiritual Practice in Early Modern Italy. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Derrida, Jacques. 1976. Of Grammatology. Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Gibson, James  J. 2015. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Classic ed. New York: Psychology Press. First published 1979. Gouk, Penelope. 1999. Music, Science and Natural Magic in Seventeenth-Century England. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Iamblichus. 1926. Life of Pythagoras. Translated by Thomas Taylor. London: John M. Watkins. Lever, Ralph. 1573. The Art of Reason, Rightly Termed Witcraft. London: H. Bynneman. Lindley, David. 2006. Shakespeare and Music. London: Arden Shakespeare. MacClintock, Carol, ed. 1979. Readings in the History of Music in Performance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Marsh, Christopher. 2010. Music and Society in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McClary, Susan. 2012. Desire and Pleasure in Seventeenth-Century Music. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Middleton, Thomas. 2007. The Roaring Girl. In Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works, edited by Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino, 721–778. New York: Oxford University Press. Milton, John. 1645. Poems of Mr. John Milton. London: Humphrey Moseley. Montaigne, Michel. 1613. Essays Written in French by Michael Lord of Montaigne. Translated by John Florio. 2nd ed. London: Edward Blount and William Barret. Peacham, Thomas. 1622. The Complete Gentleman. London: John Legat for Francis Constable. Shakespeare, William. 2005. Complete Works. Edited by Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Smith, Bruce R. 1999. The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O-Factor. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

The Early Modern Period   179 Strunk, Oliver, and Leo Treitler, eds. 1998. Source Readings in Music History. Rev. ed. New York: W. W. Norton. Tasso, Torquato. 1600. Godfrey of Boulogne, or The Recovery of Jerusalem. Translated by Edward Fairfax. London: I. Jaggard and M. Lownes. Tomlinson, Gary. 2006. Music in Renaissance Magic. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Weiss, Piero, and Richard Taruskin, eds. 2008. Music in the Western World: A History in Documents. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Schirmer. Woodfield, Ian. 1988. The Early History of the Viol. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wright, Thomas. 1604. The Passions of the Mind in General. 2nd ed. London: Walter Burre. Wrightson, Keith. 2003. English Society 1580–1680. Rev. ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

chapter 9

The En lightenm en t Tomás M c Auley

Steven Shapin once opened a book on the scientific revolution with the following line: “There was no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it” (Shapin 1996, 1). I would like to start this chapter with a similar gambit, albeit a more narrowly focused one, and to say this: there was no such thing as Baroque musical thought, and this is a chapter about it.1 I will come back at the end of this chapter to my claim that there was no such thing as Baroque musical thought. For now, I want simply to note that there was indeed a great deal of thinking about music in the period commonly identified as the Baroque, that is, the period running from around 1600 to around 1750. (The concept of such a Baroque period is especially influential within music history pedagogy; see, for example, Burkholder, Grout, and Palisca 2019, 282.) I also want to note that this musical thought was intimately bound up with philosophy. Indeed, much of this thinking came from philosophers: almost all of the most celebrated philosophical names of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, from René Descartes to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, discussed music to some extent. In what follows, I start by examining earlier scholarship on musical thought in this period. In so doing, I identify two main traditions within this research: the affective­rhetorical tradition and the harmonic-scientific tradition. I go on to suggest that these two traditions stem from two competing conceptions of music in this period: a conception in which music’s purpose is to move the affects of its listeners and a conception in  which music is a sensuous embodiment of a universal harmony. My overarching argument is that these two conceptions were not as distinct as they are usually taken to be—and that the ensuing traditions of scholarship would thus benefit from something of a rapprochement. I demonstrate this point by examining a set of interactions between ideas about music and a new, “mechanical” approach to philosophy that emerged in the seventeenth century. I take this mechanical philosophy to be of foundational significance for the onset of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was an epochdefining movement in European thought, starting in the later seventeenth century and running through the eighteenth. This movement took on a dizzying array of forms, but was—at least usually—united by a single common goal: the improvement of the human

182   Tomás McAuley condition. Despite significant differences across locales, this Enlightenment movement remained sufficiently coherent that it is possible to speak of a single Enlightenment, rather than multiple national Enlightenments (Robertson 2005). My examination of interactions between ideas about music and the new mechanical philosophy forms the heart of this chapter. I focus this examination on English-speaking thinkers in the period c.1660 to c.1750, but refer also to writers of the earlier seventeenth century for the sake of context and comparison. In the course of this examination, I identify three modes of interaction between musical and philosophical ideas: music as object of philosophy, music as inspiration for philosophy, and music as corroboration for philosophy. Towards the end of the chapter, I move on to explore two case studies from the later ­eighteenth century. These case studies extend my chronological remit beyond the usual end date of the “Baroque” (c.1750), through to what is usually, if less precisely, dated as the end of the Enlightenment (c.1800)—so putting what has traditionally been seen as a music-­historical period into dialogue with one that has usually been taken to denote an ­intellectual-historical movement or period. The first of these case studies explores the musical writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as representative of the French “high” Enlightenment. The second hones in on the work of Immanuel Kant and his followers, seen as standing at the cusp of the transition from the late Enlightenment (in Kant) and to the ensuing philosophical context of early Romanticism (in some of his followers). Throughout all of this, I maintain a focus—pervasive if not quite exclusive—on beliefs surrounding music’s supposed ability to cure the bite of the tarantula. I conclude by returning to my opening observation that there was no such thing as Baroque musical thought, and by making the case for an alternative periodization based instead on the concept of the Enlightenment.

Two Traditions of Scholarship There are, it seems to me, two main traditions within past scholarship on musical thought in the period c.1600 to c.1750. The first is what we might call the affective-rhetorical tradition. Work in this tradition—located largely, though not exclusively, within historical musicology, and reaching out to literary history in particular—begins from the insight that musical thought in this period was premised, to a large extent, on the presumption that music should move or persuade the listener. In particular, thinkers in this period believed that music should move the affects (or the passions) of listeners. Following from this, scholars have examined a multitude of ways in which rhetoric—the art of persuasion—might relate to music. In the early days of the affective-rhetorical tradition, scholars such as Arnold Schering (1908) and Hans-Heinrich Unger ([1941] 2016) suggested that there existed a Figurenlehre, or doctrine of musical figures, conceived as self-contained music-rhetorical gestures that were intended often to arouse specific affective responses in listeners. Such a notion was critiqued in the 1980s by George Buelow (1983) and Brian Vickers (1984), before being thoroughly reimagined by Dietrich Bartel in his 1997 book Musica Poetica: Music-Rhetorical Figures in German Baroque Music. It is worth pausing to note that the

The Enlightenment   183 scepticism of Buelow and Vickers was directed at the specific idea of a Figurenlehre (or an Affektenlehre—a doctrine of the affects). The “inextricable union” between music and rhetoric more generally was never in doubt (Buelow 1973, 250). Vickers’s argument, furthermore, was not that the idea of a Figurenlehre is historically defective—he goes to some lengths to show the range of ways in which seventeenth- and eighteenth-century writers sought to expound on the idea of musical figures—but that the idea is conceptually defective. That is to say, for all the intellectual faults that Vickers believes this doctrine to have, he does not deny its historical influence. Other work in this affective-rhetorical tradition has moved the debate away from specific musical-rhetorical figures and towards the rhetorical process more generally. Mark Evan Bonds’s groundbreaking 1991 book, Wordless Rhetoric: Musical Form and the Metaphor of the Oration, for example, examined the ways in which rhetoric shaped emerging concepts of musical form. And in a pair of important articles, Bettina Varwig (2008, 2009) showed how rhetoric provided a means for Baroque composers to vary short musical phrases, and to build larger forms from them—or, at least, how rhetoric provided theorists with a ready vocabulary to describe what composers were already doing. More recently, Roger Mathew Grant (2017,  2018) has both extended and challenged this tradition with his provocative suggestion that the middle years of the eight­ eenth century saw “the theoretical displacement of mimetic representation by affective attunement” (2017, 552), a suggestion that captures something of the tumult of affective thought at this time, but which passes too quickly over manifold earlier examples—some of them discussed later in this chapter—of non-representational theories of music’s affective power. Finally, Bruce Haynes and Geoffrey Burgess’s  eloquent 2016 book, The Pathetick Musician: Moving an Audience in the Age of Eloquence, brings the insights of this tradition to bear on vexed questions of historically informed performance. The second main scholarly tradition for understanding musical thought in the period c.1600 to c.1750 is what we might call the harmonic-scientific tradition. This tradition remains rooted in historical musicology, but includes also a greater amount of work in, or in dialogue with, sister disciplines such as music theory, intellectual history, the history of philosophy, the history of science, and the history of medicine. Work in this tradition starts from the insight that music was, certainly in the earlier years of this period (and most especially in the opening decades of the seventeenth century), conceived of by many thinkers along Neoplatonic and Pythagorean lines, as an embodiment of universal harmony. It also draws heavily on the observation that music, in the broadest sense of music theory, stood alongside arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy as part of the so-called quadrivium within a medieval university curriculum that continued to exert considerable influence. Scholarship in this second tradition tends to emphasize a shift away from this older conception of music as embodying universal harmony to newer, natural philosophical or proto-scientific understandings of harmony and harmonics. Indeed, work in the ­harmonic-scientific tradition often emphasizes a growing tendency in this period to see music as an acoustic phenomenon, as a form of sound. This tendency is neatly captured in the title of an important collection, Number to Sound: The Musical Way to the Scientific Revolution (Gozza  2000; for an equally important earlier collection in this broad

184   Tomás McAuley t­ radition, see Coelho 1992). In so doing, many scholars—ranging from Claude Palisca and Stillman Drake in the 1960s and 1970s right through to Peter Pesic writing in the 2010s—have framed this process as one of the emergence of increasingly accurate and advanced ways of understanding music, ways that remain with us as part of an ongoing tradition of modern science (Palisca 1961; Drake 1970; Pesic 2014). This sense of progress is an important—though far from ubiquitous—part of this tradition. At its start, it was connected with narratives of this period as an age of ever-increasing musical autonomy (for the locus classicus of such emancipatory narratives of musical thought, see Neubauer 1986). Palisca, for example, saw “science” as setting the musician “free”: The new acoustics replaced the elaborate conglomeration of myth, scholastic dogma, mysticism, and numerology, which was the foundation of the older musical theory, with a far less monumental but more permanent and resistant base. Unlike the old metaphysics, this new science recognized the musician’s prerogative. While it taught him to understand the raw material he received from nature, it left him free to employ it according to his needs and to frame his operating rules according to purely esthetic motives.  (Palisca 1961, 137)

For Pesic, writing more recently, the sense that the musician can now operate “according to purely esthetic motives” is gone, but the excitement of progress remains, spilling over into open attempts to read past events in terms of their “important” contributions to later developments. Pesic asserts, for example, that Descartes “made an important step toward the discovery of what later were called overtones” and that the eighteenth-century mathematician Leonard Euler “discovered . . . the first important insights that later grew into the field of topology” (Pesic 2014, 93, 149).2 Other studies have avoided such presentism by drawing out the close relationships in this period between science and a range of parallel cultural concerns. Most pertinently, Penelope Gouk showed in her spellbinding 1999 book, Music, Science, and Natural Magic in Seventeenth-Century England, that science in this period did not immediately supplant magical thinking, but rather emerged alongside it, in dialogue with it, and in many cases precisely from it. More explicitly, H. F. Cohen long ago noted head-on that the “consonance” theory of harmony that came to dominate seventeenth-century thought was, from an outsider’s perspective, not more, but rather less cogent than its forebears (Cohen 1984, see especially ch. 7; 1985).3 Science, in other words, is not always a straightforward story of progress.

Two Traditions of Musical Thought That two such traditions of scholarship should exist alongside one another is not surprising, for so too—as I have already hinted—were there two traditions of musical thought in the period c.1600 to c.1750. Karol Berger captures this distinction succinctly

The Enlightenment   185 in a 2006 essay in which he calls the first “music as ethical imitation of human passions and characters” and the second “music as sensuous embodiment of the intelligible universal harmony.” Berger goes on to suggest that, in the period running through to the mid-sixteenth century, the idea of harmony had been dominant, but that, as he puts it: In the late sixteenth century, the balance between the two ideas shifted. The idea that in the middle of the sixteenth century stirred the imagination of [only a few] isolated humanistically-inspired visionaries—the idea of music as a mimetic art, an art able to imitate passions—came to dominate opinion in more advanced circles by the last quarter of the century. It did so, however, without eliminating the idea of harmony altogether, so that from now on the two ideas had to coexist . . . The aesthetic agenda laid out in the late sixteenth century remained valid for almost two hundred years, to be challenged only in the late eighteenth century by the new German paradigm of “absolute music.”  (Berger 2006, 313)

Key here is the tension between these two ideas, which Berger sees as exemplified in famous clashes between Nicola Vicentino and Gioseffo Zarlino in the sixteenth century, and between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean-Philippe Rameau in the eighteenth. For sure, Berger is clear that these two ideas coexisted, but that very word “coexist” says it all: that both ideas continued alongside one another was, in this picture, a grudging compromise rather than a happy marriage. This tendency to see these two concepts of music as wholly distinct is, I would suggest, both cause and effect of the bifurcation of scholarship on Baroque musical thought into the affective-rhetorical and harmonic-scientific traditions. I also want to suggest, however, that these two concepts were much more closely intertwined than is often assumed. While there were certainly clashes between the two ideas on occasion, clashes that have attracted much attention in past scholarship, there are equally compelling, though less frequently discussed, examples of these two ideas working closely together. This may not always have been a happy marriage, in other words, but neither was it mere coexistence. We might rather think of these two conceptions of music as a couple that quarrels. In what follows, I investigate an especially important interaction between these two conceptions of music, and between rhetorical and scientific thought about music more broadly. The interaction in question grew out of a new way of thinking about the universe as a whole, an intellectual framework that took hold of an increasing number of European thinkers from the mid-seventeenth century onwards. This way of thinking, which had its roots in ancient atomism and which was associated in particular with the work of the French polymath Descartes—alongside a host of other seventeenth-century thinkers, such as Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyle in England—is known as mech­an­ism, or the mechanical philosophy. The exact nature of the mechanical philosophy was and remains a topic of debate, but its key features can be summarized here as a reliance on mechanical metaphors (most notably, comparing the workings of nature to those of a clock) and a commitment to explaining events in terms of efficient causes (that is, prior events in time) rather than final causes (that is, ultimate purposes).4 These features ­equated in

186   Tomás McAuley practice to explaining natural processes in material, mechanical terms, rather than by reference to supernatural causes, such as God’s special providence or the intervention of spirits. This is not to say, however, that the mechanical philosophy situated itself in opposition to more overtly theological worldviews. Rather, as Edward B. Davis and Michael Hunter have noted: Although it is true that mechanistic science [i.e. the mechanical philosophy] heightened some existing tensions within the doctrine of creation, it is equally true that many of its advocates thought that it was actually more consistent with biblical statements of divine sovereignty than older, non-mechanistic views—and that this was highly relevant to its value as a theory of nature. (Editors’ Introduction to Boyle 1996, ix)

This new, mechanical philosophy spread like wildfire through seventeenth-century Europe. The works of Descartes in particular were translated quickly into other languages. To take just a single, especially relevant example, Descartes’s  1649 work Les Passions de l’âme was translated into English as The Passions of the Soule the very next year (Descartes 1649, 1650b). And 1650 saw not just an English translation of the work, but a Latin translation too (Descartes 1650a).5 Further, this new philosophy led to transformations in all areas of thought, to the extent that some have taken it to be almost synonymous with the spread of the Enlightenment itself (see, for example, Israel 2001, 14). I propose that the genesis and dissemination of the mechanical philosophy ­transformed—amongst so much else—theories of music’s affective power. This transformation has received relatively little attention from past scholarship. On the one hand, work in the affective-rhetorical tradition has tended to stress continuities with the past, in the form of links to the Renaissance revival of rhetoric, rather than substantial breaks. On the other hand, work in the harmonic-scientific tradition has often sidestepped theories of musical affect, focusing instead on questions of harmony and acoustics. (An important exception here is Gozza 2000, which seeks explicitly to place “ontological” and “psychological” perspectives alongside one another as part of the structure of the book.) Further, scholars in both traditions have often converged in their assumption— usually unstated—that ­rhetoric and science were, at this time, wholly distinct. Contrary to this shared assumption, however, rhetoric and science were closely intertwined, with early natural philosophers turning to well-established rhetorical strategies to communicate their insights (Moss 2017; Walmsley 2017), in ways that will inevitably have had a reciprocal impact on their initial scientific endeavours. In making my argument for the impact of the mechanical philosophy on music­affective thought, I build on an important 2015 article by André Redwood on the subject of the seventeenth-century French polymath Marin Mersenne, a close associate of Descartes. Prior to Redwood’s article, music scholars had considered Mersenne pri­ma­ rily from the perspective of what I have called the harmonic-scientific tradition. Redwood, however, urges that Mersenne be considered also as a rhetorician—and makes the case for this abundantly clear. Whereas previous scholarship on Baroque musical rhetoric had engaged most often with writings on musical composition, Redwood notes that Mersenne focused more on delivery, which is to say, on musical performance.

The Enlightenment   187 Mersenne’s focus on performance led him to foreground the sonorous, which in turn allowed him to frame his oratorical speculations more easily in the language of mechanical philosophy (Redwood 2015; see also Christensen 2013). Yet delivery remains a central part of the rhetorical process: mechanical philosophy and rhetoric are thus combined. I suggest here that this example is but one part of a broader transformation, in the light of the onset of mechanical philosophy, of thought about music’s affective power. In so doing, I build on the work of several other scholars. Varwig (2018) has uncovered the ways in which music’s affective power in this period was an unavoidably bodily phenomenon. Grant has observed that the older musica humana tradition—“in which the human body is described as an instrument and its parts tuned in harmonious ratios”— had “found its way into theories of the affects by the eighteenth century” (Grant 2017, 563). Maria Semi has noted that, in eighteenth-century Britain, “the discourse on the aesthetic categories of ‘imitation’ and ‘expression’ comes to intermesh with the analysis of the faculties and workings of the human mind” (Semi 2012, 19). Gouk has stressed the importance of rhetoric for Francis Bacon’s early seventeenth-century meditations on music (Gouk 1999, 162–166). And Katherine Butler has uncovered the role played by mythical ideas about music’s power in the early Royal Society (Butler 2015, 2016). I will also focus my attention on theories that relate to music’s medical power, a power that is all too often overlooked in studies of this period, and on music’s fabled ability, in particular, to cure the illness supposedly caused by the bite of the tarantula. This topic had long been central to debates surrounding music—indeed, it had already drawn interest from figures as prominent as Marsilio Ficino and Gioseffo Zarlino in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries—but came to take on new significance in the period under consideration. Such a focus helps to emphasize the bodily aspects of affective thought in this period, and as such the rooting of this affective thought in natural philosophy. In this, I also build on an emerging literature—centred again around the work of Gouk (2014,  2015; see also, inter alia, Sykes 2012)—investigating connections between music and medicine in this period, a literature that can be seen in part as an extension of the harmonic-scientific tradition. (The work of Gouk and Sykes aside, this literature on music and medicine also shares the harmonicscientific tradition’s intermittent tendencies towards historiographical Whiggism, with a particular focus on identifying precursors to modern music therapy. For examples of this, see Rorke 2001 and Fancourt 2013.)

Music as Object of Investigation In making my argument, I focus on sources from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, a region that has received some attention from work in the harmonic-scientific tradition of scholarship, but almost none in the affective-rhetorical tradition. Yet it was a crucible of thought about musical affect as much as it was of thought about musical harmony. In particular, we see in this place and period a transition from broadly Pythagorean or Neoplatonic theories of music’s affective power to an explanation of musical affect that emphasizes mechanical causes.

188   Tomás McAuley In order to understand English debates on the affects in the early seventeenth century, we could do worse than to turn to Thomas Wright’s influential The Passions of the Minde in Generall of 1604, a wide-ranging and popular work that synthesises many contemporary ideas about the passions and which includes a lengthy discussion of musical passions in particular.6 In this discussion, Wright notes the strength and variety of effects that music has on its listeners. Music, says Wright: . . . moveth a man to mirth and pleasure, and affecteth him with sorow and sadnesse; it inciteth to devotion, and inticeth to dissolution: it stirreth up souldiers to warre, and allureth citizens to peace. . . . [It] mooveth men to mirth and abateth the heavie humour of melancholie.  (Wright 1604, M2r)

Not only can music lead to sadness and happiness, war and peace; it also has curative powers, for it can “abateth the heavie humour of melancholie”—a notion echoed throughout the seventeenth century by a number of writers, and expounded with particular force in Robert Burton’s 1621 Anatomie of Melancholy. Here, Burton claims that “Many and sundry are the meanes, by which Philosophers and Physitians have prescribed to exhilerate a sorrowfull heart . . .; but in my judgment none so present, none so powerfull, none so apposite as a cup of strong drinke, mirth, musicke, and merry company” (Burton 1989, 2:112). Notable is that melancholy was seen in this period, following Galen, to have a physical, humour-based origin, either in an excess of black bile, or in a corruption of one or more of the other humours (Lund 2010, 9). Melancholy, that is, was an affective problem rooted in the physical. Wright, however, expresses some puzzlement at the range of music’s powers. “It is not so great a mervaile,” ponders Wright, “that meat, drinke, exercise, and aire set passions aloft, for these are divers waies qualified, and consequently apt to stirre up humors; but what qualitie carie simple single sounds and voices, to enable them to worke such wonders?” (Wright 1604, M4v). In answer, Wright suggests that there might be “a certaine sympathie, correspondence, or proportion betwixt our soules and musick . . . such is the nature of our soules, as musicke hath a certaine proportionat sympathie with them” (M4v–5r). Here, Wright appeals to the doctrine of sympathies and antipathies, a doctrine that took on an abundance of forms at this time, but which broadly suggested that things in nature either resemble and attract or oppose and repel each other.7 This explanation was popular in the seventeenth century, when it was used to explain not just music’s affective power in general, but also the power of music to cure physical maladies in particular. In his 1622 The Compleat Gentleman, for example, the writer, illustrator, and occasional composer Henry Peacham draws on the idea of sympathies to explain how music can cure the illness caused by the bite of the tarantula. Peacham writes: The physitians will tell you, that the exercise of Musicke is a great lengthener of the life, by stirring and reviving of the spirits, holding a secret sympathy with them . . . Yea, a curer of some diseases: in Apuglia, in Italy, and thereabouts, it is most certaine, that those who are stung with the Tarantula, are cured only by Musicke. (Andrews 1982, 110)

The Enlightenment   189 Fast-forward a century, however, and things could not be more different. Here is a later retelling of the same myth, this time from the apothecary Richard Browne’s Medicina Musica of 1729—a revised edition of the anonymous Mechanical Essay on Singing, Music, and Dancing of 1727, which had been the first English text “specifically devoted” to the topic of music and medicine (Gouk 2015, 45). Browne writes of the Circumstances of Persons bitten by a Tarantula, that Prodigy of Nature, and which Musick so effectually cures. Some indeed will say that there is by Nature implanted in the Tarantula an occult Antipathy against our animal Spirits, and that by Nature Musick was appointed a Specifick in expelling the Virulency of the Poison. But how much do such Suppositions expose their Ignorance? As if the Poison did not mechanically act on the Body; or as if the Musick, by producing the mechanical Alterations, did not promote the Expulsion of the Poison.  (Browne 1729, 49–50)

Browne openly mocks the model of the sympathies and antipathies on which Wright and Peacham had based their theories of music’s affective and medical powers, replacing it instead with an explicitly mechanistic theory.8 Among the details of Browne’s mechanistic theory, three features are especially relevant for our purposes here. First, Browne focuses on the underlying physical causes of music’s affective power, notably the workings of the human nervous system, as opposed to the practical means of achieving such power. Whilst Browne is vividly alert to perceived differences in the affective power of music of different tempi or of different styles, he explicitly leaves more practical considerations of music-making to “the Consideration of those who make it their Business to search into the Depths of this cœlestial Science” (Browne 1729, 34). Second, and in opposition to those aforementioned narratives of this period as an age of ever-increasing musical autonomy, Browne’s justifications for using this power are focused tightly on the achievement of specific medical goals. Hence, throughout the Medicina Musica, Browne outlines systematically the ways in which music can help to cure various diseases, ranging from the “Nervous Disorders” of melancholy, hysteria, and hypochondria, to the “Chronical Diseases” of cachexia and jaundice. Crucial, however, is that Browne is not single-handedly inventing a new tradition of music therapy, but rather transforming a much older tradition of thought stressing music’s affective and curative powers in the light of the new mechanical philosophy. In so doing, and this is the third feature of Browne’s account that I wish to highlight here, Browne also combines the affective and the harmonic, for he suggests that “the Ear, for many Reasons, seems to be so curiously form’d, purely for the Enjoyment of Harmony” (40). Browne, moreover, was no isolated case. We might, for example, point also to Richard Brocklesby’s 1749 essay Reflections on Antient and Modern Musick, with the Application to the Cure of Diseases—the second English work devoted to the topic of music and medicine (Gouk 2015, 45; see also Gouk 2000, 178). Brocklesby was altogether more circumspect than Browne towards the mechanical philosophy, complaining at attempts to “reduce all to mere mechanism” (Brocklesby 1749, 25), and rooted to a far greater extent in traditions of musical rhetoric. Yet Brocklesby also accepts explicitly aspects of the mechanical philosophy, noting, for example, that “the animal system” is subject to “the

190   Tomás McAuley laws of mechanism” (70). More pertinently, his discussion of musical rhetoric betrays a naturalism and universalism that bears the imprint of that same mechanical philosophy: For as painting represents the appearances of natural views and objects, the passions and characters of men and the like; so the imitative power of music breathes forth the airs, tones, accents, sighs, and inflections of the voice, and in a word every sound in nature, which usually impresses certain sentiments and passions of the mind: but these must surely have a more extensive power than the most persuasive eloquence, seeing all words derive their signification and force merely from custom and vague fashion; whereas natural sounds convey a universal expression and energy from the simple dictates of unbiassed nature.  (Brocklesby 1749, 16)

Brocklesby too discusses music’s fabled ability to cure the bite of the tarantula. Here, he expresses scepticism that the tarantula is the “cause” of the illness in question, but maintains faith in music as the “method of cure” (58, 60), so continuing Browne’s focus on the ability of music to achieve specific medical goals. And Brocklesby also affords pleasure in harmony a central place in explaining the workings of music, grounding his reflections in the thenfashionable theory that the human mind takes pleasure in the perception of unity in variety. He writes, for example of “a certain law of our minds, whereby, upon the perception of uniformity amidst variety, we are necessarily forced to a degree of approbation, in proportion to the absolute quantity of uniformity, amidst the greatest degree of variety” (Brocklesby 1749, 14; on the idea of unity in variety elsewhere in Europe at this time, see Beiser 2009, 1–30). Theories of musical affect, then, were not replaced by the mechanical philosophy, but rather transformed by them. Through this process, theories of music’s affective force remained intertwined with theories of musical harmony—even as older ideas of music as sounding embodiment of universal harmony were on the wane.

Music as Inspiration Thus far, I have focused on the impact of the new mechanical philosophy on ideas about music. The direction of influence, however, was not just one way. Rather, just as the mechanical philosophy impacted on ideas about music, so too did ideas about music impact on the mechanical philosophy. That this was the case has been shown clearly in the work of Gouk and Pesic. Amongst a host of examples, both scholars pick up on an especially musical moment in the early career of Isaac Newton, whose Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica of 1687 (Newton 1999) can be taken—to indulge my own moment of presentism—to mark the founding of classical mechanics, and whose Opticks of 1704 (Newton 1952) influenced scientific understandings of the nature of light for the remainder of the eighteenth century and beyond. (On Newton as standing within the tradition of mechanical philosophy—despite his regularly unorthodox development of ideas from this ­ ­tradition—see Kochiras 2013.) As can be seen in Figures 9.1 and 9.2, Newton used the musical scale as a model for developing his famous colour circle, in which colours appear not simply on a spectrum, running from A to B, but rather in a circle, the last colour

The Enlightenment   191

Figure 9.1  Newton’s musical division of the colours from his “Hypothesis explaining the Properties of Light,” sent to the Royal Society in 1675.

Figure 9.2  Newton’s colour circle as it appeared in his Opticks (London, 1704).

192   Tomás McAuley ­ erging back into the first (Gouk 1999, 237–246; Pesic 2014, 124–131). Here, Newton did m not simply apply the principles of natural philosophy to music, but used the example of music to work out—or, at the very least, to explain—his views on the nature of light, one of the most pressing issues in the mechanical philosophy of the day. That is to say, this is an instance not simply of the mechanical philosophy impacting on musical thought, but rather of musical thought itself impacting on—indeed, inspiring—mechanical philosophy. Pesic and Gouk give a number of other examples of how particular ideas about music played crucial roles in key innovations in Enlightenment mechanical philosophy. Pesic, for instance, shows how, for Mersenne, “investigations of sound and light mutually clarify each other” and how “Mersenne’s musical motivations led him to investigate the physics of sound” (Pesic 2014, 111, 116). And Gouk shows how Robert Hooke, another influential early mechanical philosopher (and an important influence on Newton), unpacked his own range of sound–colour analogies (Gouk  1999, 215–218). Notable, though, is that these examples still concern themselves primarily with harmony and acoustics—those aspects of the musical thought of the time normally considered nowadays to have developed in tandem with early science. I want to suggest, however, that ideas about music’s affective force also played a key role in the development of the mechanical philosophy. Indeed, I argue that they played a role still more foundational than that of working through particular aspects of the mechanical philosophy, for, in one crucial instance at least, the evident power of music was taken to provide clear and persuasive corroboration for the mechanical philosophy as a whole.

Music as Corroboration With that in mind, I now turn my attention to Newton’s older contemporary, the experimental philosopher and theologian Robert Boyle. Boyle was a leading proponent of the mechanical philosophy, as defended most famously in his 1686 A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (Boyle  1999, 10:437–571; for an excellent free­standing edition, see Boyle 1996). He also had a long-standing interest in acoustics in particular. Indeed, one of his earliest publications—the New Experiments PhysicoMechanical, Touching the Spring of the Air and its Effects of 1660—describes an experiment that “seems to prove, that whether or no the Air be the onely, it is at least, the principal medium of Sounds” (Boyle 1999, 1:230). My interest in this chapter, however, is in Boyle’s 1663 work Some Considerations Touching the Usefulnesse of Experimental Naturall Philosophy (Boyle 1999, 3:189–560). This is a book that sets out to promote not only experimental methods, but also the intellectual framework of mechanical philosophy. In this book, Boyle conceives the human body, in particular, in mechanical terms, writing: I consider the Body of a living man, not as a rude heap of Limbs and Liquors, but as an Engine consisting of several parts so set together, that there is a strange and

The Enlightenment   193 c­ onspiring communication betwixt them, by vertue whereof, a very weak and inconsiderable Impression of adventitious matter upon some one part may be able to work on some other distant part, or perhaps on the whole Engine . . .  (Boyle 1999, 3:445)

For Boyle, then, the human body is an engine or a machine, in which all the parts work together. That “weak” impressions on one part of the body can lead to effects in other parts of the body—or even on “the whole Engine”—is taken to provide proof of this. Boyle lists a number of examples in which “seemingly slight Impressions of outward Objects” can lead to “great alterations” elsewhere in the body. Central amongst these examples are sound and music: Most men may observe in themselves, that there are some such noises as those made by the grating of an ungreas’d Cart-wheele upon the Axle-tree, or the tearing of course Paper which are capable of setting the Teeth on edge, which yet cannot be done without exciting a peculiar Motion in several parts of the Head. . . . [The physician] Henricus ab Heer . . . Records a Story of a Lady, to whom he was sent for, who upon the hearing of the sound of a Bell, or any loud noise, though Singing, would fall into fits of Sounding, which was scarce distinguishable from Death; and we may confirm that this disposition depended upon the Texture of her Body in reference to Material sounds by what he subjoyns, that having well purg’d her, and given her for two Months the Spaa-waters, and other appropriate Remedies he throughly cur’d her. (Boyle 1999, 3:445–446)

Here, the power of sound over people is taken as clear evidence for a mechanical conception of the human body—and at a time when the nature of the human body was a key battleground for debates surrounding the mechanical philosophy as a whole. The impact of sound is not the only such example: Boyle also notes that tickling someone’s feet with a feather will lead to “that noise . . . which we call Laughing,” so turning sound from a cause to an effect (Boyle 1999, 3:446). The key point, though, is that, for Boyle, sound and music have such a powerful effect on the human body that, alongside an action as clearly involuntary as laughing when tickled, they can serve as a demonstration that the human body itself should be conceived in mechanical terms. In the passages quoted so far, Boyle has made no particular distinction between musical and non-musical sounds. Boyle turns his attention more specifically to music, however, in a discussion of music’s supposed ability to cure the bite of the tarantula. Earlier in this chapter, I compared tellings of this myth by Peacham in 1622 and Browne a century later in 1729. Peacham, I suggested, based his explanation for music’s curative powers on an older, Neoplatonic model of sympathies and antipathies. Browne, on the other hand, openly mocked this model, whilst offering an alternative explanation that appealed instead to music’s mechanical effect on the human body. Boyle offers another perspective on this issue: notwithstanding all the horrid Symptomes that are wont to ensue upon the biting of that Poysonous Spider, the Tarantula, that lasting and formidable Disease, which

194   Tomás McAuley often mocks all other Remedies, is by nothing so successfully oppos’d, as by Musick. Some determinate tune or other which proves suitable to the particular Nature of the Patients Body, or that / of the Poyson producing there such a motion, or determination of some former motion of the Spirits, or the Humors, or both; as by conducting the Spirits into the Nerves and Muscles inservient to the motion of the Limbs, doth make the Patient leap and dance till he have put himself into a Sweat, that breaths out much of the virulent Matter which hath been probably fitted for expulsion, by some change wrought in its Texture or Motion, or those of the Blood, by the Musick.  (Boyle 1999, 3:451–452)

Boyle considers, in the continuation of this passage, whether it might simply be the exercise of dancing that expels the tarantula’s poison, but quickly decides that this is not the case, noting that exercise alone does not, on the evidence he has available, cure the tarantula bite. Here, Boyle occupies a midpoint between Peacham and Browne. This is a strikingly early attempt to explain music’s supposed medical ability in the language of the mechanical philosophy. Its mechanical framework is clear, yet it lacks both the confidence and the detail of Browne’s account. Boyle cannot decide, for example, whether the required “determinate tune” is “suitable to” the patient’s body or to the tarantula’s poison; whether the tune acts on the humours or the spirits (or both); and whether the “virulent Matter” is driven out by a change in its texture or its motion (or by that of the blood). Though all of this, however, Boyle retains a presumption that the explanation must be mechanical; his indecision is simply as to the exact nature of the mechanism in question. More importantly, Boyle’s purpose is not merely to provide a new, mechanical explanation for the power of music. Rather, he uses this supposed medical power of music to demonstrate the coherence of the mechanical philosophy as an overall world-view. Boyle is not simply using mechanical philosophy to explain music’s supposed affective power, in other words, but is using that affective power itself to argue for the cogency of the mechanical philosophy. Further, Boyle uses the medical power of music—amongst other medical phenomena—to argue also for the usefulness, if not of the mechanical philosophy in particular, then at least of the experimental approach to natural philosophy that was, for Boyle, so closely intertwined with his mechanical world-view.9 In this place and period, then, music related to the new mechanical philosophy in at least three ways. First, it was an object of investigation for that philosophy. As such, mechanical philosophy transformed understandings of music’s affective power, as can be seen in the writings of Browne and Brocklesby. Second, music was an inspiration in working out specific problems in the mechanical philosophy, as was the case in Isaac Newton’s use of the musical scale to formulate his new theory of colour. Third, and most strikingly, music’s affective power was, in the case of Robert Boyle at least, taken as evidence for the validity of the mechanical philosophy more generally. That is to say, the power of music was taken as corroboration for the mechanical philosophy—and as a proof of its usefulness. I move now to those later moments I mentioned at the outset of this chapter. These are, I can now note, also the two moments flagged as central to eighteenth-century

The Enlightenment   195 musical thought in the essay by Berger that I discussed earlier: the mid-­eighteenthcentury clash between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean-Philippe Rameau and the emergence of what Berger calls “the new German paradigm of ‘absolute music’ ” (Berger 2006, 313). I seek here to ask in particular—if, of necessity, more briefly—how can these three categories of object, inspiration, and corroboration help us better to understand these two later moments?

Rousseau and the French High Enlightenment The clash between Rameau and Rousseau, along with the debates surrounding this clash, was a cornerstone of the so-called high Enlightenment: the Enlightenment in its richest, most developed phase. As such, it has also been a linchpin for studies on music and the Enlightenment. Starting with a trio of outstanding books in the mid-nineties (Verba 1993; Christensen 1993; Thomas 1995), scholars of the past quarter-century have taken these debates as emblematic of the Enlightenment—as representative of this movement at its fullest. In so doing, they have offered a dazzling array of insights into how thinkers in this period attempted to understand music in its relation to questions of language, meaning, and expression. They have, in other words, highlighted how music remained a vitally important object of investigation. Yet this scholarship has also pointed persuasively to the role of music itself in furthering particular debates, whether that music be the Italian opera that prompted the famous Querelle des Bouffons or the compositional output of Rameau (see in particular Verba  2013 and Thomas 2002). This scholarship has, in other words, shown how music was an inspiration for philosophy. Indeed, it has done so in a more expansive sense than I have done here, since it has shown how not just ideas and general observations about music, but particular musical repertoires, have had a concrete impact on the development of philosophy. It has also shown repeatedly how thinkers turned frequently to particular musical examples to corroborate their own philosophies of music, if not necessarily broader philosophical world-views.10 It is important to pause to question, however, the assumption—however implicit— that debates in mid-eighteenth-century France were uniquely emblematic of Enlightenment thought. Rather, these debates were developments, to a large extent, of more fundamental transformations that had preceded them, none more important than the spread of the mechanical philosophy. As Jonathan Israel has put it with regard to the intellectual history of the Enlightenment as a whole, “it may be that the story of the High Enlightenment after 1750 is more familiar to readers and historians, but that does not alter the reality that the later movement was basically just one of consolidating, popularizing, and annotating revolutionary concepts introduced earlier” (Israel 2001, 7).

196   Tomás McAuley That said, it is clear that debates about music in mid-century France were more than a case of “consolidating, popularizing, and annotating” earlier concepts. To show how this is the case, I cite a single example, one that is only rarely noted in the literature (for a notable exception, see Le Menthéour 2009), namely Rousseau’s discussion of music’s supposed ability to cure the bite of the tarantula, as found in his Essai sur l’origine des langues (Essay on the Origin of Languages), published posthumously in 1781. Rousseau writes: The cure of Tarantula bites is cited as a proof of the physical power of sounds. This example proves entirely the contrary. What is required to heal everyone who has been bitten by the insect is neither absolute sounds (sons absolus) nor the same tunes (les mêmes airs): each of them needs tunes of a melody (airs d’une mélodie) familiar to him and lyrics (phrases) he understands. Italian tunes are needed for the Italian, for the Turk, Turkish tunes would be needed. Each is affected (affecté) only by accents that are familiar to him; his nerves yield to them only insofar as his mind disposes them to it: he must understand the language that is spoken to him for what is said to him to be able to move him (pour que ce qu’on lui dit puisse le mettre en mouvement). Bernier’s cantatas have, it is said, cured the fever of a French musician; they would have given one to a musician of any other nation. (Rousseau 1995, 418; translation from Rousseau 1998, 324)

Contra any suggestion that this period saw “the theoretical displacement of mimetic representation by affective attunement” (Grant 2017, 552), we here see Rousseau reacting against the then-standard belief that music’s ability to cure tarantula bites is proof for “the physical power of sounds.” Indeed, that Rousseau takes the time to attempt to discredit this view is itself proof of its previous success. Rousseau argues instead that the “nerves yield . . . only insofar as [the] mind disposes them.” In so doing, Rousseau partakes in an increasing tendency, as the eighteenth century progressed, to critique universalist or purely mechanical explanations of music’s affective power.

Kant and the Late Enlightenment The apotheosis of this tendency to critique mechanical explanations of music’s power is the place of music in Immanuel Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft (Critique of the Power of Judgment) of 1790. Here, Kant critiques music precisely because he believes it to “speak through mere sensations (Empfindungen) without concepts”; music’s ability to move the mind is “merely the effect of an as it were mechanical association” (Kant 1900–, 5:328, 329; 2000, 205, 206). I have written elsewhere about the various ways in which Kantian philosophy undermined affective views of music’s power (McAuley, forthcoming a; see also McAuley 2020). The point I want to make here is simply that Kant’s philosophy was conceived, in large part, as a response to the dangers of philosophical mechanism taken too far: of a philosophical mechanism so far-reaching that it threatened to undermine human freedom itself (on this, see Beiser  2000, 19–25). So too was

The Enlightenment   197 Kant’s  famous dismissal of music a response to the still-dominant belief—despite Rousseau’s objections—that music has a mechanical power over its listeners. What, then, came in place of this mechanical view of music’s power? To answer this question is to reach beyond the years and ideas usually associated with the Enlightenment movement, and to address the place of music in the world of what is often called early Romanticism. (On “early Romantic” philosophical reorientations around 1800 as a development, rather than repudiation, of the Enlightenment project, see Beiser 2003.) Yet such a task has value here for the light it can shed, from a musical perspective, on the closing years of the Enlightenment—and on the scholarship surrounding those closing years. Let us undertake this task by turning to one more telling of the power of music, this time from Madame de Stäel’s 1807 novel Corinne ou l’Italie (Corinne, or Italy). Here, the titular character Corinne is asked by the Neapolitan Prince d’Amalfi to dance the Tarantella—a dance long associated with music’s supposed power to cure the bite of the tarantula—with him. Stäel writes: As she danced, Corinne made the spectators experience her own feelings, as if she had been improvising, or playing the lyre, or drawing portraits. Everything was language for her; as they looked at her, the musicians made greater efforts to make their art fully appreciated, and at the same time an indefinable passionate joy, and imaginative sensitivity, stimulated all the spectators of this magical dance, transporting them into an ideal existence which was out of this world.  (Staël 1998, 91)

On the one hand, the Tarantella’s power has here been strictly curtailed. No longer is it taken as a provable cure for a dreadful disease. Rather, it stands here as an elegant musical artefact; a paean to Neapolitan culture. On the other hand, however, the Tarantella in is given an even greater power than before, the power to transport the spectators to an “ideal existence,” one that is “out of this world.” Though the focus here is on the dance rather than the music, the two are impossible to separate in this situation; and so this passage provides a clear example of a new view of music that arose in German-speaking countries in the years around 1800. According to this view, music is able to provide non-linguistic knowledge or insight, especially into the listener’s inner self or into the ultimate nature of being. This is, in fact, the view of music that Berger described above as “the new German paradigm of ‘absolute music.’ ” Again, this is a topic I discuss at much greater length elsewhere (McAuley, forthcoming b), but three observations seem merited in the present context. The first is that, though this new paradigm arose in German-speaking lands, it quickly spread throughout Europe, as this passage from Stäel’s French novel demonstrates. Second, though this new view of music made connections between music and the absolute (das Absolute), the latter conceived as the ultimate ground of being, it did not conceive of music as absolute in the sense, dominant in more recent philosophy of music, of being wholly self-sufficient, cut off from language and from other art-forms. Indeed, the very term “absolute music” is an anachronism in this period—hence Berger’s own use of scare quotes—with the phrase first coined by Wagner in 1846 (on the history of the term, see Pederson 2009 and Bonds 2014, especially 129–140 and 143–146).

198   Tomás McAuley Third, and most importantly, this is a transformation often taken as a paradigm case of music’s role as an inspiration for philosophy. Indeed, the standard scholarly view of its causes is one where the music of this period—most especially the instrumental music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven—reached such new-found heights (and depths) that contemporary philosophers were forced to transform their views of music. (Especially influential accounts that rely, at least to an extent, on such a presumption include Neubauer 1986; Chua 1999, 211–212, 276; Bowie 2001, 30–31.) The first philosophers to articulate this new view of music, however, figures including Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, and Friedrich Schelling, were inspired not by changes in musical practice, but rather by changes in philosophy, most especially those stemming from philosophical revolutions brought about by Kant himself (McAuley 2013, forthcoming b; on the problems with the usual explanations for this transformation, see also Bonds 2006). According to dominant scholarly presumptions, then, framed in the categories of this chapter, music in the years around 1800 was, perhaps to a previously unparalleled extent, an inspiration for philosophy. I have sought to show in this chapter, however, that music was, in the earlier Enlightenment, not just an object of philosophy, but also an inspiration for, and corroboration of, philosophy. Music in the turbulent years around 1800, on the other hand, was—at least insofar as the most epochal change in conceptions of music is concerned—precisely not an inspiration for philosophy, but merely an object of it. Nonetheless, the music of this period was taken by later thinkers as a corroboration of the new view of music that arose around this time—starting, perhaps, as early as E. T. A. Hoffmann’s 1810 review of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (Hoffmann 1810, 1989)— and it is this belief that lead to its later being presumed to have been the inspiration for this view. (On the process by which Beethoven, in particular, came to be seen as inspiring so much musical thought in this period, see Bonds 2020.)

Conclusion: The Enlightenment Extending my focus to the end of eighteenth century, and to the scholarly work surrounding these two moments in particular, significantly complicates my easy characterization of past scholarship on musical thought in this period as falling into two traditions: the affective-rhetorical and the harmonic-scientific. In particular, it repeatedly highlights music’s connections with areas of philosophy beyond those relating to rhetoric and natural philosophy, most especially ethics and epistemology. Indeed, such generalizations about the state of scholarship in general must inevitably be partial and incomplete—and must sit alongside other, equally valid, generalisations that one could make. For all that, however, the basic model of two traditions of scholarship does still hold: it is simply a guiding set of tendencies, rather than an absolute division. Crucially, those tendencies do still influence much ongoing work. And so I have sought to show in this chapter that, without seeking to diminish the importance of these two traditions, there is also something to be gained by bringing them together—and by examining the overlaps between rhetorical and scientific

The Enlightenment   199 thought in this period. We might also recall the overlapping but divergent disciplinary affiliations of each tradition: the affective-rhetorical tradition weighted more heavily towards musicology and literary history; the harmonic-scientific tradition tipping its scales slightly more towards music theory, intellectual history, and the history of philosophy. Bearing these affiliations in mind, to seek to bring the two traditions closer together is also to seek to bring historical musicology into closer dialogue with several cognate disciplines, most notably intellectual history, in understanding this period. As a final word, I might note two more differences between these two traditions. Work in the affective-rhetorical tradition tends to conceive of this era, as has so much work in historical musicology, in something along the lines of the traditional Baroque period. The concept of a Baroque period running from c.1600 through to c.1750 is noteworthy for being a music-historical label (or, at most, an art-historical label) that is distinctly at odds with the period labels used in the intellectual history of this period, which are centred around the scientific revolution and the onset of the Enlightenment in the second half of the seventeenth century. In so divorcing itself from the usual ­intellectual-historical framework for understanding these centuries, the label “Baroque” suggests—in a tendency taken up by the affective-rhetorical tradition more generally—a kind of autonomy to the musical thought of this period, which is conceived of as being in dialogue with the art of rhetoric, but as separable from broader intellectual trends. The concept of a Baroque period has, of course, been critiqued repeatedly in past scholarship, and is rarely used today without scare quotes, actual or implied. One particular concern has been that the word “Baroque” was not used as a period label by seventeenth- or eighteenth-century thinkers. I hope in this chapter to have added to such criticism by highlighting the importance for ideas about music of the onset of the Enlightenment—and the crucial role that ideas about music played in turn within that onset. If the Baroque, as a catch-all period categorization, makes little sense for music alone, in other words, it makes even less sense from the perspective of music and philosophy. I have also demonstrated, however, that, in England at least, it is difficult to take those ideas about music as coalescing into any kind of self-sufficient tradition of musical thought. Indeed, my examples in this chapter have come from works of theology and philosophy, of pharmacy and medicine, rather than from works of music theory in any recognizable sense. The object of my critique, in other words, is not only the concept of the Baroque in general, but also the resulting tendency to view the musical thought of this period as at least somewhat autonomous. Work in the harmonic-scientific tradition, by contrast, and in line with dominant trends in intellectual history, tends to ignore the Baroque altogether, framing its work rather in terms of the scientific revolution, or in terms of particular movements within the scientific revolution, such as the history of the Royal Society. Further, it tends to forgo any notion of a distinct sphere of musical thought, showing instead the embeddedness of ideas about music in broader cultural concerns. To do so, however, is to risk paying insufficient attention to the very real changes in conceptions of music that took place in the years around 1600, the change in which the view of music as (to recall Berger’s words) “ethical imitation of human passions and characters” came to dominate somewhat, yet without entirely displacing the idea of music as “sensuous embodiment of the intelligible universal harmony.” These years around 1600 are usually taken as the starting point

200   Tomás McAuley of the Baroque period, and musical histories of this period have customarily highlighted the early opera that most clearly embodied that idea of “ethical imitation of human passions and characters.” Further the harmonic-scientific tradition’s focus on early science as a whole risks overlooking the extent to which scientific thinkers in this era drew on what were long-standing traditions of specifically musical ideas—ideas that were transformed over time, to be sure, but that retained distinct traditions precisely in those transformations. A final problem with the harmonic-scientific tradition’s focus on the scientific revolution is that, as this chapter’s opening words from Steven Shapin made clear, there was no such thing. Or at least, the terminology is deeply anachronistic: as Thomas Nickles has noted, the concept of a “revolution” was not applied to science until the eight­eenth century (Nickles 2017, section 2)—and, indeed, thinkers in this period referred customarily to what we now call “science” as “natural philosophy.” To rely too heavily on such terminology is to run the danger of looking for the present in the past. In our critiques of the Baroque, then, we must be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In this particular context, this means not simply replacing the work of the affective-rhetorical tradition with that of the harmonic-scientific, but rather bringing these two traditions together, for a fuller, richer, and more accurate account of the musical-philosophical life of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries than would otherwise be possible. Such an account—already well under way in much of the scholarship discussed in this chapter—would account both for the central role of early science and for the ongoing importance of rhetoric. It would recognize both the inseparability of ideas about music from broader cultural concerns and the relative autonomy of musical thought. It would shift its emphasis away from both the Baroque and the scientific revolution in order to ­emphasize—without downplaying the importance of earlier and later developments—perhaps the most tumultuous upheaval in the history of Western thought, an upheaval that included science, rhetoric, and music alike. And in naming this upheaval, it would employ an appellation that was used by at least some of the thinkers now taken to fall under its remit: the Enlightenment.

Notes 1. Early versions of this material were presented at the 2016 meeting of the American Musicological Society (Rochester, NY), the 2017 Congress of the International Musicological Society (Tokyo), and as a keynote address at the 2018 conference XXI-st Century Challenges to the History of XVIII-th Century Musical Aesthetics (Università degli Studi di Torino). I am grateful to the audiences at all of these events for their insightful questions, and to the organizers of the last event for the invitation to participate. Research towards this chapter was funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship and benefited greatly from the research assistance of Ariana Phillips-Hutton, whose own position was funded, on my return from a period of parental leave, by the University of Cambridge’s Returning Carers Scheme. For extremely helpful comments on earlier versions of this material, my thanks go to Mark Evan Bonds, Austin Glatthorn, Penelope Gouk, Julian Johnson, Jerrold Levinson, Nanette Nielsen, Elizabeth Swann, and Bettina Varwig.

The Enlightenment   201 2. This historiographical tendency fits all too neatly with John W. Burrow’s helpful definition of Whig history: “The central characteristic of Whig history in the sense we derive from [Herbert] Butterfield [who coined the term] is not merely anachronistic judgement but a particular kind of selectivity: a selection from the life of the past in terms of a notion of significance which is derived not from the conversation of the past but from what appears to be pregnant or prophetic for the future, and most specifically, of ourselves” (Burrow 2006, 16). 3. For shorter, equally historically-aware, examinations of the role of music in the scientific revolution, focused more narrowly on ideas about harmony, see Gouk 2002 and 2007. For a broader contextualization of the role of musical myths in this period and preceding centuries, see Butler and Bassler 2019. For a critical analysis of the various forms of pres­ent­ism that can be found in the history of science, along with a defence of a “critical pres­ent­ism” and “historical epistemology,” see Loison 2016, 36: “Historicism pictures scientific truth as an accident frozen in time for sociological reasons whereas positivism understands it as an inescapable necessity. A third way is provided by historical epistemology, whose research programme is based—or should be based—on the idea that scientific truth is an accident made to some extent necessary. This counter-intuitive intricacy of contingency and rationality allows this research program to overcome the dead-ends of Whiggism and relativism.” 4. For a definition of mechanism founded wholly on the distinction between final and efficient causes, see Beiser 2000, 19. For a much fuller—but still succinct—overview of the mechanical philosophy, see Hattab  2011. For a useful examination of the multivalent meanings of the term “mechanical” at this time, see Gabbey 2004. On the complex roots of Descartes’s mechanical thought, see Hattab 2009. 5. For a modern English translation of the original French, see Descartes 1989. On the complex role of mechanism in Les Passions de l’âme, see Hatfield 2007. 6. This work was itself an updated and enlarged version of Wright’s The Passions of the Minde, composed in the late 1590s and published in 1601. I do not wish to overstate the extent to which Wright—a Jesuit in what was, at that time, deeply Protestant territory—was typical of his place and age. Erin Sullivan, for example, has noted that “in its emphasis on the value of both sensuality and affectivity, Wright’s The Passions reveals a veiled connection with . . . Catholic devotional practices” (Sullivan 2015, 35). 7. For an accessible introduction to this doctrine, see Floyd-Wilson 2013, 1–2. On the complexity of the history of “sympathy” in the years leading up to Wright, see FloydWilson 2013 more generally and Moyer 2015. For a brief but stimulating meditation on music and sympathy around this time, see Gerbino 2015. 8. Despite this, Browne continues to rely on a repurposed idea—within a mechanical ­framework—of a “sympathy” between “the soul” and the “Animal spirits” (Browne 1729, 7–8). 9. Boyle discusses sound, music, and tarantism in similar ways in his 1685 An Essay on the Great Effects of Even Languid and Unheeded Motion, where he also pauses to dwell on the question of the reliability of second-hand stories of the power of music to cure the bite of the tarantula, but concludes—in part drawing on his own experience of music’s power— that the evidence is indeed sufficiently reliable (Boyle 1999, 10:276–279). On debates surrounding the veracity of tales of tarantism in this period, see Butler 2015, 53–56. 10. Further, just as Boyle fell back on his own musical experience in deciding on the reliability of tales of musical tarantism, so too, as Jaqueline Waeber (2009) has shown, did Rousseau’s own personal experience of music play a key role in the development of his philosophy. For a fuller overview of recent scholarship on music and the French Enlightenment, see the outstanding Epilogue to Verba 2017.

202   Tomás McAuley

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204   Tomás McAuley Gouk, Penelope. 2007. “Science and Music, or the Science of Music: Some Little-known Examples of ‘Music Theory’ Between 1650 and 1750.” In Towards Tonality: Aspects of Baroque Music Theory, edited by Peter Dejans and Sylvester Beelaert, 41–68. Collected Writings of the Opheus Institute. Leiden: Leiden University Press. Gouk, Penelope. 2014. “Music and the Nervous System in Eighteenth-Century British Thought.” In Music and the Nerves, 1700–1900, edited by James Kennaway, 44–71. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Gouk, Penelope. 2015. “An Enlightenment Proposal for Music Therapy: Richard Brocklesby on Music, Spirit, and the Passions.” In Music, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Evolution, the Musical Brain, Medical Conditions, and Therapies, edited by Eckart Altenmüller, Stanley Finger, and François Boller, 159–185. Progress in Brain Research 217. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Gozza, Paolo, ed. 2000. Number to Sound: The Musical Way to the Scientific Revolution. The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science 64. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic. Grant, Roger Mathew. 2017. “Peculiar Attunements: Comic Opera and Enlightenment Mimesis.” Critical Inquiry 43, no. 2 (Winter): 550–569. Grant, Roger Mathew. 2018. “Music Lessons on Affect and Its Objects.” Representations 144, no. 1 (Fall): 34–60. Hatfield, Gary. 2007. “The Passions of the Soul and Descartes’s Machine Psychology.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 38, no. 1 (March): 1–35. Hattab, Helen. 2009. Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hattab, Helen. 2011. “The Mechanical Philosophy.” In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe, edited by Desmond Clarke and Catherine Wilson, 71–95. New York: Oxford University Press. Haynes, Bruce, and Geoffrey Burgess. 2016. The Pathetick Musician: Moving an Audience in the Age of Eloquence. New York: Oxford University Press. Hoffmann, E. T. A. 1810. “Review of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.” Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung 12 (July): 630–642, 652–659. Hoffmann, E.  T.  A. 1989. “Review of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.” In E.  T.  A.  Hoffmann’s Musical Writings: Kreisleriana; The Poet and the Composer; Music Criticism, edited by David Charlton, translated by Martyn Clarke, 234–251. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Israel, Jonathan  I. 2001. Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650–1750. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kant, Immanuel. 1900–. Gesammelte Schriften. Edited by Royal Prussian (subsequently German then Berlin Brandenburg) Academy of Sciences. Berlin: Georg Reimer (subsequently Walter De Gruyter). Kant, Immanuel. 2000. Critique of the Power of Judgment. Edited by Paul Guyer, translated by Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kochiras, Hylarie. 2013. “The Mechanical Philosophy and Newton’s Mechanical Force.” Philosophy of Science 80, no. 4 (October): 557–578. Le Menthéour, Rudy. 2009. “The Tarantula, the Physician, and Rousseau: The EighteenthCentury Etiology of an Italian Sting.” Proceedings of the Western Society for French History 37. Loison, Laurent. 2016. “Forms of Presentism in the History of Science. Rethinking the Project of Historical Epistemology.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 60 (December): 29–37.

The Enlightenment   205 Lund, Mary Ann. 2010. Melancholy, Medicine, and Religion in Early Modern England: Reading The Anatomy of Melancholy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McAuley, Tomás. 2013. “Rhythmic Accent and the Absolute: Sulzer, Schelling and the Akzenttheorie.” Eighteenth-Century Music 10, no. 2 (September): 277–286. McAuley, Tomás. 2020. “Ethics.” In The Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Paul Watt, Sarah Collins, and Michael Allis, 481–506. New York: Oxford University Press. McAuley, Tomás. Forthcoming a. “Immanuel Kant and the Downfall of the Affektenlehre.” In Sound and Affect: Voice, Music, World, edited by Judith Lochhead, Eduardo Mendieta, and Stephen Decatur Smith. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. McAuley, Tomás. Forthcoming b. The Music of Philosophy: German Idealism and Musical Thought, from Kant to Schelling. New York: Oxford University Press. Moss, Jean Dietz. 2017. “Rhetoric and Science [Renaissance Rhetoric].” In The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, edited by Michael  J.  MacDonald, 423–436. New York: Oxford University Press. Moyer, Ann E. 2015. “Sympathy in the Renaissance.” In Sympathy: A History, edited by Eric Schliesser, 70–101. Oxford Philosophical Concepts. New York: Oxford University Press. Neubauer, John. 1986. The Emancipation of Music from Language: Departure from Mimesis in Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Newton, Isaac. 1952. Opticks; or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections & Colours of Light. Based on the 4th ed., London, 1730. New York: Dover Publications. Newton, Isaac. 1999. The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. A New Translation. Preceded by a Guide to Newton’s Principia by I. Bernard Cohen. Translated by I.  Bernard Cohen, Anne Whitman, and [assisted by] Julia Budenz. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Nickles, Thomas. 2017. “Scientific Revolutions.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Winter 2017 Edition. Palisca, Claude V. 1961. “Scientific Empiricism in Musical Thought.” In Seventeenth-Century Science and the Arts, edited by Hedley Howell Rhys, 91–137. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Pederson, Sanna. 2009. “Defining the Term ‘Absolute Music’ Historically.” Music & Letters 90, no. 2 (May): 240–262. Pesic, Peter. 2014. Music and the Making of Modern Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Redwood, André. 2015. “Mersenne and the Art of Delivery.” Journal of Music Theory 59, no. 1 (April): 99–119. Robertson, John. 2005. The Case for the Enlightenment: Scotland and Naples 1680–1760. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rorke, Margaret Ann. 2001. “Music Therapy in the Age of Enlightenment.” Journal of Music Therapy 38, no. 1 (Spring): 66–73. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1995. Œuvres complètes. Edited by Bernard Gegnebin and Marcel Raymond. Vol. 5, Écrits sur la musique, la langue et le théâtre. Paris: Gallimard. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1998. Essay on the Origins of Languages and Writings Related to Music. Edited and translated by John T. Scott. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. Schering, Arnold. 1908. “Die Lehre von den Musikalischen Figuren im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert.” Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 21: 106–114.

206   Tomás McAuley Semi, Maria. 2012. Music as a Science of Mankind in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Translated by Timothy Keates. Farnham: Ashgate. Shapin, Steven. 1996. The Scientific Revolution. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Staël, Germaine de. 1998. Corinne, Or Italy. Translated by Sylvia Raphael. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sullivan, Erin. 2015. “The Passions of Thomas Wright: Renaissance Emotion across Body and Soul.” In The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, edited by Richard Meek and Erin Sullivan, 25–44. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Sykes, Ingrid. 2012. “The Art of Listening: Perceiving Pulse in Eighteenth-Century France.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 35, no. 4 (December): 473–488. Thomas, Downing  A. 1995. Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Thomas, Downing A. 2002. Aesthetics of Opera in the Ancien Régime, 1647–1785. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Unger, Hans-Heinrich. [1941] 2016. Die Beziehungen zwischen Musik und Rhetorik im 16.–18. Jahrhundert. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. Varwig, Bettina. 2008. “One More Time: J. S. Bach and Seventeenth-Century Traditions of Rhetoric.” Eighteenth-Century Music 5, no. 2 (September): 179–208. Varwig, Bettina. 2009. “ ‘Mutato Semper Habitu’: Heinrich Schütz and the Culture of Rhetoric.” Music & Letters 90, no. 2 (May): 215–239. Varwig, Bettina. 2018. “Heartfelt Musicking: The Physiology of a Bach Cantata.” Representations 143, no. 1 (Summer): 36–62. Verba, Cynthia. 1993. Music and the French Enlightenment: Reconstruction of a Dialogue, 1750–1764. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Verba, Cynthia. 2013. Dramatic Expression in Rameau’s ‘Tragédie en Musique’: Between Tradition and Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Verba, Cynthia. 2017. Music and the French Enlightenment: Rameau and the Philosophes in Dialogue. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Vickers, Brian. 1984. “Figures of Rhetoric/Figures of Music?” Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 2, no. 1 (Spring): 1–44. Waeber, Jacqueline. 2009. “Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘unité de mélodie’. ” Journal of the American Musicological Society 62, no. 1 (Spring): 79–143. Walmsley, Peter. 2017. “Rhetoric and Science [Early Modern and Enlightenment Rhetoric].” In The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, edited by Michael J. MacDonald, 547–558. New York: Oxford University Press. Wright, Thomas. 1601. The Passions of the Minde. London. Wright, Thomas. 1604. The Passions of the Minde in Generall. Corrected, Enlarged, and with Sundry New Discourses Augmented. London.

chapter 10

The N i n eteen th Cen tu ry Andreas Dorschel

it is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view George Eliot, Middlemarch

The Immediate Medium Music seems to touch human beings more immediately than any other form of art, yet it is also an elaborately mediated phenomenon steeped in complex thought.1 Music, we might say, is an “immediate medium.” The paradox of this “immediate medium,” discovered along with the eighteenth-century invention of “aesthetics,” features heavily in philosophy’s encounters with music during the nineteenth century. For a long time, accounts of aesthetic concerns during that century have focused on a conflict between authors who were sympathetic to either form or content in music, favouring either “absolute” or “programme music” respectively. That interpretation of the period, however, is worn out. It seems more fruitful now to unfold the paradox of the immediate medium through a web of alternative notions such as sound and matter, sensation and sense, habituation and innovation, imagination and desire, meaning and interpretation, body and gesture. With this in mind, I will focus in what follows on the writings of three authors: Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837), Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55), and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900). These writers do not form a line of influence, yet they are united in their commitment to radical inquiry into that cluster of concepts.2 A philosophical basis that allows us to come to terms with music’s immediacy seems to be provided by materialism. Materialism became a dominant force in Western

208   Andreas Dorschel ­ hilosophy—perhaps for the first time—as part of the French Enlightenment. Yet the p eight­eenth century never developed a materialist philosophy of music, and so, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, this became Leopardi’s quest. If the matter of music is sound, asked Leopardi, to what extent can music be understood by reference to sound? Can the empirical study of music ever square with philosophical materialism’s grand tenet that everything is (ultimately) matter? With the more advanced intellectual grasp and technological mastery of sound now available, Leopardi’s questions are there for twenty-first-century philosophers of music to tackle. Even if sound is shaped by musicians in the most considered and calculated manner, its immediate effects seem to be sensations rather than abstract ideas. Sensualism can go along with materialism but is not identical with it. The success story of the natural sciences that picked up steam in the nineteenth century is still well under way in the twenty-first century and exerts a hefty pull on psychology; within such a field of forces, sensualism will surely become a preferred psychology of music. But will it be a credible one? With Kierkegaard’s ironic reductio ad absurdum of sensualism in the philosophy and psychology of music, the way may have been paved for an account of music’s intellectual aspects. These, however, are made, not given. As Nietzsche pointed out, they get shaped, in history, from the stuff of culture. Traditional musical-philosophical histories of the nineteenth century centred on the work and the quest for music’s essence (asking in particular whether it lies in musical form or content); the revisionary account that I propose here, on the other hand, stresses music as a process and leads into a genealogy of music. To engage with the paradox of the immediate medium is to face the riddle of music’s temporality; this turns out to be the shared concern of these three unorthodox thinkers. Leopardi and Kierkegaard discover that if we listen to the unfolding of a piece of music in a meaningful way, then expectation on the one hand and memory on the other prove crucial. Nietzsche, in turn, moves one stage further, beyond the consideration of psychological time, and to a consideration of historical time.

Sound and Novelty: Giacomo Leopardi Among the many legacies that the European eighteenth century left to the nineteenth, none was more disputed than that of the Enlightenment, particularly its radical materialist strand. Enlightenment thinkers such as Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert were well versed in musical matters. But when, in D’Alembert’s Dream (Le Rêve de d’Alembert), Diderot compares the nerve fibres to vibrating strings of a harpsichord in order to explain the workings of the soul in a materialist fashion, music is merely a means of theory, not its subject (Diderot 1987, 101–103; cf. Rebejkow 1997). In contrast, what Diderot and d’Alembert (more a sceptic than a materialist anyway) have to say as music theorists could hardly be characterized as a materialist philosophy of music (see d’Alembert 1752; [1751] 1955, 68, 70, 124–128, 184, 186; Diderot 1983). If the philosophes had adjourned such

The Nineteenth Century   209 a project, perhaps as too perplexing, it was taken up in the early nineteenth century by the young Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi. (On the general historical connection see Bini  1983; cf. Rosengarten  2012, 179–189.) Turned into “a professional philosopher” (Leopardi 2013, 116, fo. 144) after his intellectual crisis of 1819, Leopardi produced over the next thirteen years (until December 1832) the 4,526 manuscript pages of the Zibaldone di pensieri—a system to unsettle all systems. Music is a recurrent theme in that labyrinthine text. In his entry of 9 September 1821, Leopardi proclaims that “everything in our minds and faculties is material” (Leopardi 2013, 761, fo. 1657). This statement can, perhaps, be taken to provide a guiding thread through the Zibaldone. You must distinguish between sound (in which I also include singing) and harmony. Sound is the material of music, as colour is of painting, marble of sculpture, etc. The natural, generic effect that music has on us derives not from harmony but from sound, which electrifies and shakes us from the very first touch. (Leopardi 2013, 123, fo. 155; translation altered)

On one side stands harmony, which depends, as Leopardi explains, “on the ideas that each person has of why one thing fits better than another” (convenienza di una cosa con un’altra). On this basis, Leopardi was able, amongst much else, to account for historically changing ideas of consonance and dissonance in the history of harmony. More precisely, that which was taken initially to be ugly could be accepted as beautiful once ideas “that each person has of why one thing fits better than another” had changed. Such ideas might differ between individuals or between epochs and cultures; Leopardi mentions “nations, like the Turks, whose music to us sounds dissonant and tuneless in the extreme” (Leopardi 2013, 123–124, fo. 156). Leopardi is seeking here not to disparage Turkish music, but rather to note that the Turks appreciate their own music harmonically in a way unavailable to Leopardi’s own culture as they have, concerning music, “ideas” that are “different from our own” (Leopardi 2013, 1319, fo. 3212). On the other side of Leopardi’s distinction stands sound, which is “natural” (Leopardi 2013, 123, fo. 155). A sober attitude towards sound is a decisive element of Leopardi’s project of a materialist philosophy of music. Leopardi would have scorned mystifying idealist treatments of sound such as F. W. J. Schelling’s ([1802–3] 1859, 488) definition of Klang as “the indifference of the informing of the infinite into the finite, taken purely as indifference” ([d]ie Indifferenz der Einbildung des Unendlichen ins Endliche rein als Indifferenz aufgenommen). In the Zibaldone, far away from metaphysical infinities, sound is down to earth. It even affects animals, as when the sound of thunder sends the dog whining under the bed. In animals and humans alike, sound can produce strong emotions, such as fright. And it is not enough to say that we hear sound, true though that may be. Rather, we must be aware that sound touches us. There is sound before and beyond music and there is sound in music, but we cannot split them up along the traditional divide between the corporeal and the spiritual. On the contrary, both can “electrify and shake us,” body and mind, at the same time. The low, dark sound of an

210   Andreas Dorschel explosion; the hard, yet light and bright sound of glass breaking; the sweet sound (dolcezza) of a voice; the soft sound of a bowed catgut string; the sharp sound of a plucked metal string—each and any of these may, at certain moments, have a rousing, thrilling, or quivering effect on those who hear them or listen to them. At the same time, these sounds elude mediating signs. Sound qualities escape musical notation, and they defy literal reference, for we talk of them through images derived from sight (“dark,” “bright”), taste (“sweet”), or, especially, from touch (“hard,” “light,” “soft,” “sharp”) (cf. Leopardi 2013, 1318, fo. 3211). When tones are organized synchronically, they constitute harmony; when they are organized diachronically, we call them melody. Both harmony and melody are exclusive to the domain of music, whereas sound abounds outside of music. And yet, paradoxically, due to the strong effect of its “matter,” it is sound that “makes music special compared with the other arts”—literally “above (sopra) the other arts” (Leopardi 2013, 123, fo. 155). Matter takes precedence over form: without matter, form is nothing, while matter without form can be something. Sound that has not been stratified in terms of harmony can have a strong effect. Refined harmonic art, by way of contrast, will be ruined through performance on “a shoddy instrument”—with the sound messed up, Leopardi avers, “it will not touch you, will not move you, will not exalt you at all” (Leopardi 2013, 764, fo. 1664). Music, subjected to philosophical analysis, breaks down into component parts: sound, the most vigorous of them, is material, immediate, bodily, tangible, sensual and—to the extent that senses are similar—general; harmony and melody, which are less vigorous, are formal, mediate, intangible, intellectual, dependent upon ideas and, to that extent, relative. Or so it seems. But, in a Humean spirit,3 guided more by experience than by adherence to principles, Leopardi goes on: The pleasure we derive from sound does not come under the category of the beautiful, but is like that of taste or smell, etc. Nature has given us pleasure in all our senses. But sound is unique in producing an effect that in itself is more spiritual than food, colours, or tangible objects. And yet observe that smells, although to a much lesser extent, have a similar ability to awaken our imagination, etc. Hence the very spirituality of sound is a physical effect.  (Leopardi 2013, 125, fo. 157–158; translation altered)

Leopardi here breaks down the time-honoured dualism of mind and body. His claim that “the very spirituality of sound is a physical effect” may well be imbued with the experience of the lyrical poet working on and in words, that is, shaping meaning as sound and sound as meaning. Composers turn the matter of sound into music, organizing it into melody and harmony. In this way, they can achieve musical beauty. How, according to Leopardi, does this happen? Beauty does not inhere in particular melodic and harmonic forms. Rather, the way listeners relate to such forms through time accounts for what we call “beauty.” Beauty, Leopardi says, needs habituation (assuefazione). Even though musical beauty often seems to come to us in an instant, like a flash, a process underlies that effect, hidden at that instant. There is a conservative bent to the sense of hearing and the practice of

The Nineteenth Century   211 l­istening. The ear has “as principles only its own habits” (Leopardi 2013, 1318, fo. 3211). And are these principles at all? Habituation is “accidental” and “varies according to time, place, and nation” (Leopardi 2013, 1326, fo. 3230). The power of custom is so great, according to Leopardi, that it will determine not only whether or not a given melody is to be counted as beautiful; rather, that power will determine also which “successive arrangements of tones” will be “regarded as melodies” in the first place (Leopardi 2013, 1319, fo. 3213). But why should the power of custom hold sway in this way? Custom, suggests Leopardi, assures listeners that they have mastered a given acoustic situation. In the case of melodic beauty, in “hearing the opening sequence,” they find themselves capable of guessing “the middle, the end, and the entire development” (Leopardi 2013, 1317, fo. 3208). They know where they are vis-à-vis the music—and that state of mind they ratify with a judgement of beauty. Complete novelty in music would leave listeners at the mercy of temporal processes they could not foresee. Lacking habit, they would fail to form appropriate expectations. By handing down the verdict that new music is ugly, listeners may keep away the menace of confusion. Other harmonies and melodies that do not feature this appearance [of ugliness], or not in a marked form, and that nevertheless are regarded as if they were new (come nuove), are not new except for an unfamiliar combination of the various parts of those musical conventions that general or particular habituation causes us to consider as conventions.  (Leopardi 2013, 839, fo. 1874; translation altered)

Leopardi sets out an information theory of music (cf. Meyer 1957) without the jargon of information theory. Music without features that listeners can anticipate leaves those listeners bewildered; music delivering nothing but the expected makes them sink into tedium. Audiences will readily accept as beautiful what is unusual on the surface if it combines tokens of the usual beneath its surface: it seems new, but it is old. Such a quid pro quo may attract contempt from some, but not so from Leopardi. Rather, a solution of this kind commends itself by the twofold need for artists to come up with creations that are, at the same time, novel and intelligible. Composers have to make new music since otherwise older music, abundantly available, could simply be performed all over again; but what they make must also allow itself to be understood since otherwise listeners would turn away from it. In art, as in language, what is new is grasped in terms of what is old. Composers live up to their paradoxical task when their melodies are such that the people and generally all listeners are struck and amazed by them, as though they were hearing a new melody for the first time, while at the same time, because in fact they have become habituated to such successions of tones, they are able to identify it immediately as melody. (Leopardi 2013, 1322, fo. 3220–3221; translation altered)

Not all new music, however, is of this kind—music that is, in truth, old. Leopardi recognizes that “genuinely new compositions” also come about. As is to be expected, they are

212   Andreas Dorschel regularly reproached for lack of melody; they make us lose ground, listeners complain. Why, then, are such “genuinely new” compositions—providing music that goes beyond different rearrangements of conventional elements—brought into being? This might be due simply to the curiosity of composers; haunted by their déformation professionelle, or taken by flight of fancy, their art, “out of a desire for originality and to show off the imagination and creative faculty,” is “turned to its own extravagant and unheard of inventions.”4 The more difficult question is how and why such music can sometimes catch on and prevail—that is, in the end, reshape the habits of listeners in recognizing melody (Leopardi 2013, 1323, fo. 3222–3224; translation altered). Music may be sparing with sound qualities or it may lavish them. If we follow Leopardi’s argument, captivating—ideally overwhelming—sounds are the only thing in the world that can get audiences to listen to “genuinely new” harmonic or melodic successions of tones for a while and thus become accustomed to them (Leopardi 2013, 838, fo. 1873). Evidence for this claim (unavailable to Leopardi), may be seen in the finesse of sonorities and the extraordinary handling of timbre and dynamics among the great melodic-harmonic innovators of the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries—as if, through such artifice, they sought to seduce audiences to their unusual, initially recalcitrant, constructions. Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, and Richard Strauss are cases in point. The unique emphasis that Leopardi laid on sound during the early years of the nineteenth century thus turned out to be a piece of aesthetic prophecy. Leopardi opens up a wide horizon for music. That sound is present before and beyond music does not diminish its force in music; rather, it is the backdrop of a world that sounds and resounds, electrifying and shaking sensuous beings, that makes sound so potent in music. But are there limits to music’s sensuousness? In a mazy piece of philosophizing about music, Søren Kierkegaard leads into that question.

Sensuality and Desire: Søren Kierkegaard “I am still too much of a child, or, more correctly, I am infatuated (forelsket), like a young girl, with Mozart, and I must have him rank in first place, whatever it costs” (Kierkegaard 1987, 48), A confesses frankly. A, as Kierkegaard calls him, is an aesthetician, author of a disquisition on “The Immediate Erotic Stages or The Musical-Erotic” (“De umiddelbare erotiske Stadier eller det Musikalsk-Erotiske”); the above avowal appears in one of its introductory passages. It is one of the philosopher and anti-­philosopher Kierkegaard’s quips—and a rather good one at that. Kierkegaard is poking fun at the custom of aestheticians to exhibit their personal, idiosyncratic preferences as nothing less than “truth itself ”—as the grandiose phrase of a later major aesthetician (and critic of Kierkegaard) would have it (Adorno [1934] 2010, 203). A’s words encapsulate what aestheticians ought to admit more often and never do, namely that, like

The Nineteenth Century   213 t­ eenagers, they are smitten by some music and not by other music. Such infatuation, as we should expect, blinds the infatuated; but that, perhaps, is not too high a price to pay for getting what they love. Pathetically, though, they try to cover up their blindness by means of philosophical dialectics, which they use to reason their preferred art into the “first place, whatever it costs.” Here, it costs A the reader’s willingness to take him seriously—a loss for a fictitious character that means a gain in pleasure for his real audience. With its promise of neat classification, the title, “The Immediate Erotic Stages or The Musical-Erotic,” suggests an academic treatise; within that genre, admitting an infatuation is a hilarious offence. Obviously, this is not going to be an investigation that leads to a result. Rather, the result—whatever it may be the result of—is fixed in advance, and argument is attached to the result in order to justify it, once again, “whatever it costs.” The incongruity marks this text—the second chapter from Kierkegaard’s 1843 Either/Or (Enten—Eller)—as parodistic: pseudo-objectivity explodes in laughter. That laughter carries an insight, namely, that if A is not to be taken seriously, Kierkegaard certainly is. Taken as a piece of controlled dramatic irony rather than at face value, “The Immediate Erotic Stages or The Musical-Erotic” eclipses the more academic endeavours in music aesthetics from this period. A is a Romantic who happens to have a predilection for the classical period of Viennese music, or rather for one particular work of one of its composers—W. A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni. He is not original in that regard: Jean Paul (Titan, 1800–3) and E. T. A. Hoffmann (Don Juan, 1813) are obvious precursors. Yet unlike these writers of fiction, A has to produce an argument. He must construe the classical work in such a way that it will fit his Romantic taste. As if that were not difficult enough, A, being an aesthetician, must also translate his special pleading into a theory of unlimited scope. An author who sets out to develop an entire philosophy of music by reference to a single work will be hard pressed to preserve within his endeavour even a semblance of generality. Presenting his account as an aspect of a wider media (Medier) theory (Kierkegaard 1987, 54–57) will, A hopes, do the trick. To that end, Kierkegaard makes A unfold a formative notion from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Laocoon, or, On the Limits of Painting and Poetry (Laokoon, oder über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie, 1766); in the characteristic manner of academic plagiarism—another authorial mockery of A— that debt is passed over in silence where it is central, and then acknowledged reverently in A’s speech on sorrow, “Silhouettes” (“Skyggerids”), where it is marginal (Kierkegaard 1987, 169). Different artistic media, A argues, are more or less appropriate to different content, or some sorts of content may only be appropriate to the medium of one specific art: Sculpture, painting, and music have abstract media as does architecture . . . The most abstract idea conceivable is the sensuous in its elemental originality (sandselige Genialitet). But through which medium can it be presented? Only through music. It cannot be presented in sculpture because it has a qualification of a kind of inwardness (en Art Inderlighedens Bestemmelse); it cannot be painted, for it cannot be caught in definite contours. In its lyricism, it is a force, a wind, impatience, passion,

214   Andreas Dorschel etc., yet in such a way that it exists not in one instant but in a succession of instants, for if it existed in one instant, it could be depicted or painted. That it exists in a succession of instants expresses its epic character, but still it is not epic in the stricter sense, for it has not reached the point of words; it continually moves within immediacy (Umiddelbarhed). Consequently, it cannot be presented in poetry, either. (Kierkegaard 1987, 56–57)

Language, suggests Kierkegaard, uses the sensuous as a means (Redskab, i.e., “tool,” “device”) to refer to something non-sensuous, whereas music values the sensuous as sound, for what it is (Kierkegaard 1987, 65). Whenever we enjoy language for its sound, we treat it as music. So, by way of conclusion: “The only medium that can present it [the sensuous in its immediacy] is music. Music has an element of time in itself but nevertheless does not take place in time except metaphorically” (Kierkegaard  1987, 57). The Danish adjective san(d)selig can mean “sensate,” but also “sensuous” and “sensual”—and A exploits the polysemy. Sensuousness is pertinent to A’s discussion of abstractness and immediacy; once Don Giovanni enters the philosophical scenario, however, A switches to sensuality. Indicating the semantic shift, A advances an invalid syllogism that can be set out as follows: P1 P2 P3 P4 C

Sensuousness is the most abstract content. Music is the most abstract medium. Sensuality is the essence of the figure of Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni embodies the essence of the opera whose hero he is. In Mozart’s Don Giovanni, content and medium are one.

Mimicking Hegel’s dialectics—which, Kierkegaard maintained, could prove everything, and hence nothing—A then comes up with no less than a deduction of Don Giovanni. For philosophy, nothing is easier than to derive a product of the imagination as logical necessity: thesis, antithesis, synthesis—there you are. As Bernard Williams puts it, Don Giovanni represents the third, full and final stage of three forms of sensual interest, each of which has been represented by Mozart. The first, “dreaming,” is expressed in the tranquillity, the “hushed melancholy,” of Cherubino’s feeling; the second, “seeking,” in Papageno’s craving for discovery. Giovanni combines and goes beyond both of these attitudes, in full desire, in conquest.  (Williams 2006, 33)

Williams’s phrase “in full desire” is telling, for Don Giovanni “speeds on over the abyss” (Kierkegaard 1987, 129) from one female body to the next, treating each as mere episode, just as in melody a tone must cease to appear to us for the next to be presented. For both the erotic seducer and the ear seduced by melody, only presence, the realm of consumption, truly exists. They are unconcerned about the past, unconcerned about the future. Don Giovanni devours women, as each sound devours the previous one. Yet if Don

The Nineteenth Century   215 Giovanni points to a limit of a life shaped—or rather, left shapeless—by the relentless pursuit of pleasure, then the ear seduced by melody will point to a limit of music, that art forever vanishing. As long as sensual desire is successful, it discards its objects into the indifference of statistics—when Leporello exclaims, in the course of listing the numbers of women that his master (Don Giovanni) has loved, that “ma in Ispagna son già mille e tre” (“in Spain there are already a thousand and three”), he provides the formula for emptiness dressed up as plenitude (cf. Kierkegaard 1987, 91–95). Sensual desire hits its limit if and when it is frustrated. It is then forced to reflect why it had so intensely desired the other—who thus ceases to be an object—in the first place. The dialectics of Either/Or seem to suggest that grief at being rejected has as its proper medium tragedy (the topic of the book’s subsequent essay [Kierkegaard  1987, 137–164]), thus superseding the ephemeral art of music. But just how true is this homology between music and the life of desire? A suggests that, like Don Giovanni, music knows no fidelity: the previous tone has to disappear for the next one to come forth. But does music hold nothing back? Where does music manifest if not, through the ear, in the minds of listeners? Could we even listen to melodies, let alone to Don Giovanni as a musical work, if these melodies were not directed at beings who, through memory, constantly retain features of them? This is, in fact, the perspective from which A produces his text—the opera made a lasting impression on him—but which he needs to deny. If all music were, as A says, transience, then how could A refer to a work by Mozart, a man long dead, as the steady object of his infatuation? For his theory to work, A must presuppose that music can be written down, yet he must also ignore that very same feature. Kierkegaard, the master of dramatic irony, injected these contradictions into the text.5 Throughout Either/Or, A is a dubious figure. He is characterized by the distortions that he inflicts on various subjects—and through him, so too is the way of life that Kierkegaard calls “aesthetic.” Above all, A mutilates Don Giovanni, the ultimate object of his infatuation, in order to make this opera suit his theory—“whatever it costs.” To that purpose, more than anything, the Commendatore must be done away with or, at least, pushed to the side, for he is as remote as possible from sensuous immediacy and sensual desire. A, cheeky and stubborn at once, goes about his business in the manner of a determined dogmatist—a species not uncommon in philosophical aesthetics. He resorts to the astounding claim that the Commendatore “lies outside” (ligger udenfor) the “piece” (Stykket). To say so of the figure to whom the piece’s defining D minor tonality belongs sounds absurd, and it is. A, apparently sensing the absurdity, qualifies his remark by saying that the Commendatore lies “to some degree” (til en vis Grad) outside the piece. But through that sophistry, Kierkegaard only sharpens his ironic characterization of A; how could the yes/no alternative of being outside or not amount to a matter of “degree”? To support his claim, A declares that “the Commendatore appears only two times.” This is flagrantly false. As readers of Either/Or are supposed to recognize, A leaves out the graveyard scene, the entire work’s turning point. Ultimately, a false theory can only be saved, in aesthetics as everywhere else, by twisting the facts (Kierkegaard 1987, 124).

216   Andreas Dorschel “Whatever it costs,” A attempts to diminish the Commendatore, and indeed every other part in the opera, in favour of Don Giovanni (Kierkegaard  1987, 118–119). He wishes the complex interweaving of voices that is Mozart’s Don Giovanni to be the unambiguous, direct voice of the single, titular character that he takes to be its hero. But that it isn’t makes Don Giovanni both high drama and deep music. Pseudonymity, a rare thing in philosophy, is opera’s usual procedure anyway. Mozart is neither Don Giovanni, nor the Commendatore, nor Donna Anna, nor Donna Elvira. And opera, through music, masters a feat that spoken drama lacks: it can present several voices at once. As George Steiner notes: If music, notably that of Mozart, was to Søren Kierkegaard a touchstone of the pulse of meaning, the reason is clear: he sought in his reflexes of argument and sensibility, in his prose, to translate out of music its capacities for counterpoint, for plurality of simultaneous moods and movements, for self-subversion. Like no other major thinker, perhaps, Kierkegaard is polyphonic.  (Steiner 1998, 103–104)

That music (like his philosophy) should be monophonic is what A, the anti-Kierkegaard, desires—for only then can it be immediate. “Music, like many other things, suffers most from its friends,” sighs Edmund Gurney in his Power of Sound (1880, 360). This gets close to the truth, but Kierkegaard knew even better: music suffers most from its lovers—and A has to rank high among them. While Gurney, a theorist, makes his statement in resignation, Kierkegaard, combining the roles of theorist and dramatist, enacts revenge. In a final act of supreme irony, he leads A on to try his theory on the least suitable object, the sonata architecture of the opera’s overture. Like Don Giovanni’s life, and true to A’s philosophy, music should here head restlessly from one moment to the next. But the overture to Don Giovanni is not like that; as A has to acknowledge, it forms a “totality” that is “strongly structured” (stærkt bygget)—something that Don Giovanni’s life could never reach. Readers are left with two options: either Mozart’s “perfect masterwork” (fuldendt Mesterværk) is not what it should be or A’s philosophy has gone wrong. Choosing between these two options is made easy. In his characteristic manner of indirection, Kierkegaard points to an alternate philosophical approach commensurate to music as an art form: in its temporality, music such as the overture of Don Giovanni goes beyond momentary impressions and may yield experience that lasts; that experience can, through music’s expressive and representational powers, draw in and on the ra­tional and emotional faculties of listeners, far transcending sensuous immediacy. Here we see the point of Kierkegaard’s textual strategy: an ideology of sensuous immediacy calls for complete identification, without resistance. A wishes to invite such identification. Yet the entire A-strand proves an elaborate red herring. Kierkegaard has set up his ideas for a fall: dis-identification. He educates a reader, and there are lessons for a musical listener in that education. Music’s unfolding in time has figured prominently in several philosophies of that art (see Rowell 2004). How pieces of music are temporally organized and how listeners experience them as temporally organized, though, does not exhaust the issue. Rather,

The Nineteenth Century   217 there is something else: as a man-made thing, music partakes in historical time. This participation has strangely eluded most philosophers. Among those of the nineteenth century, however, Friedrich Nietzsche makes for a great exception.

Word and Gesture: Friedrich Nietzsche In 1887, Nietzsche wrote that “all concepts (Begriffe) in which an entire process is semiotically concentrated defy definition; only something which has no history (Geschichte) can be defined” (2006, 53). Nietzsche took it to be a fundamental naïvety of philosophers of law and morality that they attempted to define that which defies definition—but he could just as well have accused philosophers of art of the same. Music, and everything that may have made it up, has got a history and thus defies definition. Hence Nietzsche does not offer necessary and sufficient conditions for something being music or any of its supposed ingredients. A search for the essence of music may still have driven Nietzsche’s early Birth of Tragedy (1872); in Human, All Too Human, part I (1878), however, he commits philosophy to a sense of history—a commitment he would never again retract (Emden 2008). In that book, Nietzsche first develops a style of exposition that allows him to present side-by-side different perspectives on a theme. Human, All Too Human, part I consists of 638 numbered, apparently self-contained paragraphs. Yet subtle interrelations, forming a net, underscore what looks on the surface like plain juxtaposition. In ¶¶ 215–17, Nietzsche does not proffer an aesthetics of music derived from a uniform principle. He appears equally averse, however, to presenting a mere jumble of ideas. While no axiom, or set of axioms, is shared by the texts, they have something in common: in each of them, the author views music in the making—as process rather than essence. To employ a name Nietzsche would coin later, these axioms (or sets of axioms) amount to “genealogies” of music or of musical traits. The different angles from which Nietzsche explores music thus do not add up to a grand survey of its field, but nor do they result in paradox cheaply obtained by stating one thing, then its opposite. Tensions remain, and are intended. The goal is not to soothe readers, but to alert them to intricacies between the points in question. Nietzsche enters the meandering structure of ¶¶ 215–17 with a reflection on musical meaning; the terms bedeutungsvoll (meaningful) and Bedeutsamkeit (meaningfulness) provide the keynote for ¶ 215. Sounds, suggests Nietzsche in this passage, do not by themselves have a meaning. Hence the common-sense understanding of music as an immediate utterance of feeling (or language of feeling, Sprache des Gefühls) is just as misguided as its philosophical version, proposed by Arthur Schopenhauer (1988, ­1:338–353), wherein music manifests the metaphysical Will, or the Thing-in-itself. Rather, for most of its history, sounds were allied to words, to such an extent that words penetrated sounds. Thus, musical metaphysics, despite meaning to grasp music in raw being, deals with the product of such work—with music as something made. What the soul believes

218   Andreas Dorschel to be revealed to it directly is, in fact, the meaning that human minds have, over generations, conferred upon tones and combinations of tones. So-called “pure, absolute” instrumental music, then, has, through its history, been neither absolute nor pure.6 It has, rather, been in constant relation to a historical transfer from language; its phrases are sediments of words (Nietzsche 2005, 99). In ¶ 216, Nietzsche probes a different approach to music, shifting his emphasis from the use of words—a feat of the intellect—to gesture, rooted in the body. Nietzsche hones in on the concept of empathy which, he suggests, is no mere matter of mind or soul; rather, it is only through imitating another’s gestures one understands that other’s sensibility. In modern times, suggests Nietzsche, civilized manners have somewhat pushed back gestural extroversion in favour of mental introversion. The process of mirroring another’s bodily movements can still be studied, however, in the reactions of infants to their mothers. Gestures go along with tones, as does the sigh (which could be called a sounding gesture). Dance, or gestures brought into a sequence, conveys to the eye what music conveys to the ear. When gestures are omitted, the tones that remain turn into their symbols. Listeners who feel the external presence of gestures to be redundant have, claimed Nietzsche, internalized them (Nietzsche 2005, 99–100). Such listeners are able to appreciate music that is called “absolute,” but which is, in fact, relative to something. This something—words in ¶ 215, gestures in ¶ 216—once had to be explicit, but now can be left implicit. When some aestheticians call music an art of form, thinks Nietzsche, they have come to forget, in their philosophical oblivion of history, that music’s forms are traces of contents, either of words or of gestures. Nietzsche refuses to settle for reductive accounts of music; he posits neither intellect nor body as the fundamental. Instead, he sets the two perspectives—for that is how they are best understood—alongside each other. Yet, these two perspectives are not unconnected either, for consonants and vowels are positions of the organ of speech and thus also gestures. As Nietzsche puts it, “consonants and vowels are nothing but the positions of the speech organs, in short: gestures” (“Consonanten und Vokale sind. . . nichts als Stellungen der Sprachorgane, kurz Geberden” [1871] 1988b, 361). Further, word and gesture both belong to rhetoric; in the 1870s Nietzsche rediscovered the belief in the oratorical force of music that had been a commonplace until around 1750. At any rate, Nietzsche maintains that a rich philosophy of music cannot satisfy itself with a single perspective, as each point of view has limitations of its own. The perspectives that he has presented so far, however, also share a limitation, in that they are directed at a presumed origin of music. In ¶ 217, therefore, Nietzsche turns round altogether, addressing, diagnostically, the present state of music and, prognostically, its upcoming future state.7 Yet the layers music manifests as a historical phenomenon—past, present, and future—share some matter. In ¶ 217, Nietzsche goes back to the issue of ¶ 215, namely meaning (Bedeutung). He distinguishes between what a thing is and what it means on the basis that while the former can be seen, heard, or felt, the latter has to be thought. In modern music, Nietzsche suggests, meaning dominates being. Above all, Wagner is on his mind—a name deliberately never mentioned, but constantly referred to in Human, All Too

The Nineteenth Century   219 Human, part 1. The dominance of meaning over being concludes the processes set out in ¶¶ 215–16: what was once explicitly present to the senses (Sinne) is, at a later stage, left implicit and thus deferred—it has to be complemented by listeners. Then, in an unprecedented way, listeners begin to tolerate noise (Lärm) in music, for they have learned to conceive of sounds as symbols. While a particular sound may be quite unpleasant, what it stands for could still be momentous. Such extended tolerance towards ugly sounds may be seen as progress: music has conquered all that is hideous in the world by acquiring capacities to represent it. Yet tolerating noise for a long time must numb the auditory sense. The “complete dominance of the well-tempered tonal system” in modern Western culture attests already to that process of “desensualization” (Entsinnlichung); as Nietzsche suggests, “ears that can still hear the subtle distinction between for example C sharp and D flat are now exceptional.” Harmless as this may appear, Nietzsche considers it a stage in a process through which modern art defeats itself. For meaning is what an intellect projects on to sensual material; if the material repels the senses, the intellect may still deem it profoundly meaningful.8 But what of an individual intellect unwilling or unable to project in this way? It will be bound, on the sensuous level, to enjoy the ugly as such. Nietzsche, the iconoclastic philosopher, is plagued by philosophy’s ancient concern about art: the fates of beauty (Nietzsche 2005, 100–101). The way in which it plagues him, however, is not ancient but modern—it is congenial to Charles Baudelaire’s “historical theory of the beautiful,” which discredits proclamations of timeless aesthetic qualities (Baudelaire [1863] 1976, 685). These fates of beauty had, in the enthusiastic formulations of Romanticism, been driven by boundless trust in the eternal power of beauty. Nietzsche, at least at the time of Human, All Too Human, part I, continues to care for beauty in spite of grave doubt in that power. For what do we long, asks Nietzsche, when we seek beauty in music, or any of the arts? “To be beautiful ourselves: we imagine we would be very happy if we were beautiful.—But that is an error” (Nietzsche 2005, 81; translation altered).

Beyond Form and Content Much of the nineteenth century’s most significant philosophy comes from authors who were outside or on the margins of academia: Schopenhauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, John Stuart Mill, Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Charles Sanders Peirce, Nietzsche,9 Gottlob Frege. That general point also holds for the philosophy of music in the nineteenth century. Music being a public art, its aesthetics could not have been confined to universities during the nineteenth century. Rather, music critics disputed one another’s claims, and those of composers, in widely-circulated journals, pamphlets, and newspapers. In the field of music criticism, “absolute music versus programme music” was a loud battle-cry. Yet none of the work of major composers from this period fits that skimpy alternative: that music is content moulded into form or that forms moved in sounding are music’s

220   Andreas Dorschel only content.10 Occasionally, nineteenth-century aesthetics was that sort of dispute, and to the extent that it was, the music of this epoch showed itself greater than the philosophy. Johannes Brahms found in Hanslick’s treatise “so many dumb things” (so viel Dummes) that he gave it up (Brahms 1927, 168). What may be worthwhile in encounters of philosophy with music during the nineteenth century must lie beyond that oncecanonical antagonism. Leopardi’s aesthetics marks a desideratum even in the twenty-first century, where a thorough philosophy of sound still seems to elude us.11 That sounds surround us both before and beyond music does not render them less important for an understanding of music, but, paradoxically, more so, for even when we do not listen to them consciously and willingly, they shape our reality. Leopardi’s distinction between matter and form may be no less vexed and troubled than the notorious divide between content and form, but in Leopardi’s conception of music as sonic practice, this distinction is a point of departure rather than the point of arrival. Kierkegaard puts the present age to shame by sparkling with wit and elegance as he approaches the much-treated issue of the medium’s expressive and representational powers. Finally, Nietzsche subverts the staple aesthetic alternatives of form and content, or absolute and dramatic music. That subversion is driven by an insight plain enough: everything humans have made—music and art just as well as religion and morality—has a history. Contemporary philosophy, busy proposing ever more new ontologies of music, still needs to come to terms with that simple, perhaps deceptively simple, discovery. But there is something else. In 1798, Friedrich Schlegel, observing in music of his times “a certain tendency . . . towards philosophy,” attempted to justify composers’ talk of “thoughts in their compositions” (Schlegel 1967, 254). Some musicologists triumphantly proclaim to have established that one or another piece of nineteenth-century music conforms exactly to one or another previous, contemporaneous, or later theory, ideology, or philosophy. Lawrence Kramer, for example, declares of a passage in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde that it “conforms in every detail to the Freudian language of love” (Kramer 1990, 164). Yet such conformity is specious. The same “in every detail” would not be the same in any detail for appearing in music drama rather than a psychological treatise. Schlegel himself expresses his thought cautiously: though he did not want to rule out that music had acquired a capacity to articulate philosophical insight, he was far from suggesting that, say, Mozart is Kant in sound. Some have followed Schlegel’s lead. But where Schlegel made sweeping assertions, recent authors have attended minutely to particulars. David Schroeder (1990, 88) presents the motivic-thematic elaboration in the first movement of Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 83 as imparting the ethical idea of tolerance. Roger Scruton (2016) has argued in detail how Wagner, while often undercutting the philosophical doctrines by Feuerbach or Schopenhauer with which he engages, turns music into a philosophical force. In a more general vein, Andrew Bowie speaks of the “late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries” as promulgating a “philosophy which is conveyed by music itself ”; he sees the present philosophical challenge as one of “questioning philosophy via music” (Bowie 2007, 2, xi, 15). Rather than asking what philosophy had and has to pronounce about music, we are supposed to explore what music

The Nineteenth Century   221 conveys philosophically. Such claims, from Schlegel to Scruton, are as contentious as they are intriguing. They have to be probed if our understanding of the relationship between music and philosophy is meant to develop, but they must also be related to a fresh glance at the nineteenth century’s own philosophies of music.

Notes 1. I am grateful to Markus Kleinert, Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, David Trippett, and an anonymous reviewer for Oxford University Press for their critical comments on earlier versions of this chapter. Ariana Phillips-Hutton assisted with rendering this chapter, as much as possible, into idiomatic English. 2. Throughout this essay I make reference to the English translations of works by these authors: Leopardi 2013; Kierkegaard 1987; Nietzsche 2005. Original-language versions of all these works can be found in Works Cited as Leopardi [1817–32] 1991, Kierkegaard [1843] 1997, and Nietzsche [1878] 1988a respectively. Translations from other non-English sources are my own. 3. Cf. Cacciapuoti 1999, xxii. For the wider philosophical background of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, see Martinelli 2003. 4. Cf. the description in Leopardi  2013, 1324, fo. 1691; translation altered: “enamoured of novelty and of ambitious creation and invention.” 5. Apparently forgetting his own promising initial references to “Kierkegaard’s playing with authorial roles” and “the shifting nature of the textsʼ construction,” Andrew Bowie (2007, 203–208) in the end misses the philosopher’s irony. 6. Hanslick [1854] 1990, 1:52: “reine, absolute.” The term “absolute” here must be read in conjunction with two previous uses of it in the same chapter, concerning “musical ideas,” 1:46. On the passage and its subsequent treatment, cf. Pederson, 2009, 250–3; on “purity” 252–3; on Nietzsche’s critical stance towards “the absolute,” 242; and, finally, on ¶ 215 of Human, All Too Human, pt I, 256–257. 7. Cf. Trippett 2013, 9; on the context surrounding Nietzsche’s remarks, see the introduction, 1–11, and, indeed, the entire book. 8. As with Leopardi’s thoughts on musical innovation, Nietzsche’s reflection here points forward in powerful ways to twentieth-century problems; on these see Whittall 2009. 9. Nietzsche, of course, started with exceptional success in academia when he was in his twenties, yet by 1880 he had become “an academic outsider” (Sadler 1995, 232). 10. On German music from Beethoven to Schoenberg, see Hoeckner 2002. 11. The Power of Sound of which Edmund Gurney speaks in the title of his great study in the philosophy of music turns out to be less a power of sound than a power of listeners vis-àvis sound, see Gurney 1880, 7, 236. For his use of the expression “sound,” see 27. On the state of the art in contemporary philosophy of music see Kane 2014.

Works Cited Adorno, Theodor W. [1934] 2010. “Der dialektische Komponist.” In Musikalische Schriften IV, edited by Rolf Tiedemann, 198–203. Vol. 17 of Gesammelte Schriften. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

222   Andreas Dorschel Baudelaire, Charles. [1863] 1976. “Le Peintre de la vie moderne”. In Œuvres complètes, edited by Claude Pichois, 2:683–724. Paris: Gallimard. Bini, Daniela. 1983. “Leopardi and French Materialism.” Comparative Literature Studies 20, no. 2 (Summer): 154–167. Bowie, Andrew. 2007. Music, Philosophy, and Modernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brahms, Johannes. 1927. “Letter to Clara Schumann, 15 January 1856.” Briefe aus den Jahren 1853–1896, edited by Berthold Litzmann, 1:166–169. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. Cacciapuoti, Fabiana. 1999. “Il fundamento della filosofia moderna.” In Giacomo Leopardi, Della natura degli uomini e delle cose: Edizione tematica dello Zibaldone di pensieri, xv–lxxxii. Rome: Donzelli. D’Alembert, Jean-Baptiste le Rond. [1751] 1955. Discours préliminaire de l’Encyclopédie, edited by Erich Köhler. Hamburg: Meiner. D’Alembert, Jean-Baptiste le Rond. 1752. Elémens de musique, théorique et pratique, suivant de M. Rameau. Paris: David l’aîne. Diderot, Denis. 1983. Musique. Edited by Jean Mayer and Pierre Citron. Vol. 19 of Œuvres complètes. Paris: Hermann. Diderot, Denis. 1987. Le Rêve de d’Alembert. In Idées, part IV, edited by Jean Varloot, 23–309, Vol. 17 of Œuvres complètes. Paris: Hermann. Written in 1769 and first published anonymously in 1782. Emden, Christian  J. 2008. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gurney, Edmund. 1880. The Power of Sound. London: Smith, Elder & Co. Hanslick, Eduard. [1854] 1990. Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Ästhetik in der Tonkunst, edited by Dietmar Strauß. 2 vols. Mainz: Schott. Hoeckner, Berthold. 2002. Programming the Absolute: Nineteenth-Century German Music and the Hermeneutics of the Moment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Kane, Brian. 2014. Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press. Kierkegaard, Søren. 1987. Either/Or, part I.  Vol. 3 of Kierkegaard’s Writings, translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Kierkegaard, Søren. [1843] 1997. Enten—Eller, part I.  Vol. 2 of Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter, edited by Søren Kierkegaard Forskningscenteret. Copenhagen: Gads Forlag. Kramer, Lawrence. 1990. Music as Cultural Practice, 1800–1900. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Leopardi, Giacomo. 2013. Zibaldone. Translated by Kathleen Baldwin, Richard Dixon, David Gibbons et al. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Leopardi, Giacomo. [1817–32] 1991. Zibaldone di Pensieri. Edited by Giuseppe Pacella. 3 vols. Milan: Garzanti. Martinelli, Bortolo. 2003. Leopardi tra Leibniz e Locke: Alla ricerca di un orientamento e di un fondamento. Rome: Carucci. Meyer, Leonard B. 1957. “Meaning in Music and Information Theory.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 15, no. 4 (June): 412–424. Nietzsche, Friedrich. [1878] 1988a. Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, part I. Sämtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Vol. 2. Berlin: de Gruyter.

The Nineteenth Century   223 Nietzsche, Friedrich. [1871] 1988b. “Fragment 12 = Mp XII 1 d”. Sämtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, 7:359–369. Berlin: de Gruyter. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2005. Human, All Too Human, part I. Translated by Reginald J. Hollingdale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2006. On the Genealogy of Morality. Translated by Carol Diethe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pederson, Sanna. 2009. “Defining the Term ‘Absolute Music’ Historically.” Music & Letters 90, no. 2 (May): 240–262. Rebejkow, Jean-Christophe. 1997. “Matérialisme et musique: Quelques réflexions à propos du Rêve de d’Alembert.” Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur 107 (3): 302–316. Rosengarten, Frank. 2012. Giacomo Leopardi’s Search for a Common Life through Poetry. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Rowell, Lewis. 2004. “Time in the Romantic Philosophies of Music.” Indiana Theory Review 25 (2004): 139–175. Sadler, Ted. 1995. Nietzsche: Truth and Redemption. London: Athlone Press. Schelling, F. W. J. [1802/3] 1859. Philosophie der Kunst. In Sämmtliche Werke, edited by Karl Schelling, 5:353–737. Stuttgart: Cotta. Schlegel, Friedrich. 1967. “Athenäum-Fragment no. 444.” Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe, edited by Ernst Behler, Vol. 2. Munich: Schöningh. Schopenhauer, Arthur. 1988. Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, part I.  Edited by Ludger Lütkehaus. Zurich: Haffmans. Schroeder, David  P. 1990. Haydn and the Enlightenment: The Late Symphonies and Their Audience. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Scruton, Roger. 2016. The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung. London: Allen Lane. Steiner, George. 1998. “The Wound of Negativity: Two Kierkegaard Texts.” In Kierkegaard: A Critical Reader, edited by Jane Chamberlain and Jonathan Rée, 103–113. Oxford: Blackwell. Trippett, David. 2013. Wagner’s Melodies: Aesthetics and Materialism in German Musical Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Whittall, Arnold. 2009. “1909 and After: High Modernism and ‘New Music’.” Musical Times 150, no. 1906 (Spring): 5–18. Williams, Bernard. 2006. “Don Giovanni as an Idea.” In On Opera, 31–42. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

chapter 11

The T w en tieth Cen tu ry Tamara Levitz

Introduction: Towards a Global History of Twentieth-Century Music and Philosophy The history of music and philosophy in the twentieth century has yet to be written.1 There are several reasons why this subject has eluded philosophers and musicologists. The first concerns the entrenched tradition of conceiving of the history of philosophy in terms of connections between canonical texts, which come to stand in for historical actors, networks, events, publishers, and institutions.2 This popular yet ungrounded historiographical method allows “great texts” to float in an immaterial void that masks white privilege, structural inequality, and difference. Such historiographies necessarily bracket out discussions that are deemed unimportant or “unphilosophical,” yet which are essential to the philosophy of music. This history has likewise been obscured by the framework of an alleged ­continental–analytic divide in philosophy. In spite of its ubiquity, many philosophers worry about the ideological underpinnings of this framework, and how it warps accounts of the development of philosophical thought in the twentieth century.3 Bernard Williams put his finger on the problem decades ago when he noted that a geopolitical category (continental) cannot be opposed to a methodological category (analytical) because this involves “a strange cross-classification—rather as though one divided cars into front-wheel drives and Japanese” (Williams 1996, 25). The framework proves particularly problematic for speaking about the history of music and philosophy, because the constructed continental and analytical traditions do not have the same history as what philosophers of music describe as, or assume to be, continental and

226   Tamara Levitz analytical music philosophy.4 By implementing it, philosophers raise the expectation that specific music philosophies should fit in one or the other camp—a goal achieved sometimes only by drawing analogies that disregard actual philosophical affinity, content, or historical c­ onnection. Further, applying this framework before the late 1950s, when it was invented, distorts history. Finally, in adopting this framework, philosophers falsely split philosophical thought between an Anglo-American territory and the historically contingent notion of Europe as a “continent” (by which they largely mean Germany and France), bracketing out the rest of the world, where philosophizing about music has most often taken place. A third reason this history has been relatively ignored is because the philosophy of music still lacks definition and authority as an academic subdiscipline. As a nomadic subject with porous boundaries, it has depended on situations of encounter for its development. Scholars and practitioners in unrelated disciplines—music performance, music studies, and philosophy—have had to find the chance to meet (sometimes in the body of one person) for the philosophy of music to flourish. This has happened only at specific moments and in unique, often privileged, circumstances in the twentieth century. And even then, the philosophy of music has remained peripheral to most philosophers’ and musicologists’ interests—a curious example, footnote, or aside in monographs devoted to other topics. In preparing this chapter, I tried to fill this void by tracing the material history of a wide range of texts on music and philosophy produced globally in the twentieth century. I understood that the scope of such a project could only be hinted at in the context of a chapter such as this, especially given its focus on Western music and philosophy. I was also aware that my capacity to undertake such a history was, from the start, limited significantly by the languages I read. Nevertheless, I felt it important to begin by reading as expansively as possible and by situating my investigation in a global context. I chose texts that were written by people who identified as philosophers or music thinkers, and that mentioned music or posed philosophical questions, defining both in the broadest way possible. I aimed to understand this history from the perspective neither of canonical texts nor of an assumed continental–analytic divide, but rather from the ground up and materially, in terms of all surviving media as situated within the professionalization of the humanities and modern formation of disciplines in the Westernized university in the twentieth century. In undertaking this exercise, I learned several things. First, I came to understand that the twentieth century did not form one coherent unit in terms of the history of the philosophy of music. I was particularly struck by the dramatic shifts that occurred with the acceleration of academic professionalization after the Second World War. In light of what I recognized as the significant structural differences between how philosophy was practised in the first and second halves of the twentieth century, I decided to focus solely on what I call the “modern” era, from 1900 to 1958. I end my story in 1958 because that is the year in which a symbolic rupture occurred at a conference in Royaumont, France, where the labels of analytic and continental were born. Moreover, musicologists and philosophers have paid far more attention to the history of music and philosophy after this conference, leading me to believe an overview of

The Twentieth Century   227 that later history might be less necessary. Understanding that I have only one lifetime, and that a comprehensive material history of the twentieth-century global philosophy of music would take more time than that, and more than one person, to write, I focused on creating a coherent narrative of one dominant strand of music and philosophy in a limited, largely Western geographical space that included only France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States. The modern era, as I understand it, was defined by the international exchange of ideas.5 The first international conference on philosophy—the Congrès internationale de philosophie—took place at the Exposition universelle internationale in Paris in August 1900—symbolically ushering in an era in which internationalism served as a geopolitical simulacrum for universal thought. Henri Bergson, Maurice Blondel, Léon Brunschvicg, André Lalande, Paul Natorp, Henri Delacroix, Bertrand Russell, Georg Simmel, and other, largely French, luminaries spoke, and members of the Comité de patronage came from France, Germany, England, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, the United States, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland— their nationalities representative of the Western states that participated in international politics at the time. Many edited the leading philosophical journals of the day (see Congrès internationale de philosophie 1900). Their vision was universal, yet their dialogue was constrained by the material circumstances of a universal exposition that championed the achievements of empire. The location set the tone: French philosophers dominated this international scene and imperialism its ideology throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Scholarly conferences—which developed dramatically in size, degree of bureaucratic organization, and geographical scope as the twentieth century wore on—became an increasingly common feature of the lives of privileged intellectual elites. They provided the primary space where music scholars and philosophers exchanged ideas. And yet, even though exhaustive reports were published for many of them, conferences are rarely the subject of historical investigation. In this chapter, I make a concerted effort to tell the story of music and philosophy from the perspective of international students and through the lens of exchanges that took place at international conferences, in this way emphasizing moments of encounter, and giving a material foundation to the history of ideas. The dialogue between music scholars and philosophers in the modern era was also facilitated by the fact that academic publishing was not yet the specialized business it would become in the second half of the twentieth century. Professional journals existed, of course, but many articles on music and philosophy appeared in “little journals”— independent, avant-garde, diverse, or eclectic publications with (sometimes) minimal distribution or limited runs that drove the modernist movement worldwide.6 The history of these journals, and their link to modernism, can be dated back symbolically to 1888, when the Nicaraguan writer Rubén Darío first spoke in the Chilean Revista de Artes y Letras of the moderno in Central American literature—a term he introduced to describe how having lived such a “rapid life” in “our America,” it was necessary to “give new forms to the manifestation of thought”—forms that were “vibrant, picturesque, and, especially, full of newness, as well as free and frank” (Darío  1888, 599–600).7

228   Tamara Levitz Such  journals often published an eclectic mix of materials, including short stories, poetry, ethnographic and scientific studies, photography, musical analysis, and philosophical texts. They created a remarkable space where philosophical texts could appear alongside discussions of music, and where both could become associated with the “new” and modernism. If, as Benedict Anderson has taught, imagined communities are shaped by the media in which their members communicate, and if, as Jürgen Habermas concludes, public spheres are formed by such technologies, then the disappearance of the little journals and changes in scholarly societies and conferences after the Second World War necessarily led to a dramatic shift in how the philosophy of music was practiced. These technologies could not survive the hyper-professionalization of the disciplines in the post-war era. As peer review developed, academic journals became more exclusionary, conventional, compartmentalized, and singularly focused on the work of experts—creating a different kind of academic sphere for the development of the philosophy of music. In the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and the British Journal of Aesthetics, for example, analytical aesthetics increasingly dominated (Goehr 1993, 101). As a consequence, philosophers today might not consider the articles from early twentieth-century little journals to be philosophy. But the point is that it was philosophy, before the notion of what that was changed during the Cold War. In the modern era, aesthetics became institutionalized as a scientific discipline and avidly cultivated as a profession. I would argue that the specifically modern form of this process began in 1906, when Max Dessoir founded the Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, or in 1908 when he established the Vereinigung für ästhetische Forschung in Berlin (see Beyer, Cohn, and Vladova 2010). This local association included writers, art historians, architects, professors of psychiatry, music critics, musicologists, and philosophers; as a registered union (albeit one outside the university), it created an important forum in which philosophers and musicologists had the opportunity to exchange ideas. The society grew rapidly and organized its first international conference, the Kongreß für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft in Berlin in 1913. After the war, Dessoir reorganized the society as the Gesellschaft für ästhetische Forschung (1923–55). Conferences followed in Berlin (1924), Hamburg (1930), and Paris (1937). (For more, see Collenberg-Plotnikov, Maigné, and Trautmann-Waller  2016.) Such a process of professionalization of the study of art is unique to the twentieth century; soon independent institutes, associations, and journals began to crop up around the world. Yet the establishment of aesthetics as a modern science did not automatically create the conditions necessary for the development of the philosophy of music, in part because aestheticians continued to prioritize the visual arts, and in part because aesthetics remained a contested academic discipline. As a consequence, those who wanted to philosophize about music frequently sought peripheral spaces in which to do so. This was the era of the philosopher of music as “outsider”—a figure I try to highlight in this chapter. Francisco Gil Villegas Montiel (1996, 14–17, 25) argues that Georg Simmel defined the “philosophical discourse of modernity” between 1900 and 1929 by educating

The Twentieth Century   229 a generation of these “outsiders,” among them Ernst Bloch, José Ortega y Gasset, and Alain Locke.8 Simmel (1908, 509–512) was also the first to theorize the idea of the outsider from a sociological perspective. As an academic outsider himself for most of his life who began his career researching the origins of music, Simmel provided an alternative philosophical path towards objective culture, the everyday, and the fragmentary, and—with Max Weber and others—helped to encourage what became twentieth-century music philosophers’ lasting attraction to sociological perspectives. In this chapter, phenomenology emerges as the tradition that most inspired new approaches to the philosophy of music in the modern era. It may appear as if I chose to focus exclusively on phenomenology, but I would argue that phenomenology chose me. Music scholars and philosophers seeking to explain how to listen to new and unfamiliar music in the early twentieth century turned repeatedly to phenomenological texts for answers. Many developed their philosophies of music as a way of responding to Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological method, as this chapter will show. Neither neo-Kantians nor logical positivists appeared to play a comparable role; on the contrary, some logical positivists explicitly rejected music as a subject for philosophy. And whereas Eduard Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen boasted a robust reception throughout the twentieth century, it was not always central, and never as valued or damned until the analytic philosophers and New Musicologists came along in the 1980s. (For a nuanced history of this reception, see Wilfing 2019.) That Peter Kivy (2002, 2017) mused more than once about the absence of a tradition of philosophizing about music between Hanslick and his generation gives some indication of how lost the history of the phenomenology of music in the modern era had become. As an emblematically modern approach to philosophy, phenomenology was in the early twentieth century an exclusionary movement that perpetuated Enlightenment models of consciousness inadequate for understanding minority experience. Gail Weiss notes how Husserl neither discussed race, nor acknowledged that an individual’s racial identity, gender, sexuality, class, or bodily abilities could affect their life experiences and subjective perspective. Husserl assumed people could hold common “natural attitudes” (although he allowed for a “zone of indeterminacy” in subjective experience), for example, and thought such attitudes could be set aside in the phenomenological reduction. In Weiss’s conclusion, he failed “to acknowledge sufficiently the determining role that social and material conditions play in establishing natural attitudes in the first place” (Weiss 2017, 238). Weiss concedes that Husserl’s emphasis on unbiased descriptions of lived experience allowed later philosophers to recognize “racism, sexism, ableism, and other unjustifiable prejudices” (238), and phenomenology subsequently proved to be a very rich source for Black philosophy. But in the first half of the twentieth century, the fact that Husserl’s phenomenological method seemed to bracket out minority experience meant that those interested in music who were inspired by it failed, with few exceptions, to consider such experience as well. The Black modern phenomenological tradition of philosophizing about music began with W. E. B. Du Bois, whose career was marked by the structural changes in professional academic life I have described here: he was the first African American to receive a

230   Tamara Levitz PhD from Harvard, “little journals” played a key role in how he disseminated his ideas (from Crisis to Phylon and beyond), he organized pan-African conferences from 1919 to 1945, and he studied in Berlin, gaining a cosmopolitan, outsider perspective on the African American community that marked his work as distinctly modern (Gates 2014, ix–xxii). Influenced by neo-Hegelians with whom he studied in Berlin, Du Bois developed a phenomenological perspective that, in contrast to Husserl’s later method, allowed for a culturally embedded and socially mediated sense of self. As Nasar Meer (2019) argues, Du Bois’s phenomenology was modern in how he challenged Hegel’s master–slave dialectic by suggesting that the master could coerce the slave and that the slave could strive for a sense of self in face of misrecognition. In The Souls of Black Folks, published in 1903, Du Bois described double consciousness, or how Negros were “born with a veil and gifted with a second sight” because they always had to look at themselves “through the eyes of others” or measure their souls “by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity,” while simultaneously being aware of themselves as Negros and striving for “self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self ” (Du Bois 2007, 8–9). The chapter in which he defined double consciousness opened with a quote from a spiritual or “sorrow song,” as did every chapter in the book. In the final chapter, Du Bois addressed these spirituals directly, linking the phenomenology of minority experience he articulated through double consciousness to music by describing spirituals in terms of Black affirmation of self as the message of slaves to the world, and as an expression of hope that one day Blacks would be free. Yet Du Bois’s phenomenology of minority experience was largely excluded from academic philosophy in the modern era, which coincides with the period in which the doctrine of “separate but equal” was instituted in Jim Crow laws in the United States (beginning with Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, and ending with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954). Du Bois himself saw the writing on the wall when—echoing Frederick Douglass—he famously announced in his “Address to the Nations of the World” at the First Pan-African Conference in London in July 1900 that The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the colour line, the question as to how far differences of race—which show themselves chiefly in the colour of the skin and the texture of the hair—will hereafter be made the basis of denying to over half the world the right of sharing to their utmost ability the opportunities and privileges of modern civilization.  (Du Bois 1900, 10)

Just as US sociologists bracketed out the contributions of W. E. B. Du Bois in forming their discipline (a fact recognized only very recently), white philosophers of music bracketed out the philosophy of music he initiated (Morris 2015; Meer 2019, 47–48). Rather than attempt to include Black philosophy in this chapter by allowing rediscovered texts from other contexts to inhabit white academic spaces from which Black people were previously barred, I bear witness to the reality of their exclusion and the consequences it had for philosophy. In this way I reject a politics of inclusion that assumes a historian can smooth over racial violence by retroactively adding minority

The Twentieth Century   231 voices back to a white narrative, creating the illusion of making things whole. A better approach is to research the material and philosophical reasons for that exclusion within the Westernized academy, and to do justice to the bifurcated, fragmented histories it causes. The truth is that only very few Black intellectuals of a certain class were by fortuitous circumstances able to withstand the anti-Black racism in the Westernized university and to philosophize there about music. The philosophy of music did not develop continuously in the modern era but rather in spurts and starts, driven forward by the threats of looming crisis that marked the times. In this chapter I focus on moments when paradigms shifted. I begin with the Zweiter Kongreß für Ästhetik und allgemiene Kunstwissenschaft in Berlin in 1924, at which philosophers and musicologists discovered the possible value of phenomenology for aesthetics. I give a hint of the movement’s wide impact by describing how Husserl’s and Heidegger’s students brought the phenomenology of music to France, Japan, and Spain and note the unique circumstances that led Alain Locke to reconnect with the modern Black tradition of philosophizing about music that W. E. B. Du Bois had begun. In the second half of the chapter, I shift towards the period of the Second World War, which I describe first in terms of a widely perceived European crisis. I explore the eclecticism of the war years, and the growing chorus of critiques of Husserl’s phenomenological method, which ultimately led to the development of critical theory and analytical aesthetics. During this period, philosophers became increasingly divided on the question of metaphysics—a debate in which music played a defining role, and that culminated in the alleged break between phenomenologists and ordinary-language philosophers at Royaumont in 1958. I end with Frantz Fanon, and the founding of the Black existential tradition.

A Twentieth-Century Encounter: Phenomenology of Music as a New Science Philosophers interested in music and music critics curious about philosophy had a first significant opportunity to exchange ideas at the Zweiter Kongress für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, held in Berlin from October 16 to 18, 1924, with proceedings published the following year in the Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (ZÄK 1925). This conference perpetuated Germany’s reputation as an important international centre for the disciplinary development of philosophy and musicology after the First World War (for more on this period see Steege, forthcoming). The highlight was the discovery of the phenomenological method as a foundation for establishing a new science of music aesthetics. The accidental encounter between music scholars and philosophers at this conference gave the impulse for a paradigmatic turn in music studies, but in spite of the energetic debate, a sense of political and ­economic crisis loomed.

232   Tamara Levitz In his welcome speech, Dessoir urged scholars to develop new methods for studying art, and also hinted at the new relation to the aesthetic object promised by phenomenology. He stressed that the goal of the conference was to justify Kunstwissenschaft (or the systematic study of art), to distinguish this new enterprise from positivist philosophy and experimental psychology. He discussed approaches to art from the perspective of gestalt (in reference to Friedrich Gundolf, Ernst Bertram, and Friedrich Wolters of Stefan George’s circle) and Kant’s transcendental method of reason (Dessoir 1925, 6–7). He saw phenomenology as a third way that departed from pure consciousness but crossed over with those interested in the intense observation of the gestalt. “By switching off the facts-reality (TatsachenWirklichkeit) (including of one’s own self) and by insisting on that which remains, on the ‘phenomenon’, in other words on the essence of the sonorous (Klanghaften) or coloured (Farbigen),” he wrote, “a procedure emerges that does a service for describing and parsing the simply accepted aesthetic and artistic objects” (7–8). Dessoir worried that music was a difficult subject for exploring essences because of its temporal aspect. He concluded that the new science needed to consider the history of art, whether from the perspective of Heinrich Wölfflin’s principles of art history or Wilhelm Worringer’s history of ideas (9). During the conference, speakers emphasized the need to distinguish the new phenomenological approach to aesthetics from acoustics (as represented in Helmholtz’s 1863 Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen als physiologische Grundlage für die Theorie der Musik), and from the work of Carl Stumpf, who had first used the term “phenomenology” (Stumpf  1906, 26–32), and whose empirical investigations in experimental ­psychology of sound remained a touchstone for musicologists interested in philosophy.9 Many, including Husserl’s student Johannes Daubert, saw the new approach as a corrective to Theodor Lipps’s Einfühlungsästhetik.10 They wanted to distinguish it from the structural musical hearing championed by Hugo Riemann (1903) and from Hermann Kretzschmar’s (1902, 1905) musical hermeneutics. Their desire to consolidate the new discipline and to define its epistemological boundaries coincided with their growing concern with new art and music, and with impressionist (Debussy) and expressionist (Schoenberg) music in particular.11 Phenomenology was a revelation, if not an obvious choice, for music scholars in the twentieth century. The first phenomenologists had not addressed music in an extended way, but considered the perception of tones/sound/notes (Töne) repeatedly as they sought to define inner consciousness, inner time-consciousness, and the phenomenological act. Franz Brentano spoke of inner consciousness in terms of hearing a tone and being conscious of the mental act of hearing it in his Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkte (Brentano 1874, ch. 2, paras. 7–13, 159–180). Husserl also referred to Töne in discussing the content given by Empfindungen (sensations) and by the object itself in intentional experience in his Logical Investigations of 1901. Töne interested Husserl because they hid the distinction between sensations and the object of experience without eradicating it, and thus raised questions about the line between the act of perception and the intentional object (Husserl  1992, 394–401; see also Stratilková  2016, 215–16).

The Twentieth Century   233 Following Brentano, Husserl (1928) famously discussed hearing a melody in his lectures on inner time-consciousness from 1905. Finally, in his Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie from 1913, Husserl had described how a violin tone (Geigenton) was given to the listener through adumbrations (Abschattungen), its means of appearance (Erscheinungsweisen) varying depending on multiple factors, including the listener’s distance from the object and the location of their experience in the concert hall or elsewhere (Husserl 1913, 81–82; see 9–15 for a discussion of the “Wesen des Tones”). In 1908–9, Waldemar Conrad had written what most consider to be the first article on the phenomenological study of a musical work, using the song “Heil dir im Siegerkranz” (Conrad 1908; 1909). Like Dessoir, Conrad understood the goal of phenomenology, in what he claimed was a direct quote from Husserl, as “describing phenomena according to their purely immanent content and meaning, grasped in observing the evidence, in other words without losing oneself in the existential rules and explanations of empirical knowledge and science” (Conrad 1908, 75). This tricky definition had led Conrad to embrace musical analysis in the service of determining the essence of the ideal musical object, as distinguished from the empirical reality of the “natural” (for example, acoustic) object. Taking into account listeners’ observations as central to the phenomenological method, Conrad dissected Ton, then melody, and, finally, the relations between pitches in terms of perceiving melody (Tonlinienform), contour (Reliefplastik), psychic character or mood (psychische Charakter or Stimmungston), and key in this song. The speakers at the second aesthetics conference had only these sparse foundations to go on when they came together to discuss the phenomenology of music in 1924. The organizers gave Moritz Geiger the task of explaining the phenomenological method. He described it as the basis of aesthetics as an “autonomous discipline” distinct from “aesthetics as a subdiscipline of philosophy” (Plato, Kant, Schelling), or “area of application for other disciplines.” Aesthetics as an autonomous discipline explored “the phenomenological quality of aesthetic objects” (Geiger  1925, 31). This was an objective science, although its results could not be proven. The phenomenologist analysed all aspects of the phenomenon to determine its essence, which Geiger compared to the Platonic idea. He sharply rejected psychological aesthetics and the investigation of experience—approaches he felt lost sight of the phenomenon—but felt conflicted about how historical study contributed to determining the essence of artworks (a problem that would haunt twentieth-century music philosophy), and concluded by emphasizing how much training it took to intuit essences. In contrast to the natural sciences, which he described as democratic, phenomenology was an aristocratic science that required unique talent. Helmuth Plessner responded to Geiger and other lecturers by arguing for three types of aesthetics: psychological, value theory-critical, and phenomenological. In his view, taking sensual consciousness as a point of departure was the key to phenomenological aesthetics, which he, like Geiger, thought should address the “phenomenal quality of the aesthetic object.” He thought psychological and value-theory aesthetics also raised questions only phenomenology could answer, especially in terms of the sensual

234   Tamara Levitz f­ oundation of aesthetic consciousness of value. Plessner was most interested in what he called “asthesiological presentations of the problem,” and why perception was always associated with one sense. He asked why music-making was for the ear (Plessner 1925; see also Plessner [1923] 1980). On the third day of the conference, Hans Mersmann approached the podium as the first musicologist to speak on the phenomenology of music. Sharing his colleagues’ eagerness to categorize the new science, he began by distinguishing it from Riemann’s “psychological” aesthetics, Lipps’s Einfühlungsästhetik and Kretzschmar’s hermeneutics. He appears to have somewhat misunderstood what phenomenology was, however, describing it as the observation into the depths of the musical work reinterpreted as an organism, the appearance of which was an evolution of elementary basic forces and was independent of the listener. This approach suggested that Ernst Kurth and Wilhelm Harburger rather than Husserl had served as his models, with Riemann as his foil. He highlighted his talk with unusual original graphs, in which he charted musical form in terms of elemental forces (Mersmann 1925, 372–388). During the discussion periods between talks the audience expressed their scepticism about the new phenomenological approach. Paul Menzer called it an “art of magic” (ZÄK 1925, 52), Friedrich Raab complained about the problem of subjectivity (58), and Heinrich Scholz questioned the concept of essences (62). Gustav Becking thought there was no such thing yet as phenomenology and worried about the objectivity of the new science (388). Justus Hermann Wetzel was thrilled everybody had rejected hermeneutics, and hoped phenomenology would contribute to a discipline of music theory (391). After the conference, a flurry of articles on phenomenology of music appeared in German musicology journals, giving evidence of the shift in perspective the event had both encouraged and reflected. Paul Bekker attempted a definition of what he described as the new “fashion” in “Was ist Phänomenologie der Musik?”. Based on his shaky understanding of the lectures he attended in Berlin, he concluded that phenomenology was “the study of appearance, of the laws of their being (Wesenheit), how they arise out of this itself and in this way determine the becoming of the Gestalt” (Bekker 1925, 242). He insisted that musicologists study sound (Klang) as the primal phenomenon of music, rather than studying form, and chided Mersmann for failing to depart from a traditional hermeneutic reading in his lecture at the conference by creating graphs depicting elemental forces in music. He tried to be gentle with the “hermeneutists against their will,” however, because, as he commented, a lot of contemporary music was “hermeneutically conceived” (247). He concluded that every musical work required its own approach and aesthetic. Günther Stern-Anders’s readings in phenomenology led him to write a rather unusual essay on the problem of listening attentively (Zuhören), or having access (Zugang) to impressionistic music. He found this kind of music hard to hear because it “let itself go,” was static rather than moving forward in time, and merged with the listener (SternAnders 1926–7, 613). He thought Husserl’s idea of intentionality could help in finding a more active approach to listening to it. Like Bekker, he concluded that every new work now required its own aesthetics, and that one approach would no longer do.

The Twentieth Century   235 Public interest in phenomenology moved in a dramatically different direction as the first musicologists to study with Heidegger graduated. Heidegger rarely addressed music in his writings throughout his career, but remained interesting to music scholars. In 1925, his student Heinrich Besseler published the talk he gave at his Habilitation defence, “Grundfragen des Musikhörens” (Besseler [1925] 2011; see also Besseler 1926). He was as attuned as Husserl’s disciples were to new approaches to listening, yet analysed them from a social, rather than aesthetic, perspective. Besseler lamented how capitalist economic forms had destroyed music-making, and how an atomized public had replaced what was once a listening community in the concert hall, which he described as in “crisis” because of the introduction of early music and the “Nigger-Jazzband” (for more on this racist slur, see Besseler [1925] 2011, 49n1). Besseler sought to return focus to what he called Gebrauchsmusik—music that he described with Heideggerian terminology as “accessible” (zugänglich), and encouraging “relational” (umgangsmäßig) rather than autonomous forms of listening, as well as active participation (50, 60). Listening, Besseler argued, should not be about taste, values, inner understanding (Nachvollziehen), or aesthetic pleasure, but rather about “joining in” (mitmachen) or about “actively joining in” or performing in (mitvollziehen). Engaging with music was a way of establishing relational behaviour towards Dasein and immersing in daily life (Alltäglichkeit) (61). Besseler noted that Heidegger had inspired him to formulate this thesis about music, although his own view differed from the interpretation of art his teacher later developed in Der Ursprung des Kunstwerks. His theorization of Gebrauchsmusik subsequently played a role in the Jugendmusikbewegung and Nazi racial musical policy. In April 1933, Heidegger became rector of Freiburg University. A week later, Husserl was fired from the university as a consequence of the Nazis’ Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. In the years to follow, Besseler compromised himself gravely with the new regime (see Schipperges 2005), while many of Husserl’s Jewish students, including Moritz Geiger, Arnold Schultz, David Katz, and Edith Stein, had to leave Germany. Dessoir lost his job; Bekker and Plessner escaped into exile. The lively conversation between phenomenologists and music scholars, and years of planning how to professionalize the discipline of aesthetics in Germany appeared to have abruptly ended.

Phenomenology Worldwide Yet the conversation did not stop. The many international students who had flocked to Germany to study philosophy had begun returning home in the 1920s, translating texts, and establishing philosophy departments, journals, and phenomenological organizations across the globe. The European exodus of philosophers (many of whom had an interest in music) in the wake of Fascism in the 1930s and 1940s dramatically accelerated this movement. (For an introduction to phenomenology as an international movement, see Tymieniecka 2002.)

236   Tamara Levitz If I focus here on phenomenology in Germany as a starting point, it is because around the world philosophers before the Second World War and decolonization tended to look to Europe, and within Europe to Germany and France, for models. Eric Hayot reminds of the power dynamics involved in such exchanges when he speaks about Chinese writers being attracted to the prestige of European modernism, or when he evokes Rey Chow’s idea of “mimetic desire,” that is, “the desire to imitate a powerful other in order to gain recognition from that other as an equal” (Hayot 2012, 3, 11). Such desire is reversible: China also had a powerful influence on the history of Anglo-European modernism. Hayot believes that the separation of the aesthetic from the technological and political allows it to function as an untouched version of traditional culture legitimized in the present; it thereby played a key role in such exchanges. Hayot’s conceptual framework is useful in considering how philosophers around the world responded to philosophical developments in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Whether a phenomenologically based philosophy of music developed in a specific country depended on the institutional support there for philosophy, who was in charge and where they had studied, which philosophical traditions had previously been cultivated, and whether they had alternative forums for exploring interdisciplinary thought or opportunities for translating and publishing philosophical texts from abroad. Take the example of Japan. (For an excellent introduction to phenomenology in Japan, see Nitta and Tatematsu 1978 and Tani 2019.) Kitarō Nishida first introduced phenomenology in Japan in two articles (Nishida 1911, 1916), and inspired a group of young philosophers to study with Husserl in Germany during the 1920s, among them Hajime Tanabe, Tokuryu Yamanouchi, Satomi Takahashi, and Risaku Mutai. An even larger number of students went to study with Heidegger—a trend so pronounced that the expression Freiburg-mō-de (Freiburg worship at the shrine) began to circulate among Japanese philosophers (Tani 2019, 631–632). A couple of Husserl’s articles also appeared in Japanese translation in these early years, including his articles on phenomenology as renewal for the literary journal Kaizo.12 Patterns of studying abroad, combined with the flourishing interwar culture of “little journals” in Tokyo, led to the conditions for the development of scattered opportunities for philosophizing about music long before phenomenology became established in Japan in the 1970s. Husserl’s geopolitical framing of the project of phenomenology as a lifesaver for European civilized humanity in his Kaizo articles may have contributed to an early attempt in Japan to link phenomenological to identitarian interests. In The Structure of Iki—drafted in Paris in 1926, but first appearing in Japan in 1930 in two instalments in the journal Shisō and then as a book—Kuki (2004, 1) gives a phenomenological description of the structure of iki sensibility—defined as the “urban, plucky stylishness” that made people true “Edokko” or residents of Tokyo. Kuki had travelled to Europe from 1921 to 1928, studying with Heinrich Rickert, Husserl, Bergson, and Heidegger, the latter of whom wrote about their encounter (Heidegger 1985). In a brief subsection of The Structure of Iki, Kuki seeks phenomenological evidence for the iki sensibility in music as the foundation of Japanese cultural identity. Songs with scales that deviate from the norm while maintaining a strong tonic and dominant give a sense of duality that evokes

The Twentieth Century   237 the “coquet,” he writes, the “material cause” of iki. Iki is also evident in a melody and accompaniment that are rhythmically “out of step,” or when a musical passage is repeated several times, going from a high pitch and descending and creating sensual duality (Kuki 2004, 52–53). Kuki’s use of phenomenological observation to the end of determining essentialized national cultural sensibilities in music hints at the controversy that would later arise about his studies with Heidegger and role in the cultural formation of Japanese Fascism (see Mikkelsen  2004). Kuki’s attempt at wedding phenomenological method to national or ethnic interests points towards the difficulty of acknowledging difference within the phenomenological movement at this time, and towards the amount of class privilege it took to do so. The few philosophers who specifically addressed the issue of ethnicity or race in music worked notably outside the phenomenological tradition. Such was the case with Alain Locke, who had been the first African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford and to graduate with a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard (in 1918). As a critical pragmatist who wrote his dissertation on “The Problem of Classification in Theory of Value” with Ralph Barton Perry, a student of William James, Locke was not linked with the phenomenological movement. But several events in 1910–11, when he moved to Berlin while waiting to hear if his dissertation had passed at Oxford (which it had not), led him to enter the international space I am describing here. Locke had taken classes with Max Dessoir, George Simmel, and Gustav von Schmoller (with whom Du Bois had studied), learning from Simmel not only about race as a fluid construct, but also about how a society’s best artists could become its leaders. In Jeffrey C. Stewart’s (2018, 214–222) view, Simmel as an outsider and aesthete was an important mentor for Locke, who had experienced more extreme racism in England than ever before in his life. In this brief period Locke also travelled to London (in July 1911) where he dialogued with Lionel de Fonseka about On the Truth of Decorative Art: A Dialogue Between an Oriental and an Occidental, and attended the First Universal Races Congress, where talks by W.  E.  B.  Du Bois, Franz Boas, Alfred Fouillée, Felix von Luschan, and Israel Zangwill made a strong impression on him. Locke’s 1925 publication The New Negro reflects these and many other influences. It is a quintessentially modern work in the sense I outlined in the introduction in that it consists of essays Locke collected and edited for Survey Graphic—a social work journal that did not regularly consider the arts. It situated Locke as a leader in the Harlem Renaissance and gave him a vehicle for articulating his ideas about Black music. But it also caused problems for him as a professor of philosophy at Howard University (see Rampersad 1997). In his essay on “The New Negro” (Locke [1925] 1997, 3–16), and later in The Negro and His Music (1936), Locke c­ ontributed to Black aesthetics by arguing for the particular and universal relevance, representative and non-representative function of African American art. Whereas Kuki had observed racial or national traits in music as a phenomenal object, Locke thought music became racialized through social environment and performance. Challenging Du Bois, Locke argued that the Negro ­spiritual was “racial” yet universal, originating in folk yet transcending it to become ­classical (Locke 1936, 199–213). He did not refer to double-­consciousness, but rather adopted a

238   Tamara Levitz fiercely ­affirmative stance on the possibility of a future era of African American musical self-determination. Indebted to a ­modernist understanding of culture, he urged African Americans to study spirituals now from a music-theoretical (rather than Du Bois’s affective) perspective. He likewise suggested that select African American geniuses develop them into a modern choral genre that could compete with the Russian tradition. African Americans, he thought, had a particular duty to develop, cultivate, and study these musical traditions. The questions about racial self-affirmation and culture that Locke raised were not central to phenomenology in the interwar years. Yet phenomenological approaches continued to speak to minority groups or those on the “outside” of European philosophy who struggled in one way or another to be recognized by it. José Ortega y Gasset, for example, who attended Simmel’s classes a few years before Locke, approached phenomenology within the context of his belief in the Europeanization and national unity of Spain; his work, like Locke’s, is generally omitted from English-language discussions of the philosophy of music. Ortega y Gasset had studied with the neo-Kantians Hermann Cohen and Paul Natorp in Leipzig, Berlin, and Marburg in 1906, and not with Husserl or Heidegger. Nevertheless, especially after his 1911 return to Marburg he came to know their work through selected German sources including works by Max Scheler, Wilhelm Schapp’s Beiträge zur Phänomenologie der Wahrnehmung, and Husserl’s Ideen. Ortega y Gasset formulated his first thoughts on Husserl in a review of Heinrich Hofmann’s dissertation “Untersuchungen über den Empfindungsbegriff ” (Ortega y Gasset [1913] 1966, 244–260). After the First World War, he consistently integrated phenomenological perspectives into both his teaching and publications, and yet his engagement with phenomenology remained somewhat anecdotal: he fit uncomfortably within the phenomenological tradition, his status there consistently challenged (see San ­ Martín 2013). Although Ortega y Gasset did not have extended training in music, his philosophical career was marked by his exposure to it. He was shaken, in particular, by the experience of audiences protesting Debussy’s Iberia in Madrid in 1921, in a concert that also included Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony and a fragment from Wagner’s Parsifal. His shock at the unpopularity of Debussy’s work led him to suggest a social theory of a necessary elite in the articles “Musicalia I” and “Musicalia II” published in El Sol (Ortega y Gasset 1921)—an idea he expanded upon in La rebelión de las masas from 1930. The Musicalia articles also laid the foundation for La deshumanización del arte (Ortega y Gasset [1925] 1966, esp. 360–366). Throughout his career, Ortega y Gasset actively promoted philosophical thought about music in newspapers and journals in the Spanishspeaking world: he worked for the journal his grandfather founded, El Imparcial, founded the Revista de Occidente, inspired María Muñoz de Quevedo to create the Cuban music journal Musicalia, and wrote for Victoria Ocampo’s Sur in Argentina, to give only a few examples (see Vega Pichaco 2010). Ortega y Gasset’s comments on music focus on the listener’s aesthetic stance. Critical of Husserl’s and Dilthey’s idealism, he formulated an aesthetics grounded in the phenomenological notion of a self in relation to circumstances in the world. He shifted, in

The Twentieth Century   239 other words, from transcendental consciousness to concrete human existence. In a subchapter of La deshumanización del arte entitled “Unas gotas de fenomenología” (A Few Drops of Phenomenology), he used the example of a man visited by his wife, doctor, and an artist on his deathbed to explain the idea of multiple different perspectives on reality. Whereas the wife was emotionally involved and the doctor needed to rationally find a cure, the artist had the necessary distance to contemplate the scene. Ortega y Gasset associated the artist’s perspective with listening to modern as opposed to Romantic music. Having originally heard Debussy’s music juxtaposed with Wagner’s, he had come to conceive of the two in relation to each other, and to believe new music was “dehumanized” and required contemplative distance, whereas Romantic music involved pathos and the confession of emotions. Aesthetic pleasure in relation to new music had to be intelligent, he concluded, and contemplating such music had to resemble how one observed wax figures (Ortega y Gasset [1925] 1966, 360–363). Philosophers in France between the wars approached music quite differently than Ortega y Gasset or Kuki did. There were numerous reasons for this. First, there were stronger institutional connections between France and Germany. French scholars were actively engaged in the German dialogue on aesthetics and art history that I described earlier, and eager to establish Kunstwissenschaft (which they translated as science de l’art) as a discipline in their own country (see Beyer, Cohn, and Vladova 2010). The French neo-Kantians Victor Basch and his student Charles Lalo, and after them Étienne Souriau and Raymond Bayer, played key roles in this. Basch, a Hungarian Jew, began giving lectures at the Sorbonne in 1910–11 and published on German aesthetics, with a focus on Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Wilhelm Wundt, Johannes Volkelt, and Max Dessoir. He published a seminal chapter in Philosophie allemande au XIXe siècle (Basch 1912), and after 1912 grounded his approach in Volkelt’s and Lipps’s notion of Einfühlung. He shared Dessoir’s goal of establishing aesthetics systematically as a science—one founded on Kant’s disinterested contemplation; his first essays on this subject appeared in Ozenfant’s and Le Corbusier’s modernist journal L’Esprit nouveau (Basch  1920). Basch became the first person to hold a chair for science de l’art and “experimental aesthetics” in France, founded at the Sorbonne in 1928 (TrautmannWaller 2002); he also established the Association pour l’étude des arts et les recherches relatives à l’art (later the Société française d’esthétique) with Charles Lalo in 1931. Lalo, Bayer, and Souriau perpetuated Basch’s rigorous method when they co-founded the Revue d’esthétique, emphasizing in their first editorial (Lalo, Bayer, and Souriau 1948) the need for a precise language for aesthetics modelled on André Lalande’s Vocabulaire technique et critique de la philosophie. (On the relationship between this “rational” approach to philosophy, neo-Kantianism, aesthetics, and the educational agenda of the Third Republic, see Kleinberg 2005, 3–18.) The Second International Congress of Aesthetics in 1937 demonstrates how the study of aesthetics had become institutionalized in France. Presided over by honorary presidents Henri Bergson, Paul Valéry, and Paul Claudel, Basch as president (assisted by Lalo and Beyer) organized this conference as a continuation of Dessoir’s series in Germany, labelling it the “second” conference because he and others felt the 1924 Berlin

240   Tamara Levitz c­ onference had not been international. Roman Ingarden and Emil Reich (who had received the first chair in aesthetics in Vienna in 1904) were among the guests. The fact that the conference opened with two welcome speeches, delivered by Basch and Valéry, gives an indication of the conflicting interests and traditions of studying aesthetics in France. Valéry (1937) described himself as an amateur taken by his appreciation of art, and eager to meditate on beauty, while Basch (1937) disagreed that aesthetics was about the science of beauty. He asked the perennial question of whether aesthetics was a science, then nudged Valéry back to a Kantian position, arguing that art involved a creator and an observer’s disinterested contemplation. Their dialogue shows how French aestheticians were torn in these years between what Andreas Beyer, Danièle Cohn, and Tania Vladova call a “rigidity of a normative science of the beautiful” and the seductive idea of a “descriptive science of sensual impressions” (Beyer, Cohn, and Vladova  2010, 11). Although music was mentioned, it played no substantial role in the conference. France became a centre for discussions of music and philosophy between the wars not only because of institutional support, but also because of how such discussions fit within French existentialism as it developed in response to the German phenomenological tradition. Herbert Spiegelberg (1960, 2:395–594) argues that the centre of the phenomenological movement moved to France in these years primarily because of the affinity many philosophers felt between the philosophies of Husserl and Bergson. A rich tradition of phenomenological discussions of music developed on the fringes of the French university, where the system of the agrégation de philosophie (a competitive exam or concours that licenses students for teaching philosophy in secondary and post-­secondary institutions in France) restricted students to a relatively static canon of masterworks (including, notably, Kant), and standardized their readings of them by inviting the same examiners to evaluate them year after year (Schrift  2008; see also Kleinberg 2005, 49–58). Gabriel Marcel set the tone for this “alternative” culture in his Friday evening philosophy discussion group, which Simone de Beauvoir, Emmanuel Levinas, Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Wahl, and others attended. Marcel had completed his agrégation de philosophie in 1910, but rejected academia after 1923 in favour of a career as a dramatist and editor. This combination of circumstances created the fortuitous conditions for the development of a specifically French twentieth-century tradition of the philosophy of music. In his long career, Marcel introduced themes that had a lasting impact on this tradition. In an article for the Revue musicale from 1925, for example, he made an influential argument as to why those studying music should care about Bergson’s philosophy. Although Bergson himself and many students and musicians had drawn connections between his philosophy and music before, Marcel’s analysis stands out in terms of how it succeeded in inserting Bergson’s ideas into French musicological discourse. Marcel canonized the already (as he called it) “famous” passage in which Bergson compared remembering the notes of a melody—“melted, so to speak, together” rather than progressing from point to point in time—as an analogy for the temporal nature of consciousness. This passage had eerie parallels with Husserl’s phenomenological analysis of melody, and laid the foundation for decades of philosophical discussions of music and

The Twentieth Century   241 time in France (Marcel 1925; see also Csepregi 2014, 27–28). Bergson’s analogy contributed to a move away from formal analysis towards a philosophy of musical presence— associated with Bergsonian spiritualism, or what many called vitalism—in France at this time (for more, see Baring 2019). A range of music critics and philosophers in France in the interwar years shared Marcel’s interests in Bergson, musical presence, and time in music. Russian émigrés Boris de Schloezer and Pierre Souvtchinsky (1939) contributed notably to this discussion, bringing to it the insights of modern Russian traditions of philosophizing about music that I can only point to here. Marcel’s work can also be linked to Vladimir Jankélévitch, whose parents were Ukrainian Jewish émigrés, and who studied with Bergson (among others), attended the École normale supérieure, and completed his agrégation in 1926, but, notably, finished his doctorate in Prague and remained somewhat outside the French establishment until after the war. One of Marcel’s most important interlocutors in the 1930s was Jean Wahl ([1932] 2004), who took discussions in a new direction with his exploration of the “concrete,” especially in the journal Recherches philosophiques, edited by Alexandre Koyré, an important disciple of Husserl (Wahl, 1932). Wahl was a rather extraordinary figure and a catalyst for the development of the philosophy of music in France. He worked both inside and outside the academy: on the one hand he completed his agrégation in 1910, and taught at the Sorbonne from 1936 to 1967 (except during the war years, when he was interned at Drancy and in exile in the United States). But on the other, he founded several alternative academic establishments, including, in the United States, the École libre des hautes études and the Pontigny-en-Amérique at Mount Holyoke College— where Hannah Arendt, Susanne Langer, and Rachel Bespaloff gathered (Benfey and Remmler  2006)—and, in 1946, the Collège philosophique as an alternative to the Sorbonne. Wahl also stood out for his pluralistic approach and for how he mediated between philosophical traditions, studying Bergson alongside the ideas of Alfred North Whitehead, William James, Søren Kierkegaard, Husserl, and Heidegger (see Wahl 1920). Music and philosophy flourished in these peripheral institutional spaces, where philosophers challenged the dominant rationalist and materialist tendencies of the Third Republic. Levinas, who was from Kaunas, Lithuania, studied first with Husserl’s student Jean Hering in Strasbourg and then with Husserl himself in Freiburg in 1928–9, and wrote his dissertation on him; when he returned to Paris he took a job at the Alliance israélite universelle—outside the academic mainstream. Alexandre Kojève famously gave lectures on Hegel at the École pratique des hautes études from 1933 to 1939, taught at the Egyptian (later Cairo) University in Cairo, and introduced philosophy from other countries to France as editor of Recherches philosophiques. In 1929, Jean Wahl examined the young Jean-Paul Sartre for his agrégation on the works of Husserl—symbolically forging the link between Marcel, the concrete, musical presence, German phenomenology, and existentialism. Music remained mostly on the periphery of Sartre’s thoughts for most of his career. But it played a role in one of his first published works as a philosopher: L’Imaginaire: Psychologie phénoménologique de

242   Tamara Levitz l’imagination (1940), in which he critically interpreted Husserl’s phenomenological method to explore imagination. In the last pages of this work, he briefly contemplated the example of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. He remembered a specific performance he had heard of the symphony at the Chätelet on 17 November 1938. The symphony was not that performance, he explained, but rather any performance he had heard of it. When you listened with closed eyes, it could come from anywhere, he wrote. In this sense the symphony was “not there” and “outside the real.” “It has its own time,” he explained, “which is to say it possesses an internal time, which flows from the first note of the allegro to the last note of the finale,” but is not related to the time of what came before and after the performance. Yet the symphony was not a Platonic idea or essence outside of time and space. Rather, the listener grasped the real sounds as analogons, hearing the symphony in their imagination as “outside the real, outside existence.” “I do not really hear it,” Sartre concluded, but rather “listen to it in the imaginary” (Sartre 1940, 243–244). This striking passage inspired decades of conversation in France about musical time, semiotic versus phenomenological investigations of music, and the nature of the aesthetic object. Considering even these sparse examples of how the philosophy of music developed as phenomenology spread across the globe, I am able to make a few general observations. It is clear from my summary that the phenomenological movement perpetuated the systematic racial and national exclusions characteristic of philosophy in higher education in this period. Husserl’s writings on the European crisis inspired some philosophers in Japan and elsewhere to consider music phenomenologically in relation to ethnicity and nation, initiating a practice of linking philosophical inquiry to identitarian interests. In the United States, Alain Locke developed a different approach, his experiences while in Berlin as a student in part having led him back to Du Bois’s Black modernism. Other philosophers, like Ortega y Gasset, drew on phenomenology to explain to themselves the shocking experience of witnessing audiences reject new music from Paris. Influenced by Simmel and many others, such philosophers developed sociological interpretations of who should listen to this music. Finally, in countries with a homogenous elite like France, which had strong institutional support for the study of music, aesthetics, and philosophy, racial and ethnic questions did not yet arise, phenomenological perspectives developing in opposition to scientific approaches to aesthetics that dominated in the academy. How one philosophized about music as a phenomenologist depended in this period on whether one agreed with Husserl’s transcendental idealism, and how one understood the intentional object. As we shall see, scepticism about Husserl’s idealism would grow, and come to dominate and determine the course of music philosophy in the 1940s and 1950s.

Challenging Husserl: The Crisis In a series of passionate articles appearing in the 1940s in the Argentine journal Sur, María Zambrano (1945) described the “agony of Europe,” caused by the crisis of Western reason and humanism, a blind servitude to facts, and a lack of clarity on what Europe

The Twentieth Century   243 meant as a whole. Designating St Augustine as the founding father of European philosophy, she outlined how abstract thought had emerged in Europe in violent confrontation with a creative Judaeo-Christian God, and how Europe could be reborn by a return to its mystic and divine origins. Europe was undergoing a crisis of religion, not reason or philosophy (as Husserl had argued in his Kaizo articles, and in a lecture in Vienna in 1935). Zambrano hoped to resurrect European values by appealing to “poetic reason”—a way of relating to the world through music, poetry, literature, and mystic or sensual experience (see Sternad 2018). In her final article for Sur in 1945, Zambrano came back to her teacher Ortega y Gasset’s La deshumanización del arte. Whereas Ortega y Gasset had described modernism in terms of the dehumanizing destruction of forms, she saw the potential for European renewal in participating in art, wearing the sacred masks (as Picasso had introduced them), and possessing rather than seeking to know. Only in this way could light and the sacred reemerge. Stymied by her father in her desire to become a concert pianist, Zambrano returned repeatedly throughout her life to “musical” or “acoustic” reason—or modes of thinking grounded in musical concepts—in this way breaking away from her famous teachers and forging her own original feminist path (Campos Fonseca 2011). Zambrano’s articles on the agony of Europe serve as an excellent starting point for an analysis of music and philosophy during the Second World War. She wrote them shortly after her forced departure as a Republican from Franco’s Spain, her long period of exile from 1939 to 1984 standing in symbolically for the global displacement of so many European philosophers of music, who continued to understand their place in the world within the phenomenological tradition of theorizing about the European crisis, cementing that tradition’s attachment to place in exile. Zambrano’s text also reminds us of the central importance of Spanish-speaking philosophers in establishing the philosophy of music in this period. When Marvin Farber founded the International Phenomenological Society and the journal Philosophy and Phenomenological Research in Buffalo, New York, in 1940, for example, he commented upon the fact that philosophers in Germany and Japan did not want to join, leading him to believe that phenomenology was incompatible with totalitarianism. He noted, in contrast, how much impressive research was emerging from Latin America—in particular from Argentina, Peru, and Mexico, singling out the work of Francisco Romero, Francisco Miró Quesada Cantuarias, Alberto Wagner de Reyna, and Ramón Xirau. He commented how the new-found affinities between philosophers eager to establish an “American” phenomenology “signifies an active bond of unity and practical cooperation, on a level of scholarship which promises much for increased mutual understanding in the future” (Farber 1943, 210). He and his colleagues contributed to strengthening these ties through inter-American conferences on philosophy in the 1940s, and by publishing articles as well as commentaries and reviews of their publications in the earliest years of the journal. The figure of María Zambrano also points to the pivotal role women played in developing the philosophy of music in the middle and second half of the twentieth century. Russian-born Anna Tumarkin had been the first woman to enter the European academy in philosophy when she completed a Habilitation at the Universität Bern in 1898 and

244   Tamara Levitz received an honorary professorship in philosophy there eight years later. But opportunities for women in philosophy remained sporadic, with individual success depending largely on the benevolence and attention of supportive men in the discipline, access to education, and/or extraordinary circumstances created by exceptional privilege or sheer determination. In Poland, a notable number of women had studied logic and aesthetics. Kazimierz Twardowski, a pupil of Franz Brentano, played a key role in supporting women’s education and careers there, counting among his students Janina Hosiasson, Izydora Dąmbska, Maria Ossowska, Janina Kotarbińska, and Maria Kokoszyńska, who mediated between the Lvov-Warsaw School and the Vienna Circle. In England, Susan Stebbing became the first female professor of philosophy, at Bedford College, University of London, in 1933 (see van der Schaar and Schliesser 2017), while in France, Simone de Beauvoir and Simone Weil were among the first few women to complete the agrégation in philosophy, in 1929 (second behind Sartre) and 1931 respectively.13 De Beauvoir wrote one of the first phenomenologies of sexual difference in 1949; but she was something of an exception. Most of the women who adopted the phenomenological method in this period ignored their minority position and experiences of inequality in applying it. As a minuscule minority in the academy, women philosophers appear to have been drawn to the non-institutionalized subdiscipline of the philosophy of music, which perhaps offered greater access and creative flexibility. And yet it is Zambrano’s indirect rejection of Husserl that is the most significant aspect of her text, given how important critiques of Husserl’s phenomenological method became to the development of the philosophy of music in this period. Throughout the twentieth century, numerous philosophers had launched substantial arguments against foundational aspects of Husserl’s philosophy, from his transcendental idealism and intuition of essences to his layered ontology. Fears about Husserl’s subjectivism, or what some understood as a solipsistic return to the transcendental ego, led philosophers of music in particular to move away from explorations of the experience of music towards approaches that highlighted the musical work. In the 1930s and 1940s, some music philosophers reacted against Husserl by reinvigorating neo-Kantian aesthetics. Others revived Edward Hanslick’s writings, and yet others embraced the sociology of music, Marx, and ideology critique. Although the palette of responses was very broad, questions about the musical work dominated, leading to or supporting the development of music theory and analytical aesthetics.

Roman Ingarden and the Move Towards Ontology The immensely active Polish philosopher Roman Ingarden played a unique role in bringing about this dramatic shift in the phenomenology of music. After studying with Husserl from 1912 to 1914 and in 1915, and submitting his dissertation on intuition in Bergson in 1917, he launched his first critique of his teacher’s method in 1918, and continued to negotiate his relationship to Husserl’s phenomenological method throughout his life (Ingarden 1975, 1976; see also Mitscherling 2012). He aimed primarily in his work to

The Twentieth Century   245 explore the objects of experience, and the subject’s relation to them. In The Literary Work of Art, written in 1926 and first published in German in 1931, he investigated the ontology of the work of literature as a way of addressing what he referred to as the problem of idealism versus realism. He described the work of literature as an intentional object and potential aesthetic object. It was neither the physical, material object nor the aesthetic object it had the potential to become, but rather a “stratified formation” with notable gaps or places of indeterminacy. The reader who apprehended the work of literature filled out, actualized, or concretized these gaps. In 1928, Ingarden expanded his study of the work of art with an appendix that included music. This volume was published in German only in 1961, and in English in 1986. In it, Ingarden (1986, 2–3) had argued that the musical work was neither ideal nor real in that it was distinct from the experience of its composer and listeners, and yet could not be identified with any individual sound event, performance, or copy of the score. Like the work of literature, the musical work had “gaps” or “areas of indeterminacy.” This fact, Ingarden had written, “is sufficient reason to regard the work designated by its score as a purely intentional object whose origins spring from the creative acts of the composer and whose ontic base rests directly in the score” (117). The performers initially concretize the work, which is then apprehended by the listener who further concretizes it. Works required not only authors, but also readers, observers, and listeners.

Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Critical Theory Ingarden’s contemporary Max Horkheimer also critiqued Husserl in these years, but from a wholly different perspective. A student of neo-Kantian Hans Cornelius and of Husserl himself, Horkheimer pursued a materialist, Marxian philosophy that took social and historical circumstances into account yet remained distinct from the social sciences (and from Kurt Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge). In his university lectures during the 1920s, Horkheimer critiqued Husserl—whom he judged on the basis of solely the early works—for how he defined phenomenology as a science, and for adopting a concept of apriority that was static and undialectical, and that absolutized a certain historical condition of knowledge (lectures collected in Horkheimer  1990, 169–419; see also Türker 2013). Horkheimer, in contrast, believed that knowledge was bound up with moral, psychological, and social conditions and should be explored dialectically (Horkheimer  1990, 628). In his inaugural lecture as director of the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt in 1931, Horkheimer (1988) proposed the development of “social philosophy” as the philosophical exploration of human fate and of phenomena that could be interpreted only in the context of social life. Critical of the Cartesian implications of Husserl’s method, Horkheimer placed him in the “traditional” camp, which he opposed to “Critical Theory” (Horkheimer 1937b). Shortly after Horkheimer became director of the Institut für Sozialforschung in 1930, his colleague Theodor Adorno held his inaugural lecture as a new professor of philosophy at the Universität Frankfurt am Main (to which the institute belonged). In this

246   Tamara Levitz lecture Adorno also critiqued Husserl but in a different way than Horkheimer, building on arguments he had developed in his dissertation with Hans Cornelius in 1924 (see Adorno [1924] 1973a). Adorno spoke of the “crisis in idealism” or “crisis in philosophy’s pretence to encompass any kind of totality” that marked current philosophy—the subject of his lecture (Adorno [1930] 1973b). Husserl had contributed to this crisis, Adorno complained, by trying to move beyond transcendental idealism while relying on its categories, particularly that of constitutive subjectivity. Husserl’s contradictions plagued Adorno to such a degree that he began a second dissertation on the subject with Gilbert Ryle while in exile at Oxford from 1934 to 1937—a project that resulted in a manuscript of more than 400 pages published in modified form as Zur Metakritik der Erkenntnistheorie in 1956 in German and in English in 1982. In this work, Adorno viciously attacked Husserl for his foundationalism—what he calls “the original sin of prima philosophia” (Adorno [1956] 1970, 18)—which Peter Gordon describes as “the ambition to transcend or merely abolish any contaminant traces of contingency and empirical residue so as to arrive at a higher stage of unconditioned necessity” (Gordon  2016, 62). An antinomy arose, Adorno argued, when Husserl grounded thing-like being in immediate facts on the one hand, while describing it as an “absolute transcendent” on the other (Adorno 1973c, quoted in Wolff 2006, 558). This antinomy manifested most strikingly in the phenomenological reduction, which considers the objective world only as it is given to the subject, something Adorno compared to a photographer who brackets out reality by creating the lighting circumstances to snap one static photograph (Adorno [1956] 1970, 199; Gordon 2016, 69). Horkheimer disagreed with Adorno’s view on Husserl, and rejected an article Adorno wrote on the subject for the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung in 1937. “I find myself unable to confirm your passionate belief that an attack on Husserl’s phenomenology as the most advanced form of bourgeois philosophy is also to refute the most important intellectual motifs leading to idealism,” he wrote to his friend (quoted in Müller-Doohm 2005, 204). Further, whereas Adorno, influenced by Walter Benjamin, felt that social contradictions appeared in the material of philosophy and could be dialectically resolved through immanent criticism, Horkheimer sought to work outside philosophy, in critical social theory (Snow  1977). Adorno (1940,  1949) subsequently found other venues for his critique. This background, and Adorno’s debates with Simmel’s students György Lukács and Ernst Bloch (among many others), explains in part the approach Adorno developed in Die Philosophie der neuen Musik, written in exile in 1941, expanded when Adorno returned to Germany in 1947, published in German in 1948, in English in 1973, and in a more accessible translation in 2007. In this highly polemical work Adorno—as a former composition student of Alban Berg and devoted music critic—resolved the antinomies he had discovered in Husserl’s work through a dialectical method rooted in a modified version of Marxian historical materialism. He made the social part of the material—­ perhaps responding to a question of relation between the two that both his and Horkheimer’s critiques of Husserl had raised—by famously arguing that music was “sedimented spirit, something social, which has been preformed by the consciousness

The Twentieth Century   247 of people” (Adorno 1975, 39), and by analysing it through immanent criticism. Notably, he remained indebted to modern music as represented by the dialectical pair of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Such music had inspired phenomenologists of music earlier in the century when it was new, but by the 1940s had become music of the past. After a half-century in which the “philosophy of music” had percolated as an idea but never achieved disciplinary clarity, Adorno established it here in his own image, through a historical materialist lens, as a distinct area of thought.

Susanne Langer’s Symbolic Forms But Adorno was not alone at this time in this endeavour. In the very year he began drafting Die Philosophie der neuen Musik, his direct contemporary, Susanne Langer, wrote Philosophy in a New Key—the first major work in which she philosophized about music. The daughter of German immigrants who had arrived in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century, Langer was removed from the German philosophical context that provoked Adorno, yet still educated and widely read in selected aspects of it. A student of Alfred North Whitehead, Henry M. Sheffer, and Paul Henle at Radcliffe College in New York City who had previously published on symbolic logic, Langer aimed in her work to understand insight into musical works—or the human capacity to recognize connections between abstract patterns—by investigating music as a symbolic form. She drew on a broad range of sources in developing her theory of symbolic form, engaging philosophically with Ernst Cassirer, Alfred North Whitehead, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap, and Bertrand Russell, among others, but also consulting texts in German, French, and English by systematic musicologists, aestheticians, and critics, including Carroll C. Pratt and Edward Hanslick. As a consequence, Philosophy in a New Key appeared to come out of nowhere when it was published (Langer 1942). It became a popular bestseller (see Blum 1959, xii), though largely ignored by academic philosophers and musicologists until after Langer published Feeling and Form (Langer 1953; see also Lippman 1954). Langer based her work first and foremost on the theory of symbolic forms of the neoKantian philosopher of the Marburg School, Ernst Cassirer, who in the 1920s had responded to the European crisis and descent into irrationality not by establishing philosophy (phenomenology) as a science as Husserl had, but rather by seeking an anthropological definition of human beings and a function that linked their cultural aspects, the symbolic (Cassirer 1923–9; note that Langer read this work in German). In other words, although Cassirer and Husserl shared a desire to return to lived experience as a means of reconstructing rationality, they differed fundamentally in how they approached this task. Whereas Husserl believed in intuitive, immediate experience of phenomena, Cassirer presumed the fundamentally mediated character of human cognition. And whereas Husserl understood the a priori as non-historical conditions for the possibility of experience, Cassirer historicized it by introducing symbolic forms as historic modes of objectification. By applying Cassirer’s ideas about symbolic form to

248   Tamara Levitz music, Langer reasserted the importance of neo-Kantianism to the philosophy of music in the twentieth century. In Philosophy in a New Key, Langer moves between multiple philosophical traditions in defining music as a symbolic form. Music, she claims, is significant but not necessarily pleasurable. It is neither representational nor the result of self-expression. Rather, it is the “logical expression” of feelings (Langer 1942, 176; italics in the original). To explain this statement, Langer first establishes why she thinks music is not a language, referring repeatedly to Edward Hanslick’s thoughts on that subject. Whereas the symbols of language are discursive, she argues, those of art are “presentational,” in that they refer to the life of emotions, do not have permanent, definable meaning, cannot convey generalities, and cannot be combined according to certain rules (63–83). Drawing on Wittgenstein’s theory of correspondences, Langer argues that musical structures logically resemble “certain dynamic patterns of human experience” (183). “Music articulates forms which language cannot set forth” (189), she urges in emphatic italics, and, a bit later, “For what music can actually reflect is only the morphology of feeling., . . . general forms of feeling” (193). Listeners assign meaning “below the threshold of consciousness,” where the imagination, bodily rhythm, and wordless knowledge operate, she explained. Langer paid little attention to the phenomenological tradition in Philosophy in a New Key. A year after its publication, however, she attended the Pontigny Colloquia at Mount Holyoke College, where she encountered Jean Wahl, Rachel Bespaloff, Hannah Arendt, and others. Whether as a result of this encounter or not, Langer came to know the phenomenologically rooted, pre-war French debate about the meaning of time, which she addressed in Feeling and Form (1953). Citing Basil de Selincourt, Charles Koechlin, and Gabriel Marcel as some of her main sources, Langer now directly critiqued the phenomenologists for focusing on “momentary impressions” and missing the sense of time’s “passage” (Langer  1953, 113n11). She also critiqued Bergson for fearing abstraction, rejecting symbolism, setting up a task that could not be resolved discursively, and not recognizing that the time of music had more than one dimension (113–119). The essence of music, she concluded, was “the creation of virtual time, and its complete determination by the movement of audible forms” (125). By reframing Bergson’s perception of real duration within the context of her theory of symbolic forms, Langer implicitly replaced the investigation into the conditions of experience central to later phenomenologists who leaned on Bergson in favour of Cassirer’s model of cognition as mediated, leaning consequently in her work towards an ontology of the musical work.

New Generation of French Phenomenologists Like Langer, philosophers of music in France after the war tended to move quite freely between different philosophical schools. Sustained by Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others, however, the self-reflective and critical phenomenological tradition flourished. In his Phenomenology of Perception from 1945, Merleau-Ponty rejected Husserl’s transcendental subject in favour of a concrete subject that could sustain a vital relationship with

The Twentieth Century   249 the world; Mikel Dufrenne (1953) brought these concerns to music in his comprehensive study on the phenomenology of aesthetic experience. The differences between Ingarden, Adorno, Langer, and philosophers working in the French phenomenological tradition are evident in the work of Jeanne Vial, a student of Gabriel Marcel who passed the agrégation in 1938. In De l’être musicale, written one year before Langer’s Feeling and Form, Vial returns to classic questions of French phenomenology of music, examining four themes: “concrete thought,” or the immediate experience of music (“presence of being”), the singular idea of the musical work, precise conceptual thought (as in acoustics, for example), and the memory of music after hearing it (Vial 1952, 17–19). In her approach, she develops ideas introduced by Marcel (in his reception of Bergson), Schloezer, and Sartre. (Vial later edited a crucial collection on Marcel’s aesthetics [Parain-Vial 1980].) Sharing Langer’s appreciation of time passing, yet not her understanding of how music is perceived as a symbolic form, Vial argues that listeners hear melodies as notes that are related to each other rather than isolated in succession, but that this allows them to think concretely in terms of perceiving the music’s presence. In that moment, the music is apprehended by consciousness, rather than known conceptually. The dualism of subject and object in language obscures this experience of music on the level of being and the fact that “we are music” (Vial 1952, 10). As I have shown, Husserl’s philosophy provoked an astonishing array of responses from music philosophers worldwide from the 1930s to the 1950s, initiating one of the most richly creative periods in the history of the discipline. In their critique of Husserl’s idealism, music philosophers inched away from the listener and towards the musical work, rediscovering early twentieth-century neo-Kantians and Hanslick. Rather than react to new music as music philosophers had in the early twentieth century, they now tended to speak of the old—a rigor mortis of aesthetic imagination that became more pronounced as the century moved on. Gisèle Brelet (1958b) tried to explain these developments in a report on “Music Philosophy and Aesthetics” (see also McBrayer 2017). An accomplished pianist and prominent philosopher of music who had passed the agrégation in 1941 and ran the Bibliothèque internationale de musicologie for the Presses universitaires de France, Brelet framed her discussion within the now firmly established French discipline of aesthetics, yet attempted to define the philosophy of music within it, giving evidence that she considered the latter subdiscipline now worthy of individual attention. Brelet attributed the recent shift in focus towards the musical work to Hanslick, whom she argues initiated a third or “positive age” of “modern” or “autonomous aesthetics” in the early twentieth century (Brelet 1958b, 404–405).14 Distinguished from metaphysics, autonomous aesthetics came “from below,” or were a posteriori, because based on precise analysis of the phenomenon of music itself and its history (411–413). Over thirty years after Geiger and others had suggested the phenomenological method as the basis for an autonomous science of aesthetics, the tables had turned. Brelet’s summary of the philosophy of music in the modern era of autonomous aesthetics is succinct and accurate. Whereas the philosophy of music could have died when Hanslick invented autonomous aesthetics, she writes, it instead flourished, because “freed of old prejudices and solidly informed, it is faithful to musical experience where it

250   Tamara Levitz finds true foundations” (Brelet 1958b, 390). She thought theories of form, phenomenology, and existentialism as represented by Jankélévitch and Adorno were all examples of the philosophy of music. But it was Bergson’s discovery of “time” that in her view marked the moment when philosophy about music (sur musique) became philosophy of music (de la musique), because time introduced the “pure duration of the profound self,” and also the essential duration of the world (410–411). With her colleagues Ivo Supičić and Walter Wiora, Brelet hoped to move beyond Bergson to explore autonomous time—a shift that required her to abandon transcendental philosophy in favour of “immanent philosophy” or “the reflective analysis of concrete musical experience” (420–423; see also Brelet 1949). In this new philosophy of musical time, music was no longer a servant to philosophy, but rather philosophy asked questions of music.

Music on the Continental–Analytic Divide The “crisis of idealism” led many philosophers of music at mid-century to drift towards immanent analysis while not abandoning metaphysical projects—a position that complicated their relationship to the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle, as it developed in dialogue with Ludwig Wittgenstein.15 Philosophers like Langer defined music as a symbolic form by drawing connections to Wittgenstein’s theory of correspondences, thereby kindling a discussion that simmered for decades about whether music was a language, and, if so, of what kind. And yet, some of the logical positivists rejected the building of such bridges. In a classic essay from 1931, for example, Rudolf Carnap situated music outside philosophy in the context of explaining why he thought Heidegger’s metaphysical sentences had no theoretical content. Heidegger’s sentences did not offer a description of a state of affairs, Carnap argued, but rather provided the expression (Ausdruck) of an attitude towards life (Lebensgefühl). Music was the purest means of expression of that attitude, he thought, because it did not refer to objects. Metaphysicians lacked the ability of a Mozart or Beethoven to express their “dualistic-heroic attitude” in music, he lamented, and thus presented their ideas within philosophy as a science, unaware how they were mapping into it ideas of expression in art (Carnap 1931, 240). By excluding music from philosophy as science, Carnap created a quandary for philosophers of music invested in the methods of philosophy of language. Carnap’s rejection of metaphysics also led to disagreements with phenomenologists and proponents of critical theory like Horkheimer (1937a; see also Pearce 2006). At the Eighth International Congress on Philosophy in Prague in 1934, Ingarden (1936) challenged the logical positivists’ conception of linguistic formations and principles of verification, for example, drawing on ideas similar to those that grounded his philosophy of music. If a sentence was considered physically to be “mounds of ink,” Ingarden argued to Carnap and Otto Neurath, two members of the Vienna Circle who were in the room,

The Twentieth Century   251 its meaning could not be verified based on experience, but rather depended first on the intentional act of bestowing meaning on it. In other words, sentences acquired meaning independently of being verified and of a perceived physical origin. Carnap responded by defining syntactical sentences, and by explaining with Wittgenstein that such sentences meant nothing more than what was verifiable in them. “Setting aside other differences,” he concluded, “it appears that the main difference between the phenomenological position and that of our circle consists in the fact that we maintain that in between the empirical, synthetic sentences and the analytical sentences there are not scientific sentences of a third kind, namely the supposed results of the phenomenological ‘intuition of essences’ (Wesensschau)” (Carnap, quoted in Congrès internationale de philosophie 1936, 245). This example shows that Ingarden and Carnap rejected metaphysics to different degrees, with varying consequences for how they situated the study of music within philosophy. It also showed that logical positivism, and after it the philosophy of language, were precarious models for the analytical philosophy of music. The tension between philosophers of language and phenomenologists came to a head at a conference on “analytical philosophy” organized by Jean Wahl in Royaumont in 1958, where music also played a role.16 In the spirit of the pluralistic, transnational philosophical dialogue that had characterized his career as a philosopher, Wahl had invited to Royaumont “analytic” philosophers from the United States and Britain—among them Ryle, J. L. Austin, P. F. Strawson, and W. V. O. Quine—to present their ideas to a group of French philosophers that included phenomenologists Merleau-Ponty and Herman Van Breda, who had rescued Husserl’s papers from Freiburg and founded the Husserl Archive in Leuven. In the introduction to the conference proceedings, Jean Wahl spoke of the affinities and differences between the English and French, “analytical” and “continental” traditions, noting that he had discovered the latter term in the writings of José Ferrater Mora—an erudite and prolific Catalan historian of philosophy who compiled his own vast dictionaries of philosophy in this period in Mexican and Argentine exile (Beck 1962, n.p.).17 Ferrater Mora invented the term continental from a position of being doubly outside as a Catalan in exile—the dynamic of exclusion it manifested lost on later generations. Music, notably, when mentioned at this conference, stood between the traditions, serving as a test case for exploring points of disagreement, just as it had in the preceding decades. Music served this role in Ryle’s infamous, divisive lecture on “Phenomenology versus ‘The Concept of Mind’ ” (Beck 1962, 65–84; English translation in Ryle 2009 186–204). Ryle opened his talk with an attack on what he acknowledged was a “caricature” of Husserl’s philosophy, accusing Husserl of a “platonic practice of describing conceptual enquiries as enquiries into essences” (Ryle 2009, 187). Echoing his ­former doctoral student Theodor Adorno’s criticism, he admonished Husserl for prioritizing enquiries into consciousness, and for assuming philosophy was the science of all sciences. He then went on to describe how philosophers at Cambridge had transformed the theory of concepts through the study of ordinary language, and how he had gone about this task in his book The Concept of Mind. Towards the end of his presentation he turned to the subject of imagination, extrapolating on Sartre’s thought experiment about listening to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to discuss how a person remembered

252   Tamara Levitz a tune in their head. Ryle admitted that the thought of a man “thinking how the tune went” in his head stumped him because such thinking had a “vividness or lifelikeness” that made the man want to compare the “merely thought-of notes” to heard notes he hadn’t heard. “He heard no notes; but he ‘heard’ them vividly,” Ryle postulated, acknowledging his defeat at explaining the “concept of the quasi-sensuousness or vividness of, e.g., auditorily imagined notes” (200–201). Music, again, stood at the boundary between analytic and phenomenological approaches. Van Breda, Wahl, Merleau-Ponty, and other audience members heard Ryle’s talk, finding in his analysis more affinities than differences with their own work, and asking thoughtful questions (Beck 1962, 85–104; for an assessment of the Royaumont conference, see Vrahimis 2013). But history was not kind to the debates that arose that day. Charles Taylor (1964) wrote a review of the conference proceedings, notably describing Royaumont in sonic terms as a “dialogue of deaf people” (dialogue des sourds) and as a failed attempt at reconciliation, marred by misunderstandings between what he called— from his positionality as a Québécois, and thus also from the outside—the “continental” and “Anglo-Saxon” camps. Other writers subsequently picked up on this idea, citing as a symptom of the unbroachable divide Leslie Beck’s comment in the preface to the volume about how Merleau-Ponty had asked Ryle at the conference if “our programme is the same,” to which Ryle had responded “I hope not”—even though this comment was based on a misreading of the dialogue in question.18 After Taylor’s review, but not because of it, the term “continental” gained currency (with Ryle’s narrow view as editor of Mind playing a key role). The continental–analytic abyss had opened, with nobody listening, and music teetering on the brink.

The End of an Era If I stop my story abruptly in the year 1958 it is because I believe the modern practice of the philosophy of music ended with the symbolic birth of the continental–analytic divide. Two years before the conference at Royaumont, Morris Weitz (an American philosopher who had studied at Oxford with Gilbert Ryle and written his dissertation on Bertrand Russell) wrote “The Role of Theory in Aesthetics,” thereby laying the foundation for analytic aesthetics in the United States. Appealing to Wittgenstein, Weitz rejected ontology and the formalism of Fry, Bell, and the English school in favour of linguistic analysis, concluding that “the primary task of aesthetics is not to seek a theory but to elucidate the concept of art” (Weitz 1956, 33). In the late twentieth century, philosophers of music contributed dramatically to this new project, riveted especially by Nelson Goodman’s approach to music as symbol in Languages of Art (1968). Published in coherent English translations for the first time in the 1970s and 1980s, the works of Adorno, Ingarden, and other phenomenologists struck some as polar opposites to this new science. The dramatically postponed reception of these works proved fatal to the historical consciousness of some monolingual Anglo-American philosophers of music,

The Twentieth Century   253 who in the intervening decades had apparently lost the connection to the modernist past of their discipline, and forgotten the place of phenomenology within it. During the Cold War, the colour line in philosophy hardened into an impenetrable border as the discipline professionalized. The degree to which Anglo-American philosophy began to divorce itself from identitarian interests is evinced by the fact that Weitz’s seminal essay appeared only a few years after Frantz Fanon’s Peau noir, masques blancs (1952), in which Fanon developed an approach that harked back to Du Bois’s phenomenology in how it emphasized intersubjective experience in the formation of consciousness. Fanon had studied with Merleau-Ponty, and carefully read Sartre (with whom he often disagreed), transforming the former’s ideas on lived bodily experience in the world, and the latter’s understanding of the intersubjective structure of the gaze (see Macey  1999). A few years after writing this book, and one year before Weitz’s essay, Fanon delivered a lecture on “Racisme et culture,” at the Premier Congrès des artistes et écrivains noirs in Paris—a major turning point in the history of Black aesthetics. Arguing that racism was a cultural element, Fanon explored its consequences in colonized societies. When the colonizers no longer had to reinforce their superiority on a daily basis, he explained, relations became more “cultivated,” and verbal mystification replaced cultural destruction. In this phase racism became a “subject of contemplation or means of publicity” (Fanon 1956, 126). In the United States, for example, the blues and Louis Armstrong’s music—both of which would not exist without racism and ­oppression—were offered up to the oppressors for their admiration. I end my account of the modern era, then, with Fanon bringing phenomenology back to Black aesthetics, and establishing a foundation for its institutional development after decolonization. The empowered tradition of Africana philosophizing about music he initiated continued through Amiri Baraka (Jones  1999), Angela Davis (1998), Lewis Gordon, Fred Moten (2003), and beyond. Yet, pointedly, it remained institutionally segregated from “philosophy,” the exclusions of the modern era proving hard to overcome in spite of larger numbers of Black scholars entering the academy by the end of the twentieth century. The story of those two solitudes, and of the gulf created by the continental divide, remains to be told. In the end I hope this chapter, which is necessarily limited in scope, provides a point of departure for further historical investigation. Picking up the crumbled pieces of the twentieth-century philosophy of music and integrating them into a global history that acknowledges structural inequality, white supremacy and privilege, and exclusion may be a task philosophers of music choose in the next generation.

Notes 1. I want to give a special thanks to Tomás McAuley, for his patience and immense wisdom in guiding this article, as well as to Aaron Meskin, René Jagnow, the anonymous reviewer  of this essay, and the other editors of this volume, Jerrold Levinson and Nanette Nielson, for their truly insightful commentary. I am deeply grateful as well for

254   Tamara Levitz the dialogue with Michael Gallope, Pradeep Kannan, Kyle Kaplan, Benjamin Piekut, Alejandro García Sudo, Benjamin Steege, and Jake Wilder-Smith, among very many others, about this article. 2. In the 1980s, for example, musicologists edited anthologies on aesthetics of music in which they provided excerpts from key sources introduced with short blurbs. See Dahlhaus and Zimmermann 1986; Dahlhaus and Katz 1987–93; and Lippman 1986–90. 3. For a tiny sense of this vast debate, see Glendinning 2006; Reynolds 2009; and Beaney 2013, especially 49n60. For an overview of the debate about how analytical philosophy in particular needs to be practised from a more historical perspective, see Soames 2003; and its many critical reviews, including Kremer 2005. 4. John Carvalho (2002) notes how publishers such as Blackwell and Routledge began using the term “continental” for aesthetics only around the year 2000. For examples of recent overviews that implement this framework, see Goehr et al. 2001; Gracyk 2016; Gracyk and Kania 2011; Roholt 2012, 2017. 5. I prefer the term “international” to “global,” which has become common in studies of modernism and literature since the global turn. In my view, global relations in academia were established only in the second half of the twentieth century. See, for comparison, Wollaeger 2012. 6. I am very much influenced in my understanding of “little journals” or petits journaux by Manzoni 2001. 7. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. 8. I am grateful to Alejandro García Sudo for introducing me to this book. 9. Stumpf studied with Franz Brentano and also supervised Husserl’s Habilitation thesis in Halle in 1887. Stumpf critiques Husserl in his posthumous Erkenntnislehre (1939, 188–200). See also Spiegelberg 1960, 1:53–72. 10. Daubert was one of Husserl’s first students to reject Einfühlung, which he described as a person’s active creation of form when listening to music, based on feeling and spontaneity (“feeling into”). See Daubert, “Zur Philosophie des Impressonismus,” quoted in Schuhmann 1998, 70. 11. Daubert was one of the first philosophers to link phenomenology to impressionism. He was primarily interested in literature but considered Strauss’s tone poems and any of the newest music that “worked purely with tone colours” impressionist. See Daubert, cited in Schuhmann 1998, 75, 78. See also Stratilková 2016, 207–208. 12. Three of Husserl’s Kaizo articles and unpublished materials relating to them are included in Husserl 1988, 3–13, 13–20, 20–43. Remarkably, only one has been translated into English. See also Husserl 1923; Kichinosuke 1915. 13. The number of women receiving an agrégation in philosophy gradually increased throughout the 1930s and dramatically afterwards. See laureats_old#l1830; and Efthymiou 2003. 14. Brelet’s philosophy was known to a limited degree in the United States. See Brelet 1958a; Bukofzer 1952; Lippman 1986–90, 3:325–349; 1992, 443–452. 15. Wittgenstein was devoted to music yet did not write extensively on it. Nevertheless, he profoundly influenced the philosophy of music; see, for example, Hagberg 2014. 16. The date of this conference is still disputed. See Overgaard 2010, 900n1. 17. I was unable to find the text in which the immensely prolific Ferrater Mora originally used this word. 18. See “Avant-Propos,” in Beck 1962, n.p. In fact Merleau-Ponty had asked Ryle if he shared Wittgenstein’s and Russell’s programme!

The Twentieth Century   255

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pa rt I I I


chapter 12

Epistemol ogies Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert

Introduction: Musical Epistemologies The fact that there can be no single epistemology of music is evident from the diverse approaches to understanding music that fall within the discipline of musicology as broadly understood. Nevertheless, with only a few exceptions, those epistemologies of music that have been explicitly articulated fall within a remarkably narrow range, making explicit or implicit appeal to broad metaphysical principles while restricting their scope to Western art music and constraining their foci to the sonic or the textual/symbolic manifestations of that music. While epistemology is concerned with understanding how it is that we know what we know (see, for example, Klein 2005), classically, it has focused on exploring and specifying conditions that enable the justification of beliefs. It has primarily been concerned with propositional or declarative knowledge, the knowledge that such-andsuch is true or false, to that end adopting either normative or naturalistic approaches. Normative approaches are marked by a reliance on foundational or basic reasons for the existence of particular beliefs, often involving explicit appeals to metaphysical principles, states, or entities, or by appeals to the coherence of sets of propositions as justification for their epistemic adequacy. Naturalistic approaches are usually marked by a concern with the conditions pertaining in the acquisition of true beliefs and are often aligned with scientific approaches, typically in the domains of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and evolution. The majority of classical epistemological approaches are normative: that is, foundationalist or coherentist. The basic beliefs postulated and employed by foundationalists are generally held to be derived from sensory experience or introspection, or through processes of rational intuition; the criteria for epistemic adequacy relied on by coherentists derive from the inferential relationships that each belief or proposition holds in respect of each other within a set of beliefs or propositions. Naturalistic approaches constitute a minority, but an increasingly significant minority, within epistemology; they are heterogeneous, but are united in suggesting

266   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert that an epistemology must stand in some sort of special relationship to the sciences in order to enjoy explanatory adequacy. Although there are many compelling reasons to align epistemology with science (see, for example, Maffie 1990; Stich 1993), there are domains in respect of which normative approaches are certainly warranted. Understanding the deontological concerns of ethics or of aspects of morality does not seem to be particularly commensurable with the ontological and epistemic commitments of the sciences (other, perhaps, than with those of some approaches to evolutionary biology), and is typically aligned with normative, foundationalist perspectives. Similarly, epistemologies of fields such as mathematics do not appear to be subject to the same types of constraints as are those of the natural or human sciences, and are more likely than not to be framed within coherentist perspectives (though see, for example, Lakoff 1987). Naturalized epistemologies appear to have some advantages when relating epistemology to music in that they appear to be capable of addressing issues such as that of music’s universality and diversity, and its dual manifestation as explicit knowledge and as practice. Naturalized epistemologies have become increasingly attractive as the cognitive sciences—the sciences that are loosely grouped around issues of psychology, computationalism, and neuroscience—have provided increasingly rich and efficacious accounts of how we know. There is an increasing methodological alignment between formal epistemology and the sciences by virtue of formal epistemology’s acknowledgement of the possibility of degrees of belief, and the resultant incorporation of probabilistic methods (largely Bayesian) into formal approaches to epistemic belief (Bradley 2015). Thagard (1984, 234) notes that Frege’s and Popper’s objections to naturalism (that while “Psychology describes what inferences people do make . . . logic is concerned with what inferences people should make”) can be surmounted by adopting what he terms a “weak psychologism,” which “uses empirical psychology as a starting point, since it presupposes an empirical account of what mental processes to be prescriptive about, but goes beyond mere description of actual mental processes to consider what sorts of inferential practices are normatively correct” (234). In effect, weak psychologism assents to the idea that the only type of knowledge that can comprise a properly validated epistemology is constituted of consensually specifiable propositions that reflect mental processes. It’s notable that in this form of naturalism the propositions reflect, but do not necessarily constitute, mental processes. Indeed, there is good evidence that much of the “knowledge” that is manifest in our everyday acts and thoughts is scarcely propositional, rather taking implicit and procedural forms. We have known since the 1980s that classical epistemologies based on the application of predicate calculus to explicit and consensually determinable propositions do not stand in a direct relationship to how humans know in the everyday world, which involves fast, dirty, biologically-, individually-, and culturally-shaped processing that relies on “intuition” (information derived from enculturative and overlearning processes that is typically neither consciously accessible nor verbalizable), partial “knowledge” (that may reflect confabulatory or incomplete awareness of the bases for judgements), and emotions or feelings (mind–brain–body states

Epistemologies   267 precipitated by changes in the relationships between goals and environmental events)— as well as the occasional lucid flash of conscious judgement. As Devitt notes, in defending the necessity of developing epistemologies that can cope with both knowing-that and knowing-how (after Ryle), “a non-propositional view of knowledge-how is not just philosophical prejudice or even just folk theory: it seems to be entrenched in psychology and cognitive ethology” (Devitt 2011, 215). And we need to be able to draw on both explicit and non-propositional knowledge if we wish to be able to apply epistemological approaches to understanding the sum of what we can construe to be “music.”

Western Ideas of Musical Epistemology The aspect of music that appears to be the most epistemologically tractable is the (music) theory that surrounds it, albeit that in recent Western culture “theory” ranges from the radically underdetermined (as in the work of Réti [1951]) to the quasi-mathematical constructs of Forte (1973). Music theories are generally descriptive or prescriptive systematizations of past, current, or prospective musical practices, typically being expressible in something like propositional forms that are especially amenable to assimilation into (or presentation as) epistemological frameworks. The constraints of having to conform to the exigencies of musical (and cultural) histories, structures, and styles have led to a predominance of apparently normative approaches, from the metaphysical foundationalism of Schenker to the seeming coherentism of Forte (although recourse is often made even in these approaches to ostensibly naturalistic foundations). Cook provides a comprehensive overview of epistemologies of (Western) music theory, stressing that it is “not one cultural practice but many” and hence music theories cannot be assimilated “to any one philosophical stance,” serving, as they do, purposes that may be pedagogical, intellectual, rhetorical, or political, or any combination of these (Cook 2002, 79). Indeed, Cook cheerfully—though somewhat unhelpfully—concludes by noting that “Epistemological slippage becomes not so much a defect in music theory as one of its defining characteristics” (102); if this is so, then even that aspect of music most seemingly accommodating to epistemological approaches—music theory—is likely to elude epistemic assimilation. Moreover, the vast majority of extant and explicit music theories are grounded in, and can claim explanatory status only in respect of, Western art music. This significantly limits the potential epistemological powers of conventional music theories. They are theories of highly particular sets of cultural practices, and the culturally-contingent derivations of the “basic beliefs” or the sets of inferential relationships that support them are often neither examined nor even acknowledged. As ways of understanding how we know music they afford us insights that are historically and culturally situated and that (at best) present incomplete, partial, or distorted perspectives on any forms and concepts of music that lie beyond the domain of the art world and outside the bounds of recent Western culture. For the most part, to find exceptions to these strictures one has

268   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert to look beyond the domain of “pure” music theory and perhaps away from the conventional notion of epistemology as concerned primarily with propositional knowledge. Huovinen attempts to circumvent the limitations of construing musical knowledge in wholly propositional terms by building on Eggebrecht’s (1999) distinction between “prior, non-conceptual, aesthetic,” and epistemic understandings. He proposes that these two kinds of understanding are jointly required in order to make sense of the ways in which both phenomenological and epistemological intuitions are likely to play into how music can be understood (Huovinen 2011, 127). He interprets Eggebrecht’s “nonconceptual, aesthetic” understanding as analogous to a form of understanding that emerges when “a listener perceptually grasps sounds as musically meaningful,” and proposes that epistemic understanding corresponds to “explicit knowledge concerning music: knowledge articulated in conscious beliefs and possibly also mediated through language” (124, 126). He suggests that this framework of perceptual states informed or shaped by beliefs allows for “a subjective sense of understanding as well as for the possibility of misunderstanding,” noting that “Even without relevant, culturally justified true beliefs, it may often be possible to gain some understanding of the heard sounds as music that may be enjoyed, used, and talked about” (129). Distinguishing in this way between epistemic and perceptual levels of understanding while acknowledging their interdependence appears to allow an epistemological framework to be developed that can both accommodate music beyond recent Western culture and deal with aspects of music as non-propositional. Huovinen’s approach seems to be embracing a form of naturalism in its reliance on the notion of “perceptual understanding”; however, that naturalism is undermined by a complete absence of reference to empirical research in its discussions of perception, which appear very much aligned with those criticized by Stroud (2011) as being historically rather than epistemically grounded. Hence rather than enabling escape from the confines of propositionality, Huovinen’s proposals are impeded by their dependence on unexamined and historical modes of understanding. A similar circumscription is evident in his tendency to refer to music as “works,” a historical construct that is certainly part of recent Western musical history but that has no necessary relevance to or extension beyond recent Western cultures (see Goehr  1994). Finally, Huovinen tends throughout to rely on the idea of engagement with music as engagement with sound, a position that severely compromises the generalizability of his approach. As noted in the Introduction, while much of the philosophical literature (and much recent empirical research) has tended to treat music as sound, it is undeniably the case that music cannot be understood as though it were constituted solely by sound (Cross 2012a). To regard it as such is to deal with it synecdochically or metonymically, focusing only on one facet of Merriam’s (1963) triad of “sound, concept and behavior.” One issue that Huovinen raises without clearly delineating or situating it is that of aesthetics, for example, in problematizing Eggebrecht’s claim that “aesthetic understanding has an objectivity that is grounded in the correspondence between the formal content of the music and what the listener understands” (Huovinen 2011, 128). The idea that understanding music is first and foremost an aesthetic activity exercised in respect

Epistemologies   269 of the autonomous domain that is music permeates philosophical treatments of music. Most Western musical epistemologies tend to rely on the notion of the aesthetic domain as central to their account of how we understand music. This can lead to claims that seem substantively untenable (as, for instance in the case of Zangwill’s [2011] defence of the idea of “nonperceptual aesthetic realism”) and it can reinforce conceptions of music as somehow untethered by the claims and commitments of quotidian life (as Taruskin 2007 highlights). In recent years it has been strongly criticized as historically retrogressive and class-based (see, for example, Hesmondhalgh and Pratt  2005), or unacknowledgedly culturally particular and ethnocentric (Kauffman 1969). However, while it can legitimately be claimed that aesthetics is yet another potentially narrow perspective that moulds and constricts musical epistemologies, refracting them through a prism fashioned by Western eighteenth-century thought, its pervasiveness and its protean qualities suggest that the concept may constitute something more than a relic of bourgeois Enlightenment partiality. The idea that music possesses transcendental, universal qualities and that it should be valued for its capacity to give rise to experiences that are distinctive and transformational seems to arise in different societies at different times. Its recorded origins usually have some reference to the divine, though something like a humanist turn tends to occur at different historical junctures in different musical “supercultures” (Slobin 1992) with historical parallels traceable across Western societies (see Cross and Tolbert 2016), Indian cultures (see Simms 1992–3; Ram 2011), and China (see Ho 1997, 2003). The genealogy of the idea is complicated, of course, by inter-cultural interactions, with Western musical epistemologies being diffused into or imposed onto subaltern cultures (see, for example, Lelyveld 1994 in respect of aspects of early twentieth-century Indian musical epistemologies), processes reinforced by technological developments in part driven by the dynamics of globalization over the last century (see, for example, Fiol 2012). Nevertheless, aesthetics remains a significant problem for any epistemology of music that aims to reach beyond the West; what can be interpreted as aesthetic qualities may manifest themselves quite differently in respect of the musics of different cultures (see, for example, Feld 1988; Stobart 1996). The idea that music can fulfil functions that are not primarily aesthetic, though noted above as a fundamental tenet of ethnomusicology, only recently appears to have been addressed seriously by aestheticians (for example, Davies 2006, 2010). And the notion of the aesthetic can be excised from consideration of how we understand value in culture (as in recent sociological approaches such as Bennett 2000) without appearing to destroy the notion of a value for music. While the concept of the aesthetic and its associations with autonomy and disinterestedness are at the core of most epistemologies of Western music and may constitute major obstacles to extending their scope beyond their cultures of origin, perhaps a greater impediment is the lack of attention paid in those epistemologies to music as practice. The vast majority of the philosophical literature has treated music as aesthetic object from the perspective of a listener—as sound, as score, as, at best, traces of musical behaviours. Very little attention has been devoted to accounting for music in action—to accounting for how a capacity to make music is acquired and how it is exercised, as well

270   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert as what constitutes such a capacity in the first place. Where non-Western cultures have indigenous formal systems of music learning, these tend to differ vastly from current Western models (for views of the situation in India see Chawla  2006; Clausen and Chatterjee  2012; Katz  2012). In any case, the majority of non-Western societies have tended to rely on informal, mimetic, enculturative processes of music learning (for a paradigm case see Blacking 1967), just as is the case across contemporary Western societies outwith the academy. The limited role for language, or for formal symbolic representational systems, in most musical traditions, and the resulting reliance on a link between ear (McLucas 2010) and action (see, for example, Baily 1985) as the bases for a proper knowledge of music, suggest that classical epistemology will have a hard time making sense of music in ways that can apply to most musical traditions. What is required is some way of taking account of Ryle’s “know-how” (Devitt 2011); to make sense of music we shall need epistemologies that can cope with knowing as individual and social action and as cultural enaction—the real-time construction and experience of culture and its forms through behaviour and interaction.

Epistemologies in Culture For ethnomusicologists, this issue of knowing as cultural enaction poses a dual problem: what is it that others know, and how can the ethnomusicologist know others? As Moore and Sanders note, “[a]nthropological [or in this case, ethnomusicological] epistemology is ultimately about the way we understand others as human beings” (Moore and Sanders 2006, 19). Thus, the relationship between the knowledge of the ethnomusicologist and his or her consultants is always mutually constituted, and as such, requires that ethnomusicologists acknowledge the limits to their hermeneutic strategies. The epistemology of ethnomusicological fieldwork has been discussed extensively in the areas of feminist ethnomusicology and applied ethnomusicology, interrogating issues such as gender, subjectivity, embodiment, vocality, and the status of musical knowledge itself (for example, Koskoff  2014; Kisliuk  1997; Moisala and Diamond  2000; Harrison 2012). In the first place, we need to make judgements about what constitutes “music” in other cultures. In the broadest sense it seems to be part of a communicative continuum spanning speech and song (or instrumental music) and even dance, although the way this communicative continuum is parsed is culturally specific (List 1963). For example, among the Suyá of Amerindian Brazil, genres we might in the West consider as somewhat similar to song, such as ceremonial recitatives, are classified as types of speech (Seeger 1987), as pitched sound is not used as a criterial attribute for “song” in this culture. Ethnomusicologists have long been sensitive to the problem of defining “music,” and one response has been to conceptualize music in terms of the anthropology of “sound” more broadly (for example, Feld and Brenneis 2004; Samuels et al. 2010).

Epistemologies   271 Most ethnomusicologists work from the premiss that researchers can learn about epistemologies of music from close engagement through immersive fieldwork that enables connections and resonances to be identified between the “music” and the broader dynamics, lifeways, and world-views of a culture. Thus from the ethnomusicological perspective epistemologies of music are never just about music, but are embedded in all different kinds of knowledge about the world—and this is as much the case in respect of Western art music as for any other music culture. Even when the archetypally Western concept of aesthetics is applied in ethnomusicological thinking it does not necessarily entail consideration of music as an autonomous domain; Manuel (2011) alludes to this mutual embedding of musical and non-musical knowledge in his characterization of what might constitute an ethnomusicologically salient music aesthetics. He suggests that “a conception of cross-cultural music aesthetics could include: the presence and nature of evaluative criteria for music; the relation of these criteria to judgments about other arts, natural phenomena, social interactions, moral behaviour, or the like; the coherence of ideas about music with an indigenous worldview; and the ways that musical form or “sound structure” can be seen to reflect such a broader value system, cosmology, or epistemology, constituting a “philosophy of music” that mirrors a more general philosophy of life” (Manuel 2011, 563). For example, Feld (1988) has shown that among the Kaluli of Papua New Guinea, the trope of dulugu ganalan, “lift-up-over sounding,” is a way of describing waterfalls, insect cries, and the forest itself, which in turn serves as a model for singing and social interaction. Although a structural homology approach such as this acts as a corrective to a Western worldview centred on Western art music, it is problematic in that it essentializes structure and does not manage to completely circumvent the problems inherent in conceiving of epistemologies as necessarily explicit. By acknowledging that music is always concerned with the social, and that epistemologies of music must always be about more than music, a more inclusive approach to the epistemology of music would move out of the domain of explicit discourse and into other domains of culturally enacted knowledge, particularly implicit, affective, embodied, and intersubjectively constructed knowledge. Barth notes that “the problem of knowledge—what a person employs to interpret and act on the world,” includes “feelings (attitudes) as well as information, embodied skills as well as verbal taxonomies and concepts: all the ways of understanding that we use to make up our experienced, grasped reality” (Barth 2002, 1). Thus musical anthropology needs to be able to explore the enactive, embodied behaviour that constitutes much of musical behaviour, presently outside the remit of classical notions of epistemology in Western art music. Generally speaking, knowledge about music is both explicit and implicit. Some of the explicit knowledge about music is prescribed in music theory, while some is used in less formal discourses, and in both the oral and literate traditions. For example, there are informal discourses about music used by performers, fans, or specialists; in short, musical discourses are likely to arise whenever people are engaged in musical activity. Cultural knowledge about music is often expressed in metaphorical discourse that might be outside of the realm of formal theory, even in cultures that have extensive

272   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert f­ormal theories. For example, in Western art music we often talk about being “in” or “out” of tune, metaphorically referring to a container that a pitch is either “in” or “out” of (see, for example, Zbikowski 2002). The Kaluli refer to the melody lines of gisalo medium performance in terms of waterfall metaphors (Feld 1982), while the Temiar of Malaysia conceptualize the songs of spirit guides as metaphorical “paths” to unseen worlds (Roseman 1991). These types of musical theorizing are not categorically different from ways of knowing about music that are formalized into explicit theoretical systems such as Western tonal harmony, raga, or maqam, in that they open up the realm in which music can be talked about within an emic perspective and thus made relevant to lived experience. In such contexts “aesthetics” can be thought of in functional terms, as a matter of efficacy, and inherent to aesthetic discourse so construed is the means by which music’s efficacy is communicated. How do we know that music is doing what it’s supposed to do? Among the Finnish-Karelian lamenters, a “good” lamenter is one “who can make a stone weep” (Tolbert 1990, 1994), and thus cause all present to cry. Among the Kaluli, a successful gisalo medium is one who makes contact with spirits of ancestors through singing and dancing—his skill is acknowledged by burning him with a torch (Feld 1982). Chernoff (1979) notes that in certain West African societies good music is good consociation, which can be verified by the presence of enthusiastic dancing. Among the Shona, musicians are responsible for bringing the spirits to the Bira ceremony and if the medium falls into a trance the efficacy of the music is confirmed (Berliner 1978). The Suyá make reference to a feeling of euphoria, kïn, experienced by Suyá men during communal singing, an explicit acknowledgement that the singing is successful (Seeger 1987). Yet we must be wary of typifying non-Western epistemologies in terms of functional aesthetics as if this is the fundamental difference between so-called “Western” and nonWestern ideas about music; Western art music, indeed Western musics of all kinds, are just as “functional” as any other music. However, perhaps the most salient aspects of musical epistemology that are foregrounded by ethnomusicological considerations are not these explicit and/or formalized notions. People in a culture know how to act and interact musically. Music has a social ontology, seems to be about subjectivity and intention, and models and is about social interaction. Most music in most world cultures is encountered, learned, and understood contingently, as a consequence of living through a particular culture’s systems and processes. It appears to make sense to a member of a culture, but the grounds upon which it makes sense are usually either non-verbalizable or expressible in terms that, to an outsider, may appear to have very little to do with “music.” In other words, musical knowledge, irrespective of the culture in which it is situated, is largely nonexplicit; while it is likely to have some explicit dimensions, much of it is submerged and implicit. Its explicit dimensions are usually evident when culture members aim to account for music’s occurrence in particular sets of circumstances and for the forms that it may take; its implicit aspect inheres in those aspects that seem impervious to discourse. Furthermore, implicit and explicit forms of knowledge about music, even within a singular culture, are not necessarily congruent, nor are discourses about music within

Epistemologies   273 a particular culture necessarily consistent with one another. In this sense, an epistemology of Western art music is doing precisely the same job as an epistemology of any other music in any other culture; it makes sense of implicit knowledge by giving voice to explicit ideologies. From such a perspective the tendency to see the epistemology of Western art music as “different” from all others confuses formal Western philosophical discourse with the informal and implicit knowledge that underlies the practice of Western art music. As Manuel notes, there is a tendency to romanticize non-Western musics as irreducibly different “much music outside the geographical West—be it modern commercial popular music or neo-traditional art music, not to mention imported Western genres themselves—may be produced and apprehended in ways not markedly different from that of familiar genres in the West” (Manuel  2011, 562). Rather than exoticize non-Western epistemologies of music, it might be more fruitful to understand more general processes of knowing, while also acknowledging that cultural knowledge is necessarily radically contextualized (Feld 1984; Roseman 1984). For example, music epistemologies that arose in modernity in the West are now relevant throughout the world in the context of transnational interactions, and provide an opportunity to see new ways of knowing as they emerge. Ochoa Gautier (2006) suggests that epistemologies of “purification” underlie music in modernity in Latina America, a case study that may be instructive more broadly. Drawing on Baumann and Briggs’s (2003) theorization for language, Ochoa Gautier proposes that an epistemology of music developed in the Enlightenment that created a certain kind of “music” that removed all traces of the social to create a “pure” aesthetic musical object. Increasingly, this epistemological move informs the understanding of music in contexts of modernity as “hybrids” that develop from the mixing of “pure” forms. However, the recontextualization of “pure” musics into “hybrids” depends upon the prior separation of “music” from its social contexts, thus concealing the purifying epistemology upon which the notion of hybrid depends. It is interesting to note that this hidden purifying epistemology is now needed to understand “hybrids” in the context of “tradition,” a case where mediation between epistemologies is needed to make sense of emerging traditions. Epistemologies of music are not static; as cultures and musics change, so does the knowledge that underpins them.

Music, Science, and Naturalistic Epistemologies Ethnomusicological research and thinking suggests that music’s diversity is situated in cultural diversity. This could prompt the idea—after the tendency, noted by Manuel, to romanticize non-Western musics as irreducibly different—that what we conceive of as “music” in respect of each culture is inescapably particular, a social construct that is

274   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert bound to, and embodied only in the dynamics of, each different culture. Each culture’s “music” would be a social formation unique to, and understandable only from the perspective of, that culture, denying the possibility of any cross-culturally applicable musical epistemology. Yet there appears to be something—constellations of types of behaviours, ways of thinking (whether manifested in action, speech, or text), and patterns in sound—that we are prepared to identify as music in all societies. Much about these constellations does not seem to come in propositional packages; we know them as they are enacted by others or ourselves. They may be enmeshed in discourse, but their comprehensible actuality is grounded as much in their doing as in any theoretical reflection or institutional incarnation. The enaction of culture tends to be implicit; it is rendered explicit chiefly in moments of realization of alternative ways of doing things that may be either novel or unspokenly unsanctioned. As Bashkow notes, “culture is not only the product of but also the precondition for meaningful action, thought, and expression . . . Ideas of the foreign are culture in the guise of departure from culture” (Bashkow 2004, 452). The constellation of actions, thoughts, and sounds that comprises music within any given culture is likely to be woven so inextricably into that culture’s lifeways as to camouflage its features unless they are uncovered and questioned emically through processes of cultural change, or unmasked by encounters with strangers and their practices. A double problem appears to arise in understanding these constellations: while we can intuit their existence, we need to find some consistent way of identifying them, even instrumentally, across cultures; and they are largely implicit within cultures. However, both within and across cultures they are manifested in our actions and interactions; they are underlain by our materiality as biological beings and as interactants, by our thoughts and overt behaviours, which we can interpret as checking and shaping—though not determining—the varieties and the scope of what we might consider to be music. And overt behaviours and mental processes are susceptible to scientific exploration; a range of human sciences enables us experimentally to explore and delineate behaviours and mental processes and understand them in the context of the materialities of embodiment and interaction. Hence we can suggest that naturalistic epistemologies grounded in scientific approaches offer ways of accessing the consistencies in music as implicit, non-epistemic experience; their ontological commitment to materiality provides a basis for exploring and making sense of “music” across cultures. A strong objection to naturalistic—scientifically-grounded—approaches to understanding music is that they can be interpreted as entailing reductionist epistemologies (for example, Titon 2013) and are thus at best partial and exclusionary, and at worst misguided and harmfully coercive. They certainly entail reductionist ontologies insofar as they adopt the materialist position that “there exists nothing over and above physical objects, properties, events, facts, etc.” (Kaiser 2011, 457). They generally also entail an adherence to methodological reductionism as heuristically and historically the most fruitful way of conducting experimental research. However, as Hüttemann and Love (2011, 524) make clear, “Explanatory and methodological reduction can be decoupled because they do not entail one another: methodological reductionism does not

Epistemologies   275 g­ uarantee explanatory success and a successful explanatory reduction does not imply that methodological reduction is the most favorable strategy of inquiry.” Methodological reductionism is often a preferred research strategy as it constitutes the most parsimonious way of framing a complex problem in experimentally tractable terms as part of the process of science: but it neither excludes other ways of knowing nor can it result in claims about definitive truths. Methodological reductionism does not entail epistemological reductionism. Neither do naturalistic approaches necessarily result in the construction of a single scientifically-grounded musical epistemology. In part this is because the idea of a single, unitary science seems unsustainable in philosophical terms. As Fodor puts it, “not all natural kinds (not all the classes of things and events about which there are important, counterfactual supporting generalizations to make) are, or correspond to, physical natural kinds” (Fodor 1974, 113): or, in a later volume, “The world, it seems, runs in parallel, at many levels of description” (Fodor  1998a, 23). There are many apparently natural kinds that can constitute the objects or foci of scientific exploration. Hacking (1999, 104 and passim) helpfully distinguishes between indifferent and interactive kinds, the former having properties and identities that are not contingent on human thought and behaviour (for example, plutonium), the latter intimately intertwined with the ways in which they are framed and employed in thought and action (for example, autism). Each type of kind is likely to require its proper science: to return to Fodor, “For each such generalisation [kind], there is the proprietary vocabulary that is required in order for our discourse to express it. Nothing can happen except what the laws of physics permit, of course; but much goes on that the laws of physics do not talk about” (Fodor 1998b, 6). From these perspectives, the sciences can be thought of as sets of practices largely predicated on reductionist methodologies that afford access to a web of social and material facts knitting together ways of understanding, talking about, and predictively acting on, interactive and indifferent kinds. The sciences do not constitute a monolithic epistemology but rather comprise different sets of conceptual practices that are not reducible one to another but that are nonetheless reciprocally commensurable (after Lakoff 1987, 322) by virtue of being mutually comprehensible from each others’ perspectives. Over the last thirty years several cognitively-grounded theories that can be interpreted as constituting naturalistic epistemologies of music have been developed, generally being presented as contributions to music theory or cognitive musicology rather than as explicit epistemologies (see, for example, Lerdahl and Jackendoff  1983; Narmour 1989, 1992). Perhaps the most comprehensively elaborated instance of a theory presented explicitly as a naturalistic epistemology of music is that of Nussbaum (2007), who draws on close—and long—practical and theoretical engagement in music, as well as on evolutionary biology, psychology, and philosophy, to create his explicitly naturalistic epistemology of music. His approach shares general features with that of Millikan (2004) in its reliance on the idea of mental representations which carry meanings and which are simultaneously used to derive information and guide action: in effect, to use Millikan’s term, “pushmi-pullyu” representations. Nussbaum exploits the scientific literature on music cognition as well as aspects of that on music and evolution to argue

276   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert that meaning in music is situated in a nexus of such representations, allowing musical meaning to be idiosyncratic, unmediated, abstract, expressive and embodied all at the same time. Nussbaum’s theory is, as Matravers notes, a “remarkably ambitious theory . . . that resists easy summary” (Matravers 2011, 219). It is as densely ramified by his awareness of the complexities of contemporary musical life as it is by his knowledge of the broad sweep of humanistic and scientific literatures on music. However, its status as a broad and naturalistic epistemology of music is severely compromised by its focus on explaining music as it has manifested itself in Western societies since around 1650. He states that “The present project . . . is to engage in the reflexive meta-interpretation of Western tonal art music since 1650 as a representational practice . . . situating musical experience firmly within a descriptive, broadly Darwinian evolutionary theoretical framework” (Nussbaum 2007, 20). This raises insurmountable problems; science, or the sciences, are really only applicable to the elucidation of those activities that can be shown or hypothesized to be bioculturally grounded and that can be related in a principled way to generic human capacities that may be culturally—and indeed, subculturally—particularized and hence differentiated. Moreover, Nussbaum appears to privilege scientific, empirical knowledge over other types of knowledge when he suggests that he will adhere to the principle that “results from the sciences of cognition may be relevant to, and may legitimately be used in the resolution of, some or all of the traditional philosophical problems” (Nussbaum 2007, 5). This appears problematic in that the “results from the sciences of cognition” appear to be being construed here as having a definitive epistemic status within epistemology. Such results are, on the contrary, necessarily provisional—no single finding can be definitive unless interpreted within a narrowly falsificationist framework. And scientific findings are probably better interpreted as parts of scientific processes, serving to advance scientific understandings, rather than as constituting ends in themselves. They are of a different order from the types of predicates or premisses that may constitute definitive elements in logical theories, yet they are here being treated as though they were of the same types. But the more serious problem is probably the former: what is being proposed here is to ground a philosophy of music on a foundation of scientific explorations and elucidations of a culturally-particular manifestation of music, albeit an increasingly global one. From an emic perspective, this version of “music” incorporates features that may be generic and manifested cross-culturally as well as features that are wholly culturally contingent. The difficulty lies in determining which are which; as Bruno Nettl notes, while most Western definitions of music stress attributes such as beauty, intelligibility, and expressiveness and suggest that these attributes are criterial in judging whether or not something constitutes music, “there are societies and musics where these criteria make no sense at all” (Nettl 2005, 18). The vast majority of the “results from the sciences of cognition” upon which Nussbaum grounds his theory derive from studies carried out in respect of recent Western models of music; while many of these results have illuminated the ways in which music may be manifested in mind, brain, and behaviour, as

Epistemologies   277 Cross (2012a) notes, the studies from which they emerge sample only a very limited range of phenomena that can be construed as music, explore those phenomena from quite culturally-idiosyncratic perspectives, and almost universally derive from the responses of highly enculturated Western participants. As Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan note, “Evolution has equipped humans with ontogenetic programs, including cultural learning, that help us adapt our bodies and brains to the local physical and social environment” (Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan 2010, 80; our emphasis). The social environment in which Western art music currently manifests itself (and in which it came into existence) was and is no less “local” than those that give rise to and that sustain music in other cultural contexts (whether North Indian, Marritjevin, Mbendjele, or Suyá) in respect of the adaptive pressures that it exerts. Those adaptive pressures help particularize the manifestations of music in mind and behaviour in any given cultural context and it simply cannot be assumed that a scientific understanding of “music” gained in one context will generalize to another. The results from the sciences of cognition that bear on music on which Nussbaum relies must be construed as provisional and bound to the narrow range of cultural contexts from which they are drawn, and cannot play the foundational role to which he assigns them.

Conclusion: Music as Communicative, Music as Biocultural Nonetheless, a version of something like Nussbaum’s approach that takes cross-culturally identifiable aspects of “music” as its point of departure rather than its terminus (Nussbaum himself eventually explores the implications of his theory well beyond the bounds of the Western common-practice period) has much to offer as a means of developing a framework for musical epistemology (see, for example, Higgins, 2012). While the dynamics of different cultures appear to result in radically different musics in different societies, the constellations of types of behaviours, ways of thinking, and patterns in sound that we can recognize as music in those societies are necessarily shaped—not determined—by the vicissitudes of human embodiment and by evolutionarily-­constrained human modes of interaction that can be addressed in scientific terms (see Levinson 2006; Cross 2012b; Tolbert 2001). However, a major issue in drawing on what is known about music in scientific terms is that the majority of scientific studies not only focus on Western common-practice period music but also treat music almost exclusively as audible pattern (Cross 2012a). As Turino (2008) notes, music takes many different forms in different cultures but can be characterized roughly as presentational—as in musical supercultural traditions such as Western art music and North Indian music—and participatory—as in many traditional societies, but also as in many contexts in Western societies such as religious ceremonies, team sports events, and informal social occasions. In presentational contexts there is

278   Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert usually a sharp distinction between music producers and music consumers that privileges the idea of music as sonic form: in participatory contexts, all participants are equally producers and consumers, and music here is self-evidently a medium for action and interaction rather than display and reception. Only recently have preliminary studies of musical interaction taken place within a scientific framework, mostly exploring collaborative interaction in presentational musical contexts (see, for example, D’Ausilio et al. 2015). Some researchers are beginning to explore the ways in which musical interaction has parallels in other modes of communicative social interaction (for example, Moran et al. 2015) while a few are exploring music as communicative medium in its own right (for example, Cross 2014; Hawkins, Cross, and Ogden  2013). Starting from the idea that music as a manifestation of universal capacities can best be interpreted as a communicative medium embedded in the pragmatics of human interaction can help resolve many of the apparent paradoxes that a focus on Western art music in scientific approaches have thrown up, such as music’s capacity to elicit emotion, its simultaneous immediacy and indeterminacy of meaning, its apparent agency. Indeed, the idea that Western art music can be construed as traces of human behaviour and interaction, as a residue of participatory practices, or as narrative, dealing with “the vicissitudes of human intention” (Bruner 1986, 16), has formed a fruitful focus for philosophical and music-theoretic explorations to Western art music (for example, Maus 1988; Robinson and Hatten 2012) that may equally fruitfully converge with emerging scientific approaches. As noted at the outset, there can be no single epistemology of music; in order to make sense of music as discourse and as enacted experience we shall need multiple epistemologies, each addressing different facets of music in ways that are explanatory across or within particular cultures. A musical epistemology that is emically situated in one culture is likely to be difficult to distinguish from the musical practices that it purports to explain, while a musical epistemology that aims for a totalizing universality will always be too coarse-grained to account for some of music’s cultural idiosyncrasies. Naturalistic approaches can help reconcile the tension between music as universal and music as irresolvably culturally particular; however, normative approaches can also have a significant role in delineating music’s phenomenological and metaphysical dimensions in ways inaccessible to naturalistic approaches. In the end, a particular epistemology of music is as likely to be preferred as much for its rhetorical and political functions as it is for its explanatory value; but it helps if, in deciding which epistemology we wish to deploy, we are aware of all the alternatives.

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chapter 13

Ethics Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen

Introduction: Music, Ethics, Musical Ethics? The relationship between music and ethics is a topic constitutive of the philosophy of music, dating at least as far back as Plato, and has framed many musico-philosophical discussions that are current to this day.1 Despite this lengthy history and ongoing vitality, tracing the relationship between music and ethics as a distinct field remains challenging. Indeed, as Hyun-Ah Kim writes in the introduction to her The Renaissance Ethics of Music, “readers may wonder what the ethics of music is about . . . due to [a] lack of understanding of music as an ethical entity” (Kim 2015, 1). Kim suggests that this deficit can be traced both to the absence of music and ethics as a special area of study within either music studies or philosophy and to the tendency in both fields to pair music with aesthetics, rather than ethics. While these are certainly compelling reasons for the paucity of work in this area, we suggest in this chapter that the difficulty in working out a precise relationship is also due in part to the dislocation of disciplinary areas in which music’s ethical import has been studied. More precisely, whilst music and ethics is sometimes conceived as a single field of study, it has more often consisted of a series of connected but fragmented topics pursued within either music studies or philosophical ethics. One result of this slippage between music and ethics as field and as fragments is that there appear to be few major studies explicitly devoted to a holistic consideration of “music and ethics.” As part of establishing the potential scope of such a holistic consideration, this chapter begins with a brief overview of several historical strands of thought before engaging in more depth with recent studies in both musicological and philosophical literatures. One foundational study in contemporary thought is Kathleen Marie Higgins’s The Music of Our Lives (2011), which foregrounds how music is, first of all, an experience: an angle which places music with the perceiving subject,

284   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen rather than presenting it as a perceived object. This is a perspective shared by later musico-philosophical research, in particular Marcel Cobussen and Nanette Nielsen’s Music and Ethics (2012) and Jeff Warren’s Music and Ethical Responsibility (2014). These three works, which all take music and ethics as their central concern, are joined by other examinations which approach either music or ethics from the perspective of the other discipline—that is, involving some consideration of ethics as part of broader musicological arguments or, vice versa, some consideration of music as part of an ­ethical fabric. After this assessment of “music and ethics,” we seek to bring together several of these conceptual strands in order to develop a new model for thinking about the relationship between music and ethics, or what we call a musical ethics. We argue that thinking of musical ethics foregrounds the benefit of rigorous interdisciplinary consideration of music and ethics as an integrated field of inquiry that highlights the intertwining concerns as well as distinctive characteristics of the constituent parts. The chapter closes with an application of our model of musical ethics via an analysis of singer-songwriter Imogen Heap’s hit song “Hide and Seek” before drawing out some of the implications of this work for future research.

Is Music Ethical? For the ancient Greeks, ethics centred on questions about virtue (aretē), human flourishing (eudaimonia), and the nature of the soul. Thus, the question of the relationship between ethics and the arts hinged on the ability of the arts to contribute to virtue or to human flourishing, either for the individual or for society in general. Plato, for example, claimed that music and the arts possess power to influence social morals, and that artistic power needed therefore to be strictly controlled (see Book 2 of Laws, and Books 3 and 10 in Republic; for more on Platonic views on the arts and society see Gallope, “Society,” ch. 42, this volume). Aristotle likewise held a view of music as intrinsically related to moral character and of proper musical training as disposing individuals towards achieving ethical virtues through habituation and practice—though he was markedly less restrictive than Plato in evaluating specific musical practices (see chapters 5–7 in Book 8 of Politics). From a different philosophical tradition, and reflecting aspects of a wider ethical discourse in Chinese society, Confucius promoted the position that dissolute music has the power to influence society negatively and that virtuous music promotes prosocial behaviour. (See ­especially the “Yue Ji” and S. Cook 1995; Higgins 2017 examines Confucius’s vision for an ethically efficacious ritual music.) In much of the long-lived discourse on music and ethics in the Western world that followed Plato’s claim of music’s power to shape moral attitudes, the discussion centred on whether music’s ethical qualities are intrinsic or contextual (that is, a product of the contexts in which music is made and heard, rather than of the music itself). The related

Ethics   285 question of whether certain kinds of music might be said to possess positive ethical qualities, usually interpreted as upholding particular social morals, or negative ones has been perennially prominent. Among the writers who took up these questions were Boethius (c.480–524), Erasmus (1466–1536), and John Case (d. 1600). Kim (2015) argues that through such writers the strong connection between music and ethics developed in Platonic and Aristotelian moral philosophy came to play a key role in shaping Renaissance humanist ideals, reaching a peak in the early modern era. After this period, the idea that music has ethical significance itself came under stringent challenge with the application of Kantian ideas of autonomy to music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This “autonomania” (to use Aaron Ridley’s [2004] term) cast a long shadow over Western philosophy’s engagement with music such that, as Lawrence Kramer notes, the majority Western view in the twentieth century was that “music has or should have a special status beyond good and evil, and not in the Nietzschean sense. Music, and above all Western art music, should not be pestered with ethical questions” (Kramer 2002, 165).

Autonomy and Morality However prevalent such claims for the ethical transcendence of Western art music may have been, the ideological adherence to music’s autonomy from ethics was never complete and in recent years it has been severely criticized. (See McAuley 2020 for an argument outlining the ethical character of nineteenth-century philosophies of music.) In the twentieth century, much of the discussion over music and ethics focused on the relationship between Western art music (particularly the so-called masterpieces of the Western canon) and popular music; a notorious example is Theodor Adorno’s (1976) excoriation of twentieth-century popular and jazz music of the Western world as contributing to moral degeneration. In recent years, Peter Kivy (2009) and Roger Scruton (2014) have also taken up the argument that music not only possesses moral character but that this moral character can, in certain circumstances, rub off on listeners. For Kivy, this capacity is most evident in texted music and is extremely limited in the case of absolute music, while Scruton argues straightforwardly for the moral superiority of the “best” examples of Western art music—especially absolute music—as a means of moral training. Much of Kivy’s and Scruton’s work has been alternately censured and applauded depending on the orientations of their interlocutors, and in surveying the field it is hard to avoid the impression that both sides of this debate fall into well-worn grooves. For example, Damian Cox and Michael Levine’s brief 2016 article critiques Kivy (1990, 2009) in terms already covered in depth by Cobussen and Nielsen (2012) and Warren (2014) without extending those arguments. Cox and Levine’s central proposition, that “although there is no necessary connection between listening to or appreciating music and one’s moral character, the contingent connections are many and various,” is termed

286   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen only “very mildly interesting” by virtue of its widespread acceptance among those who take issue with Kivy’s or Scruton’s arguments (Cox and Levine 2016, n.p.). They conclude, contra Kivy, that “if music enlarges our capacities of emotional empathy (not for everyone, not for all music, and not on all occasions), then it straightforwardly has a role to play in building moral character” (n.p.). Despite the ease with which we might assent to Cox and Levine’s statement, its very innocuousness obscures the fact that asserting music’s potential role in building moral character does not get us very far in understanding how it is that this might come about in musical practice—or, indeed, why this should be seen as significant if we believe that music (apart from any particular instantiation) is itself amoral. Put differently, it is vital to add further substance to such a “very mildly interesting” view if we wish to interrogate music’s capacity to engender and/or emphasize ethical engagement, potential or actual. One alternative to the musical-ethical question of moral character-building is to discuss familiar concepts and challenges in novel, ethically relevant contexts. William Cheng does this in his book Just Vibrations, which grapples with the ethical culture of academic practice in musicology—a culture Cheng describes as full of “paranoid readings,” “dialectical games,” and other injurious intellectual habits that focus on defending the self against critical judgement through appeals to scholarly authority: “sounding good” at the expense of a mature understanding of the “the purpose of sounding good” (Cheng 2016, 5, 8). His call for “a reparative musicology [that] would simultaneously restore love for people and reconstruct the opportunities for care among them” (98) positions the reparative mode of scholarship as the clear ethical option, yet Kate Guthrie (2018) demonstrates that even in Cheng’s own work paranoid and reparative modes of scholarship sit alongside one another. This mutuality renders the ethical distinctions between paranoid and reparative scholarship less clear-cut than Cheng admits. Moreover, it is notable that—despite Cheng’s use of the typical paranoid appeal to authority through the scholarly apparatus of footnotes—his book lacks crossreference to extant relevant music and ethics literature. Given the complexity and malleability of the area, it is perhaps not surprising that Cheng and other studies that touch on music and ethics reveal a tendency to self-define the topic, but the resulting haze over the nature of music and ethics makes durable connections between the two difficult to sustain. Above all, this challenge suggests a continued need to do adequate justice to already existing scholarship on music and ethics through cross-critical scholarly engagement.

Ethics as Social Practice The conflict between conceptions of music as ethically charged and as ethically autonomous has a parallel in more general philosophical theories about the value of art. In general, philosophical positions on the ethical significance of art can be laid out along a spectrum ranging from radical moralism, wherein every moral fault condemns the artwork to failure, to radical autonomism, which holds that the art should not be

Ethics   287 judged by ethical norms but by aesthetic ones. In-between these poles we find articulated positions such as: • “ethicism,” defined by Berys Gaut as the view that “an artwork is aesthetically flawed in so far as it possesses an ethical flaw that is aesthetically relevant” (Gaut 2007, 10); • “moderate moralism,” or the position that “some works of art may be evaluated morally (contra autonomism) and that sometimes the moral defects and/or merits of a work may figure in the aesthetic evaluation of the work” (Carroll 1996, 236); • “ethical autonomism,” which suggests that art is autonomous in that it demands its audience take up an artistic attitude towards it, but also allows for an artwork to be evaluated morally by “art-relevant” criteria (van Gerwen 2004). Matthew Kieran (2003, 2006) stands outside this spectrum by holding that the relationship between a work of art’s ethical flaws or merits and its aesthetic de/merit is contextual and that the cognitive benefit (from which artistic value is derived) may be enhanced by an artwork’s moral defects—hence what is called “contextualism” or “immoral cognitivism.” Others, including Lydia Goehr, are more ambivalent. In Elective Affinities, Goehr maintains that the aesthetic character of art renders its ethical import intrinsically suspect. Focusing on the artistic and musical depiction of violence, Goehr suggests that, despite potential for the arts to generate renewed understanding of the causes and nature of violence, the elevation of “blood into aesthetic transcendence” occasioned by many depictions of violence should make us pause in our bestowal of ethical virtues on art (Goehr 2008, 176). While pausing in the face of problematic elevation can be prudent, this does not entail that such instances should be rendered ethically irrelevant. On the contrary, such challenging encounters could instead serve as potent reminders of the importance of reflecting critically on questionable depictions in art, rather than generalizing about their value and ethical import. While making a similar point, citing thinkers such as Bernard Williams (2007) and Andrew Bowie (2007), Cobussen and Nielsen (2012) argue that constructing a general theory of the relationship between ethics and music is counter-productive. Ethical discourse on music should, they suggest, focus instead on a critical examination of the particular conditions in which ethics is produced in and through engagement with music, for example, the cultural, historical, or social context that has shaped the particular ethically relevant musical encounter. The determination to investigate a musical ethics as something that arises from the social practices of music-making accords with much recent thought in both musicology and philosophy. In musicologically inflected work, one result of this shift towards ethics as emanating from the relational and intersubjective interactions of a performance is the upswing of interest in jazz and other forms of improvised music as important examples in music and ethics (see Benson, “Improvisation,” ch. 21, this volume; Warren 2014). Within philosophically oriented scholarship, the interest in music as an ethically charged activity is often linked to the wider resurgence of interest in the intersection of aesthetics and ethics (see especially Levinson 2008, 2010; Hagberg 2008; Kivy 2009).

288   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen For a few philosophers, music and ethics as a characteristically social practice has also served as a distinct area of study. In her aforementioned The Music of Our Lives, for example, Higgins provides a rationale for music’s ethical significance on the basis of three features: (1) its psychophysiological power to influence a listener’s outlook and behaviour, (2) its ability to develop capacities of value to ethical living, and (3) its capacity to serve in metaphoric and symbolic roles that can assist ethical reflection (Higgins 2011, 114). In a later book, The Music Between Us, Higgins extends this ethical significance to the core of what it is to be human, claiming that “by enabling us to feel our interconnection as human beings, music can help to make us more humane” (Higgins 2012, 2). Similarly, Martha Nussbaum has suggested that music’s capacity to help us feel emotions makes it a potentially valuable means for acknowledging our human vulnerability (Nussbaum 2003, 249–295). This recognition of vulnerability then leads to greater understanding of our relationships with others and our shared humanity. By placing the fullness of humanity at the core of their theories, these neo-Aristotelian philosophers demonstrate the continued relevance of ideas of well-being and virtue to engaging with intersections between music and ethics in the twenty-first century. Within music studies, the idea that music has ethical import drives other kinds of musical thought that are less closely related to philosophy, including, for example, explorations of music as individually therapeutic or as having healing or educational properties for society in music therapy and music psychology (Ansdell and DeNora  2012; Campbell  1997; DeNora  2013; Hallam, Cross, and Thaut  2009). Meanwhile, music education scholars have written on the capacity of music to provide opportunities for ethical development (Woodford 2005) or as a means of extending ethical criticism into new areas of music studies (Richerme 2017). Although few scholars would borrow Plato’s language to say that participation in the arts is a means of training the soul, the recent incorporation of music-making into larger measures of societal well-being through the funding of community arts or health schemes in the UK and elsewhere reflect the continuing conviction that the arts—or at least some art forms— can promote positive, ethically inflected social outcomes. The commitment to tracing a social ethics of music has been especially prevalent within ethnomusicology, where the long-standing attentiveness to music as a social and cultural phenomenon has prioritized such investigations (for two recent examples see Rommen  2007 and Skinner  2015). Moreover, unlike the relatively patchy scholarly engagement between music and ethical practices in the areas we have discussed so far, ethnomusicologists have been active in articulating an ethics of practice in the academic sphere (see, for example, the Society for Ethnomusicology’s (1998) “Position Statement on Ethics”). The prominence of ethical issues within ethnomusicology can be partly explained by the nature of ethnomusicological fieldwork. Most obviously, the intensely personal nature of participant-observation immediately raises ethical concerns surrounding the treatment of collaborators and informants. Other long-standing issues in the field include the ethics of documentation, preservation, and attribution of performances or other data. (See Shelemay 1999, 2013, and Slobin 1992 for overviews of ethical issues in ethnomusicology.) Furthermore, ethical discourses in ethnomusicology are

Ethics   289 strongly shaped by the concept of cultural relativism, and by the widespread acknowledgement that ethical issues and values, including what constitutes ethical scholarly behaviour, are culturally specific. In recent years, this concern with ethical research behaviour has extended to discussions over the ethical relationship of the scholar to her material outside the boundaries of the research field, with many ethnomusicologists expressing interest in what has been termed “activist” or “applied” ethnomusicology, or how to put “ethnomusicological scholarship, knowledge, and understanding to practical use” in ways that are “guided by ethical principles of social responsibility, human rights, and cultural and musical equity” (Titon 2015, 4). This circuit of different approaches to music and ethics brings us back to the central studies by Warren and by Cobussen and Nielsen. Warren takes his cue from the broader area of musical meaning, approaches meanings as experienced, and seeks—for example by engaging with improvisation and musical ownership—to account for “how musical experience creates encounters with others that lead to ethical responsibilities” (Warren 2014, 3). This relies on a discourse of Self and Other strongly influenced by the work of Emmanuel Levinas. In the case of Cobussen and Nielsen, the framework they propose rests heavily on the “ethics of ” approach, more specifically “an ethics of listening.” To that effect, and contrary to much recent analytical philosophy, Music and Ethics offers a methodological move from doing something to an object to considering the perceiving subject. The ethics proposed remains in a space between the perceiver and the perceived, in a constant state of becoming. The focus is on a state of being (-in-the-world), a kind of sonic sensibility that is inherently alert to ethical issues and relations. This involves a move in which the alertness and power rest with the perceiving subject, rather than the perceived object: music is experienced. At the same time that the methodology opens up a space founded on an awareness of subject position and possibilities, the approach tallies with the ideas about ethics as a social practice presented here, as it includes consideration of intersubjectivity: musical experience is not solitary, but involves a range of others (other bodies, other minds, whether imagined or real). Furthermore, the ethical engagement proposed in Music and Ethics is not simply a (Levinasian) passive undertaking, but a critical engagement alert to music that “demands the responsible and responsive engagement of critical agents who commit themselves to explanation” (Cobussen and Nielsen 2012, 155).

Conceptual Challenges in Music and Ethics When assessing current thought on music and ethics, one issue that becomes apparent is the conceptual challenge inherent in dealing with the field. An example can be found in Michael Gallope’s Deep Refrains (2017), which ties together ethical prescriptions for music offered by thinkers as distinct as Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, Vladimir Jankélévitch, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari. A central aspect of the investigation is the fundamentally

290   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen ethical question of how to determine which music best exemplifies the “paradox of the ineffable,” in which music appears both sensuously immediate and yet always mediated. The variety of thought with which Gallope engages ensures that “ethics” remains a fluid conceptual entity, employed variously as “a modernist ethics” (Gallope 2017, 246), “a materialist ethics of creativity” (19), an “ethics of temporal inconsistency” (219), and— more confusingly—“an attentive ethics to musical forms” (28). This occasionally gives the impression of a conceptual array lacking in-depth explanation, but it gives rise to a multiple ethics of production and composition through which, Gallope argues, we might probe music’s paradox of ineffability. There is much to commend here, yet despite the richness of the shifting perspectives on offer, we are not, in the end, left any clearer about how the relationship between music and ethics might be conceived, nor how these ethics of production or composition might relate to a musical ethics of relation or experience (for more on this see Abbate and Gallope, “The Ineffable (and Beyond),” ch. 36, this volume). To avoid the numerous pitfalls related to this kind of conceptual fluidity, in this chapter we recognize that the term “ethics” remains fundamentally resistant to precise definitions, and so we do not attempt to define it, but rather to explain and understand the concept in the context in which it is being employed. Because it can mean different things in different contexts, reflecting the breadth of conceptions of good and evil, “ethics” is similar to the term “music” which—especially if left unexplained—could potentially refer to a wide range of genres, works, and/or sound-based sensory experience and activity. The fundamental haziness of music and ethics has been compounded by a general preoccupation of both philosophers and musicologists with elucidating specific limit cases, rather than exploring the everyday situations involving music wherein many of the ethical situations to which music might speak are raised. Thus, Higgins suggests that “what philosophical ethics needs is a model of the ethical situation that allows for an open-minded imaginative approach to resolving ethical tensions” (Higgins 2011, 172). It is her contention that music offers such a model, yet she does not explore fully what this might signify. Meanwhile, numerous articles and monographs have been published on the ethics of specific musical practices or scholarly activities with little attention to the wider implications of music and ethics (see, among others, Perullo  2019; Rommen  2007; Skinner  2015; Smith 2010; Wells 2016). With this in mind, and while building on the approaches we have presented above, we now seek to bring together the abstract and the concrete elements of music and ethics by exploring one potential model that casts light on ethical situations and tensions found in our everyday musical experiences of listening and performing.

Towards a Consensual Model of Musical Ethics The foregoing review of previous literature reveals a need for an approach to music and ethics that adequately reflects both the multifaceted nature of musical experience and the contextual richness of ethics. Such an approach would bring together the concerns

Ethics   291 that have dominated the arguments surrounding music and ethics both as a field of inquiry and as a topic, but it would also move beyond current debates in the field to argue for a connection between music and ethics that is far more robust than Cox and Levine’s (2016) “very mildly interesting view”. To this end, in what follows, we begin by making a series of claims regarding the ethical import of music. Building from these, we set out the key components of one novel framework for music and ethics—which we will coin as a musical ethics—before exploring in some detail some of its characteristics. The first of these claims is that music’s primary ethical significance lies in its ability to bring participants into a fuller understanding of, and engagement with, humanity—to make us, in essence, more humane. This has echoes of Classical Greek understandings of virtue ethics, and it draws strongly on the tradition of neo-Aristotelian ethics and aesthetics as developed by Higgins and Nussbaum, amongst others. The second claim is that in order to represent adequately the ethical function of music, we should consider the features of music that distinguish it from other artistic endeavours (for example, its uniquely temporal, immersive nature). Many of these characteristics have been largely overlooked in previous literature on both music and ethics, while others have not previously been taken to be relevant to music as an ethical phenomenon. Finally, we postulate the following characteristics as contributing to music’s ethical potential:

1) A capacity for a complex and shared meaning-making that mitigates against constructing musical agents or activities as autonomous; 2) A capacity to connect mind and body both within the individual and amongst individuals; 3) A capacity for flexible constructions of ethical meanings that emerge as part of listening and performance and that can contribute to shared social patterns of ethical behaviour; 4) A capacity for suturing these ethical habits into everyday practice.

Fundamental to our endeavour is a desire to develop an open-minded and imaginative method that both positions music as an area of importance for philosophical ethics and asserts the value of rigorous engagement with ethics for music studies. This necessitates a contribution to the scholarly language of music and ethics that corresponds to the ethical fervour of everyday musical discourse and can provide a starting point for the crossfertilization of these fields of thought. We term our contribution a consensual model of musical ethics. To begin with the final component of our method’s title, why a musical ethics as opposed to, for example, ethical music or an ethics of music (or indeed, a music of ethics)? In part this stems from a desire to preserve a relationship of parity between the terms ethics and music even as we assert a strong bidirectional relationship between the two. To speak of an ethical music would seem to define the model in terms of moralist or formalist critiques of particular music genres or practices, while ethics of music partakes in the same Cartesian subject–object divide characteristic of various “philosophy

292   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen of x” subdisciplines recognized by Andrew Bowie (2007, see also his essay on “Making Sense,” ch. 41, this volume). Rather than using ethical principles to evaluate music as an object, exploring the ethical practices, encounters, critical responses, and modes of thinking generated in and through the musical experience can provide new insight. With a nod to the concept of Gibsonian affordances—in short, those aspects of experience which “[cut] across the dichotomy of subjective–objective” and that “[point] both ways, to the environment and to the observer” (Gibson 1979, 129)—our focus is on the possibilities for action and reflection that emerge at the nexus of music and ethics. Thus, to speak of a musical ethics indicates our concern not only with how musical experiences give rise to ethically laden situations but also with the ways in which ethics is experienced, understood, and acted upon through musical engagement. Likewise, the choice of the term model to describe this approach is deliberate, for a model can be thought of both as something that precedes a fully-fledged exploration (for example, a schematic diagram) and something that provides an opportunity to enact theoretical principles (for example, a prototype). Moreover, a model is something that can be tweaked, developed, and aspired to (though not necessarily reached). Accordingly, this proposal is not intended as a limit case, but as a guide for the future. As a model, this approach is flexible and inclusive, yet it is also theoretically robust and grounded in phenomenological experience. Finally, by using the term consensual to describe the type of musical ethics under discussion we position ourselves as fundamentally engaged with the human elements of musical ethics. In this usage, the term primarily indicates two linked characteristics of music that have implications for human ethics. The first is music’s ability to contribute to individual and/or collective identity formation; the second, its characteristic capacity for organizing our shared sensory perceptions in concert. Together, this is the sense of feeling together (con-sens).2 Both of these areas of music’s “visceral pedagogy” (Landsberg 2004) will be dealt with in greater detail later on in this chapter, but for the moment let us point out that feeling together in this way contributes to what we have claimed as the primary ethical function of music: namely, its making us more humane by revealing, enacting, and promoting the feeling of ethical responsibilities and sensibilities towards ourselves and one another. In addition to this primary usage is a secondary sense (perhaps the more familiar) in which we use consensual; namely, that of negotiated agreement. By including this sense in our understanding of consensuality, we acknowledge that ethical systems are both built on a negotiated process of social agreement and that they inevitably contain tensions between differing conceptions of the good. A consensual musical ethics is not the sum of individual ethical stances (communal ethics); nor is it the lowest common ethical denominator (collective ethics); nor is it necessarily one in which everyone agrees on the ethical significance of any particular experience. Rather, consensual indicates a tolerance for a wide range of responses both within any given instance of performance or listening and across multiple instances. This fundamentally both/and approach will inform our subsequent application of this model.

Ethics   293 In developing this model we address some of the shortcomings of previous attempts within the field. For example, while we acknowledge that music tends to privilege certain forms of (musical) interaction that have ethical implications, many former studies have focused on explicating this almost exclusively in the context of jazz and improvisation studies (Hagberg  2008 and “Jazz,” ch. 29, this volume; Higgins  2011, 7; Levinson 2015; Warren 2014, 89–120). There is concomitant focus on the jazz performer or ensemble that—while redressing the historic imbalance of interest in the composer in Western art music—neglects to include the audience as actively engaged participants in the musical experience. By expanding the pool of stakeholders to include all participants in a given performance, our suggested approach offers a broader base for assessment. This model also critiques the over-reliance on ideas of listening and Levinasian Otherness that have provided much of the argumentative grist in music and ethics. While ideas of receptive empathy and intellectual openness as a result of music listening may be immediately attractive, we question whether these comparatively passive phenomena can form an adequate basis for a musical ethics. In counterpoint to the demands of intersubjectivity, we insist on an active component of listening as part of the formation of subjectivity, whether this takes the form of an active appreciation (Kramer 2002, 172–173) or an imaginative engagement (Schellekens 2007; Cobussen and Nielsen 2012). The result of this active encounter is empowerment: an increase in one’s capacity for expression and creativity. In positive cases, this formation enables us to approach ourselves and one another more ethically. One further aspect is the idea of musical ethics as operative in our everyday interactions with music. In terms of music’s ethical import, we are concerned with the slow building of ethical attitudes, or what we will later discuss under the category of ethical intuitions. This focus allows us to dispense with the concerns over so-called absolute music’s lack of specific propositional content; moreover, it more accurately reflects the most common ways in which contemporary listeners (especially, though not exclusively, in the industrialized West) experience music—that is, as emotionally charged background to other activities. (For recent studies on listening habits see García Quiñones, Kassabian, and Boschi  2013; Kassabian  2013; Sloboda, O’Neill, and Ivaldi 2001.) The acknowledgement of music as a contributor to (but not necessarily a determining factor in) our ethical lives also guards against grandiosity or unsupported optimism about music’s power. Finally, a consensual musical ethics rejects the rigid pronouncements of some formalist thought (for example, Kivy 2009 or Scruton 1997 and 2014), but it does not dismiss what might be termed formalist ethics, or the idea that ethics can emerge from an encounter with musical forms and structures; in fact, it suggests that phenomenological observations and reported experience can be grounded in musical structures. In investigating how the particular can be productively related to the general, a consensual musical ethics takes a holistic view of the subject. In what follows, we unfold five attributes of this framework.

294   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen

Characteristics of Consensual Musical Ethics Relational. The first characteristic of the consensual model of musical ethics is that it is relational. In its essence, relationality asserts that things have meaning not in and of themselves but in relationship to other things. This concept has become familiar within music studies from its incorporation into the approach known as relational musicology (Born 2010; N. Cook 2012), but it also has a clear link to Nicholas Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics (2002), which suggests that certain forms of contemporary art hinge on the interpersonal encounters they engender amongst their audiences. To think about relationality in the context of ethics and music is not to collapse into either moral relativism or autonomism; rather, it captures one sense in which ethics has always to do with our relations, to ourselves and to others. If the fundamental question of ethics is how we (as individuals in groups and societies) become such that we may live well with others, the relationship of the self and other is key to our ethical understanding. As Bourriaud puts it, “the role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realities, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real” (Bourriaud 2002, 13). Previous research on music and ethics has frequently engaged with questions of interpersonal encounter. Garry Hagberg (2008), for example, lists activities such as “acknowledging the autonomy of others” and “respecting individuality” as key varieties of ethical interaction in jazz. These virtues of relationship are modelled by the musical characteristics of jazz styles, particularly the give-and-take nature of alternating solos and choruses and the productive tension between individual freedom and collective responsibility in improvisation. As Hagberg’s list of virtues suggests, however, this is predicated on a conception of the subject as autonomous and of the ethical function of music as an encounter with an Other. Without denying the richness of this account, a relational approach to subjectivity would acknowledge the multiplicity of formative influences on any given subject, from cultural norms to personal histories that render subjectivity itself subject to alteration and contingency. Intuitive. The next characteristic is drawn from social psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Craig Joseph’s concept of intuitive ethics. Haidt and Joseph suggest that cultural virtues are linked to patterns of intuitions, and that human beings across cultures share an “innate preparedness to feel flashes of approval or disapproval” towards certain events or behaviours (Haidt and Joseph 2004, 56). These intuitions are crucial for the development of virtues within specific cultural contexts. In Haidt and Joseph’s argument, moral maturity consists in “achieving a comprehensive attunement to the world, a set of highly sophisticated sensitivities embodied in the individual virtues” (62). They make the point that these intuitive patterns develop below the level of conscious awareness, and caution that the social construction of virtues in different cultures means that societies can develop differing moral systems atop shared patterns. In the context of music, acknowledging the possibilities of similarity and difference in this way is especially pertinent when discussing music from outside the paradigm of Western art music and it offers one way of countering the argument that ethics as a discipline is fundamentally (and inescapably) bound up in Western intellectual traditions.

Ethics   295 In addition, the emphasis that thinking about intuitive ethics places on the development of ethical skills, or the gradual improvement of one’s ethical comprehension, offers a valuable nuance to the argument for music as an ethically significant practice. If cultural activities have a key role to play in developing our ethical intuitions, then musical practices can be seen as one of those activities in which we learn (even if subconsciously) what constitutes a good person. This extends James O. Young’s (1999) argument that the arts have cognitive value due to their potential for immediate demonstration via interpretative or affective representation and Jeanette Bicknell’s (2002) suggestion that music’s representations of aesthetic ideas in sound stimulate mental activity in listeners by claiming that music is a semantically dense, contentful experience in which intuitive flashes of ethical approval or disapproval may be iteratively experienced. These features point to how music’s capacity for engagement and articulation extends beyond any alleged propositional content, and tally with recent emphases on music’s crucial worlddisclosive properties when discussing the dangers inherent in trying to focus on music’s language-like properties and reduce it to semantics (for example, Bowie 2007). When both music and language are considered part and parcel of human practice, as powerful articulations of being-in-the-world, it is possible to do justice to accounting for the ways in which they engage and influence us. Music’s subconscious influence on human behaviour has gained traction among researchers in music psychology and cognitive science: witness studies such as Clarke, DeNora, and Vuoskoski (2015, 20), which demonstrates “narrow but ‘hard-nosed’ evidence” that exposure to music from different cultures can positively influence unconscious empathic responses to cultural others. Nevertheless, the reality that music’s capacity for increasing social division is equally as powerful as its capacity for increasing affiliation means that for researchers in philosophical ethics, thinking about ethics as intuitive prompts us to ask what ethical patterns are being developed in a given experience—and, perhaps more urgently, what conception of the good is being promulgated. Moreover, considering the intuitive aspects of ethics raises the point that it is not only “the seeming universality of ‘humanly organized sounds’ used to heighten and inspire the signal features and events of human and cultural life” (Higgins 2011, 114) that makes music ethically noteworthy; rather, music’s very ubiquity provides repeated opportunities for individuals to be exposed to situations where Haidt and Joseph’s ethically significant “flashes of approval and disapproval” are developed. Thus, by including music’s innate ephemerality alongside the iterative character of much modern listening, we can better evaluate music as ethically formative. The cumulative impact of this exposure is that music can shape our moral imaginations as well as serve as an expression of the intuitive ethical patterns developed by a society. Embodied. Not only is music first and foremost an experience, it is also to a great extent an embodied experience. As mentioned above, Higgins considers music’s psychophysiological power to influence a listener’s outlook and behaviour to be a feature which affords music its ethical capacity. When listening to music, we become aware of ourselves as embodied beings and become engaged physically, for example through feeling inspired to move, to sing along, or simply to breathe more consciously. Music reminds

296   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen us of our bodily engagement, of our capacity to immerse ourselves physically, and thereby enhances our sense of vitality. “Music, simultaneously engaging our physical, emotional, and intellectual receptivities, makes us feel fully alive” (Higgins 2011, 121). While activating and strengthening our sense of being human, the embodied, felt aspect of musical engagement deepens our sense of physically being-in-the-world both as individual and social selves.3 And as we sense our physical being through music and experience-embodied immersion, we can also sense those aspects of dynamism and vulnerability inherent in feeling alive that can contribute to ethical reflection and engagement. The embodied characteristic of the model can be illuminated further by considering recent “4E” approaches within cognitive science in which the mind is embodied, embedded, extended, and enacted: human consciousness emerges through our embodied experience of our surroundings, it is embedded in our social and cultural existence, it thereby extends out into the world, and is manifested as we enact our relationship with and in it. These approaches thus suggest that cognition is shaped by dynamic interactions between the brain, the body, and physical and social environments (see, for example, Krueger 2019 and Herbert, Clarke, and Clarke 2019). Part of this shaping happens by a process of “mental offloading”: once we “transfer” cognitive information into our physical surroundings we engage in such offloading. Examples include tilting our heads to perceive a rotated image, or putting information into our memory-supporting smartphone such that we receive a reminder of an upcoming event. The mental offloading in turn enables novel ways in which the mind is subsequently influenced by this new mode of engagement, potentially affording new forms of thought and experience. Considering musical engagement and experience as fundamentally embodied allows for the possibilities of mental transformation that can occur through listening and/or performing. In accounting for the materiality of musical encounters, Joel Krueger argues that music can serve as a tool for offloading in a similar way as other tools and technologies. Via this offloading, “music can (at least potentially) scaffold access to new forms of thought, experience, and behaviour” (Krueger 2019, 55). While Krueger is concerned with music’s ability to scaffold emotional consciousness, the consensual model of musical ethics interrogates the ethical aspects of such scaffolding. While enabling us to feel human—and thereby augmenting our ethical capacity—music might scaffold access to new forms of thought, experience, and behaviour that offer insight into how to live well with ourselves and others. Emergent. Music is necessarily experienced in time: its progressions in tones, rhythm, form, and so on are dependent on beginnings, endings, and durations. The consensual model of musical ethics is subsequently both time-dependent and timesensitive. It is emergent in the sense that it is in a state of constant becoming, continually constructed through dynamic negotiation among various agents and contexts. Music can draw us into the present to the extent that the series of musical “nows” experienced makes us forget “external” time entirely. As it takes hold of our attention, we become emergent beings, held, captured, and guided through a state of

Ethics   297 immersive transformation: we can emerge from a listening experience feeling different, uplifted perhaps, or ignited, vulnerable, or sad. The transient experience of music can make us long for a repetition and we press play again to experience the same transformative embodied immersion (or at least one that is similar to what we’ve just encountered). Music appears to be more than simply an “image of time” (Langer 1967): it seems actively to offer a new kind of time-consciousness through which our sense of humanity can be affected and transformed. Crucially, music’s temporality enhances our awareness that we are social beings: it “engages our primitive sense of being temporal beings; and this temporal dimension is a basis for experiencing music as social” (Higgins 2011, 126). Connecting us to our social context through a shared experience of time, music offers a sense of belonging that draws us out of our individual sphere and into a social encounter of value for ethical living. The consensual model of musical ethics is sensitive to both individual and social aspects of musical experience, and seeks to develop insights into the extent to which music’s emergent attribute has ethical import. Practice-oriented: Finally, a consensual ethics is based in musical praxis. This phrase has multiple implications.4 First, it suggests that as a method, consensual ethics is concerned with investigating musical practices—that is, how people use music, whether as listeners, performers, composers, and so on. In focusing on the everyday doing or making of music (what Christopher Small [1998] terms “musicking”), this guards against an overly abstracted reification of music, but it simultaneously calls for reflexivity on the part of researchers in musical ethics. How do the particular emphases of consensual ethics allow us to interrogate our own processes of engaging with music? Taking a cue from ethnomusicology, how might a consensual ethics help us reflect on our lives and work (and those of others) in and with music? In addition to a focus on specific practices, praxis also has another implication that links it to the musico-ethical thought of ancient Greek philosophy—namely that it refers to the act of doing something or engaging with a situation in a way that combines contemplation (theoria) with knowledge. (For more on the ethical implications of the practical knowledge known in Aristotle as phronēsis, see Benson’s chapter on “Improvisation,” ch. 21, this volume.) Thinking about musico-ethical praxis encourages us to make connections between the general and the particular through close engagement with the substance and context of the music that permeates our everyday experience. We have claimed that the primary ethical function of music is to make us more humane by revealing, enacting, and promoting the feeling of ethical responsibilities and sensibilities towards ourselves and one another. Our construction of a consensual musical ethics is intended to cast light on ethical situations and tensions found in everyday musical experiences: it is a response to Higgins’s suggestion that music offers a model useful for philosophical ethics, a model that encourages an open-minded, imaginative approach to resolving ethical tensions. By outlining specific areas in which music as a relational, intuitive, embodied, emergent, and practice-oriented activity may be said to interact with ethics, we posit a consensual musical ethics as an opportunity for revealing new facets of musico-ethical situations.

298   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen With these tenets in mind, the question naturally becomes how, then, might our framework of a consensual musical ethics work in practice? In the spirit of application and reflective action, we now turn to a small-scale case study of the indie singer-songwriter Imogen Heap and her song “Hide and Seek” (2005), to explore what the song might offer in terms of ethical engagement.5 In keeping with the holistic nature of our investigation to this point, we consider the song’s sound, performing context, and reception in terms of the key aspects of our framework.

A Consensual Musical Ethics of “Hide and Seek” “Hide and Seek” was released in 2005 as the first single from Heap’s second studio album Speak for Yourself. Since then, it has become her most popular song, appearing in numerous television show soundtracks and multiple remixes, as well as being prominently sampled in Jason Derulo’s debut (and Billboard-topping) single “Whatcha Say” (2009). In this analysis, we reference three separate contexts for the song: the studio album recording, the 2005 music video directed by Joel Peissing, and a live version performed in Oslo in September 2018. Although each of these highlights different aspects of the music and of Heap’s performance, considering these versions of the song in concert with each other gives a fuller picture of the multifarious ways the song may be experienced. We begin on the level of sound and spatial design. Prior to considering any other text or context, “Hide and Seek” offers a poignant example of the relational aspect of the model in that it provides a powerful invitation to both subjective and intersubjective interaction. On the question of subjectivity, this is signalled most powerfully by the total dominance of the voice as the signifier of a body and a consciousness (see, among others, Dolar 2006). From the outset, Heap’s voice assumes an intimate proximity by being centrally located in the sonic mix, yet despite this staged centrality, the voice’s implication of a single subject is denied by the artist’s technological extension and multiplication of her voice into a multilayered haze, in which the “real” voice is often nearly subsumed. The result is a unique kind of immersion in which the sounded closeness of the multiplied voice to the listener is intense and haunting, demanding undivided attention.6 It is first and foremost this spatial design that determines the listener’s involvement, regardless of the lyrics. The intersubjective relationship thus operates on at least two distinct levels: amongst the many iterations of Heap’s voice, and between the listener and the multiplied subjectivity implied by the music. The sound design of this song is an instructive example of what we might term “relational sound” partly because the manipulation of the voice through the vocoder enhances the expression of Heap’s subjectivity through what she has called “a choir of many-mes” (Heap  2014a), and partly because the sound of the voice

Ethics   299 engages the listener in a very specific, s­ ubjectivity-shaping way. In a September 2018 interview with Nanette Nielsen, Heap explained her take on the importance of the voice, saying: Because it is just the voice, I think that’s what draws people in: there’s very little else there, and it is just the voice. It finds your place in there, that’s the core of how we are our voices. There’s something very human and close about it, and I think that—in the noise of the planet—that’s what cuts through. It’s just the simplicity and the bareness of the voice.  (Heap 2018)

If the sonic design is crucial to the subjective immersion the song offers, it is perhaps not surprising that—apart from the words “hide and seek” and possibly the opening phrase “where are we”—composing the music preceded the writing of the lyrics (Heap 2018). Nevertheless, the invitation to a shared subjectivity via the sound design is only magnified by the first words: “where are we.” If attentive to the lyrics, the listener is immediately guided towards a shared experience: it is “we,” not “you” or “I” who is driving the song. And as is familiar from childhood, “Hide and Seek” is not a solitary game. The ­reiteration of such questions as “where are we?” and “what the hell is going on?” as the opening lines in every performance also indicates the emergent character of this sonic meaning-making. Despite the initial familiarity of the titular “Hide and Seek” image, the lyrics of the song are arrestingly cryptic and open up possibilities for relational meaning on several levels. There is deliberate mystique surrounding what the song is about: fans have offered several interpretations, none of which is—according to Heap—the “right” one. (For an example, see Fenzel 2010.) When asked in interview whether she holds the key to the ultimate meaning of the song, she answers with an immediate “of course.” She keeps it hidden for personal reasons, but at the same time recognizes that the mystique makes the song very powerful: It’s a very deeply personal song, and as a result, [and with] people still being alive, I want it to remain private. It also has so much more strength in the world without people knowing what it’s about, because it gives space for the individual to breathe their own meaning into it.  (Heap 2018)

On the evening of the 2018 interview, Heap offered a further small hint in concert when introducing “Little Bird” (2009), saying: “this song is about the same people as ‘Hide and Seek’ is about. That’s all I’m going to say.” Thirteen years after the release of the song, the relational meaning of “Hide and Seek” is alive and well, neatly protected and still very powerful. (For more on the relationship between private experience and public performance in indie music see Phillips-Hutton 2018b.) Adding to this invitation to intersubjective engagement for the listener, Heap’s fans have been actively encouraged to share their personal experience of the song. Prior to a concert held at the Camden Roundhouse in London as part of the Reverb

300   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen festival curated by Heap in August 2014, fans were met with the following posting on Heap’s blog: How do you relate to Hide and Seek? A place or a person, a meeting or memory? What comes to mind when you hear this song? Immi wants to connect to your experiences with this precious song of hers, live onstage.  (Heap 2014b)

Following this message, fans were then invited to share their photos on Twitter and Instagram using particular hashtags with the aim that the photos might appear “with Imogen” during her performance of the song. By weaving together these interpretations as part of a live performance, “Hide and Seek” demonstrates how music offers opportunities to make and remake meaning as new associations emerge in the course of every performance. Taken together, these aspects contribute to making the meaning of “Hide and Seek” both inherently relational and emergent: the fans assume ownership of the song through the experience of a secret which keeps them guessing at the same time that it opens up an opportunity for them to infuse the song with thoughts, experiences, and memories of their own. Relational meaning reminds us of what it is to be human and thereby enhances our awareness of the extent of our ethical capacity: it provides a space within which we encounter ourselves and others, where we can reflect on interconnections, sense that we are not alone, and understand that our intersubjective relationships matter. In the case of “Hide and Seek,” relations are formed through the sonic design as well as through other facets of its construction such as its lyrics and the formation of secrecy surrounding its meaning. Another aspect of contemporary musical practice that highlights what it is to be human is our ever-deepening encounter with technology. In “Hide and Seek,” we are met with a sonically rich and highly effective technological manipulation of that most human of expressions: the voice. When subjected to “the choir of many-mes,” the listener becomes acutely aware of the manipulation, which is at the same time both enticing and disturbing: it appears empowering while clearly being beyond what is humanly possible. The precision of the sounded words in both pitch and time enhances the experience of Heap’s plural and extended subjectivity: it is not a robotic encounter, but rather one that augments the sound of something human, musical, and familiar. To that extent, despite its technical perfection, the polished focus is not a clinical reduction of sound; it is an encounter that—through being musical—presents the listener with an augmented humanity. Furthermore, the song’s technically-infused control is offset by the softly humane fragility of Heap’s non-manipulated voice during the refrains as she carefully navigates the higher registers above the choir of “many-mes”: this only augments the powerful meeting between technology and humanity in the song. Through the manipulation of the voice in “Hide and Seek,” we encounter both the embodied and the emergent aspects of the consensual model of musical ethics. The closeness and tightly harmonic and controlled configuration of the voice(s) invites a “felt” listening, a dynamic embodied engagement with the vocal sound structures at play. Crucial to the embodied experience is that the first thing presented to the listener is

Ethics   301 not the sounded voice, but the sounded breath: the song begins on an inhale, setting the stage for the “many-mes.” As choir singers will know, nothing is as alerting and engaging as the sound of an inhalation: here we begin, here we sync our joint participation.7 Heap had never concentrated on breaths when mixing before, but “Hide and Seek” was different: after the initial demo recording, the “foregrounded breathing” was deliberately written into the mix of the song: I couldn’t do the breaths better. I’d never really focused on breaths before, but you’ve only got singing and breath, you’ve only got melody and space. I used the original demo breaths and spliced them in. It just had something about it . . . If I had lyrics, I would have left the vocals there ’cause they were nice too. But I didn’t have lyrics. The breaths I spliced in as much as I could, so mostly the space was left in from the original demo.  (Heap 2018)

If the result of the foregrounding of breathing is a very effective invitation to embodied immersive listening, the (related) sense of space in “Hide of Seek” is no less important, and emphasizes the song’s emergent aspect, i.e., the way in which it appears to project a particular engagement with time. Part of the “immersive strength” of the song is the space it affords to breathing and to phrasing, enabling a uniquely absorbed listening experience. When asked about the tempo of the song, Heap laments how many remixes of the song have failed to get it right. At the same time that the tempo is challenging for other performers to get right, however, this observation testifies to Heap’s own, innately felt, sense of time in “Hide and Seek.” Tellingly, Heap did not use a metronome when recording and continues to perform the song without one. As she said in our interview: “I didn’t have a click [track], I didn’t have anything. And that’s unusual for me” (Heap 2018). If the sense of time in “Hide and Seek” were potentially fundamentally bound up with an embodied sense of breathing, it would contribute to the time-sensitive flow and engagement the song is capable of projecting to its listener. From this short description of some of the pertinent aspects of “Hide and Seek” as performed by Heap we can begin to engage with the kinds of ethical questions that it raises. For example, what patterns or intuitions does the experience of listening and participating with Heap develop in her audience? As the song continues to receive countless performances (both live and recorded), how do the iterated invitations to participate in relational, emergent, and embodied experience contribute to the formation of ethical attitudes? If the embodied experience of breathing or singing together (as exemplified in the opening to “Hide and Seek”) can be seen as a small-scale, but ethically significant, moment of enactment of community, what kinds of ethical communication might be enacted in the practice of these performances? Taken together, while augmenting our sense of being human, the aspects of the song covered “scaffold” new forms of thought, experience, and (potentially) behaviour that offer insight into how to live well with ourselves and others. Presenting “Hide and Seek” as a particular example is not to claim that it is somehow unique: we are not hereby suggesting that these aspects are not potentially present in most, or even all, music. Instead, we wish to argue that developing the skills

302   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen for teasing out these ethical characteristics is crucial if we wish to offer a deeper understanding of musical ethics.

Imagining the Human: Implications of Musical Ethics By thinking about musical ethics as relational we are better able to evaluate the interpersonal encounters music engenders, fosters, allows, and sometimes demands; we are also able to evaluate the relational contexts in which the musical encounter occurs. Thinking about musical ethics as embodied sensitizes us to the effects that immersive listening has on individuals, as well as the effects that performances have on bodies, whether those of performers or of audiences. Recognizing that musical ethics is emergent might prompt us to ask how performance and listening contribute to the temporal colouring of our lives and our sense of feeling human. Thinking about musical ethics as intuitive invites us to consider what habits of subconscious feeling towards oneself and others a performance or listening might promote, or what flashes of approval or disapproval are prepared by these musical engagements and suggested to listeners. To view musical ethics as praxis is a characteristic at the very core of the model, one that nurtures a balancing of the general and the particular through close, critical engagement with our everyday musical encounters. It is our hope that all of the characteristics in the model together contribute to a reflective action, leading to—as Higgins calls for—further imaginative encounters that may help to unveil and to resolve ethical challenges and tensions. A key tenet of the consensual model of musical ethics is that it seeks to cast light upon one of our main claims, namely that music’s primary ethical significance lies in its ability to offer participants significant insights into what being human is all about.8 Our model lays forth an ambition for an everyday ethics in which our interaction with music is an active engagement, an empowering encounter that enables us to approach each other more ethically, to live well with ourselves and others. A central challenge for future research in music and ethics will be to keep up with what it means to be human in a fastdeveloping, technologically dominated, and environmentally challenged world and to explore the extent to which musical engagement and understanding can contribute to making us more humane, continually shaping the fullness of humanity.

Notes 1. This work was partially supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence scheme, project number 262762. 2. The French term sens has been the focus of a significant amount of philosophical inquiry. Jacques Rancière discusses it as signifying at once “sense,” “meaning,” and “direction” in developing his theory of the sensible (Tanke 2011, 3). Despite qualms about attributing to art an ethical function in the manner of Jean-François Lyotard, Rancière nonetheless

Ethics   303 asserts that imagination—and art as its source—is a means for transforming the sensible (Tanke 2011, 150–155). Other scholars who focus on sens include Jean-Luc Nancy for whom it is indicative of a longing for resonant, shared meaning (Nancy 2007), and Jairo Moreno and Gavin Steingo, who investigate sens in terms of an audible making of the political (Moreno and Steingo 2012). 3. For more on the implications of musical embodiment as a means of knowledge transfer and witness creation, see Phillips-Hutton 2018a. 4. Although it originates with Aristotle, praxis has been a recurring concept of interest in philosophy. Important twentieth-century writings include Arendt 1958; Freire 2006; and Gramsci 2011. 5. “Hide and Seek” appeared on Heap’s second album Speak for Yourself. Recordings are widely available, while the music video can be viewed on YouTube: watch?v=UYIAfiVGluk (accessed July 16, 2019). 6. For more on how sound design influences listener perception see Dibben  2006 and Lacasse 2001. 7. Despite the necessity for synced breathing in choral music, such inhalations are normally erased from recordings; in pop music, sounded examples of inhalations are likewise rare, though one can be heard in “I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga (2018). An instrumental example that might be seen as analogous is the opening to the slow movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet in F major, Op. 135. 8. Throughout this chapter we have focused the human side of ethics. Nonetheless, we recognize that a burgeoning area of thought is how we might productively extend the ethical in a developing posthuman or transhuman world. For more on posthumanism see Tomlinson, “Posthumanism,” ch. 20, this volume.

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306   Ariana Phillips-Hutton and Nanette Nielsen Phillips-Hutton, Ariana. 2018b. “Private Words, Public Emotions: Performing Confession in Indie Music.” Popular Music 37, no. 3 (October): 329–350. Richerme, Lauren Kapalka. 2017. “A Feminine and Poststructural Extension of Cosmopolitan Ethics in Music Education.” International Journal of Music Education 53, no. 3 (August): 414–424. Ridley, Aaron. 2004. The Philosophy of Music: Theme and Variations. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press. Rommen, Timothy. 2007. “Mek Some Noise”: Gospel Music and the Ethics of Style in Trinidad. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Schellekens, Elisabeth. 2007. Aesthetics and Morality. London: Continuum. Scruton, Roger. 1997. The Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Scruton, Roger. 2014. “Music and Morality.” Disputatio: Philosophical Research Bulletin 4:33–48. Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. 1999. “The Impact and Ethics of Musical Scholarship.” In Rethinking Music, edited by Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist, 531–544. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. 2013. “The Ethics of Ethnomusicology in a Cosmopolitan Age.” In The Cambridge History of World Music, edited by Philip Bohlman, 786–806. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press. Skinner, Ryan Thomas. 2015. Bamako Sounds: The Afropolitan Ethics of Malian Music. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Slobin, Mark. 1992. “Ethical Issues.” In Ethnomusicology: An Introduction, edited by Helen Myers, 329–336. New York: W.W. Norton. Sloboda, John A., Susan A. O’Neill, and Antonia Ivaldi. 2001. “Functions of Music in Everyday Life: An Exploratory Study Using the Experience Sampling Method.” Musicae Scientiae 5, no. 1 (Spring): 9–32. Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. Smith, Stephen Decatur. 2010. “We Look Away and Leap Around’: Music, Ethics, and the Transcendental in Cavell and Adorno.” Journal of Music Theory 54, no. 1 (Spring): 121–140. Society for Ethnomusicology. 1998. “Position Statement on Ethics.” www.ethnomusicology. org/page/EthicsStatement. Tanke, Joseph J. 2011. Jacques Rancière: An Introduction. London: Continuum. Titon, Jeff Todd. 2015. “Applied Ethnomusicology: A Historical and Descriptive Account.” In The Oxford Handbook to Applied Ethnomusicology, edited by Svanibor Pettan and Jeff Todd Titon, 4–28. New York: Oxford University Press. Van Gerwen, Rob. 2004. “Ethical Autonomism: The Work of Art as a Moral Agent.” Contemporary Aesthetics 2: n.p. Warren, Jeffrey R. 2014. Music and Ethical Responsibility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wells, Samuel. 2016. “Improvisation and Ecclesial Ethics.” In The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, Vol. 1, edited by Benjamin Piekut and George E. Lewis, 539–52. New York: Oxford University Press. Williams, Bernard. 2007. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Woodford, Paul G. 2005. Democracy and Music Education: Liberalism, Ethics, and the Politics of Practice. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Young, James O. 1999. “The Cognitive Value of Music.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57, no.1 (Winter): 41–54.

chapter 14

Phenom enol ogy Simon Høffding

From a Phenomenology of Music to a Phenomenology of Musicianship Phenomenology is broadly conceived of as the study of experience. On a more narrow conception, the one I shall use for this chapter, it is a particular philosophical tradition. Founded and expounded by philosophers such as Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, and Sartre, phenomenology investigates not just the nature of experience—how something might appear to me here and now—but also the structures and conditions of the possibility of experience, how it is possible for something to appear to me in the way that it does. When coupled to music, a phenomenological investigation ought then to address both how music is experienced and what phenomenological structures allow music to be experienced in the way it is experienced.1 A number of philosophers have written on phenomenology and music. The works that most directly address this particular combination are Bruce Ellis Benson’s The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue: A Phenomenology of Music (Benson 2003), Thomas Clifton’s Music as Heard: A Study in Applied Phenomenology (Clifton 1983), Alfred Pike’s A Phenomenological Analysis of Musical Experience and Other Related Essays (Pike 1970), Alfred Schutz’s “Fragments of a Phenomenology of Music” (Schutz [1944]1976), and F.  Joseph Smith’s The Experiencing of Musical Sound: Prelude to a Phenomenology of Music (Smith 1979). It is worth noting how many of these titles focus on the phenomenology of music as an experience of listening. As the study of the condition of possibility of experience, phenomenology always takes the subject of experience into consideration. But do we exhaust the experience of music by referring to the listening subject? No, certainly not. In this chapter I contend that the study of performing musicians is indispensable to a fully-fledged phenomenology of music.2

308   Simon Høffding The performing professional musician, or the expert musician, is a yet-untapped resource for the phenomenology of music: spending several hours on a daily basis honing her or his skills, thinking about the meaning and message of the pieces to be played, practising the relation between the manipulation of notes and the manipulation of emotions, and not least undergoing various forms of musical absorption; all this gives the expert musician a different, and in many ways a more intimate and intense, experience of music than that of the ordinary listener. This intensity derives not least from the fact that the musician, as opposed to the listener, actively produces the music through her or his bodily movements. The looping cycles of action and perception in turn give rise to experiences of intimacy such as a peculiar form of felt fusion with the instrument, with the music, and even with one’s co-players. All of this can peak in the experience of “losing oneself ” in the music, which will be a central theme in this chapter. There is an advantage in shifting from a traditional phenomenological analysis of music listening to a more experimental analysis of music performance. A traditional phenomenological approach always departs from the first-person perspective, in other words from how “my” experience is constituted (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008, 13–43). It follows then, that a traditional phenomenological exploration of performance would be possible only if one was both a phenomenologist and an expert musician. This is a rare combination, which also accounts for the scarcity of literature on the phenomenology of expert musicianship. But there is another way out: one can depart from the traditional first-person phenomenological methodology and engage in a second-person methodology such as conducting phenomenologically informed interviews with musicians.3 Such a step is amenable to the kind of phenomenology informing, the (embodied) cognitive sciences informed by, and in turn ­ (Gallagher  2005; Gallagher et al.  2015; Varela,  Rosch, and Thompson  1991; Wheeler  2005). Approaching the phenomenology of musicianship in this fashion opens it to cross-examination by various quantitative measures that overall can provide a more nuanced and interdisciplinary understanding of the impact music in its various forms can have on our minds and bodies. In this chapter, I provide an overview of some of the current debates in phenomenology and philosophy of mind. This overview is informed by my own phenomenological study of musicians, a study based on qualitative, phenomenological interviews (Høffding and Martiny 2016) with several professional jazz and classical musicians, primarily those from the internationally renowned chamber ensemble the Danish String Quartet (DSQ). I present, first, a topography of absorption derived from the ­various experiences that musicians undergo while practising and performing. I then use this topography to argue against a pervasive position found in phenomenology and the philosophy of mind, as well as in sports psychology, namely that thinking about or reflecting upon one’s actions during performance deteriorates the performance. Contrary to this position, I suggest, my topography reveals that some states of musical absorption are of a reflective character while others are not, which in turn implies that

Phenomenology   309 reflection cannot be an essential phenomenological structure in such absorption. In the third part of this chapter, I identify such a structure in analysing the experience of losing oneself in music and argue that musical absorption is best conceptualized as a change in one’s sense of agency. To understand musical absorption, in other words, we should look to the sense of agency rather than to reflection. Finally, I advocate in the conclusion for the use of phenomenological interviews as a research strategy for philosophical thinking on music.

A Topography of Musical Absorption When looking at a chamber ensemble performing, one can see all kinds of things. Its members—perhaps smiling, or even laughing—might look as if they are enjoying themselves, or they might look stern, serious, or absorbed. Musicians, however, qua performers, are also deceivers. From their body language, gestures, and mimicry, one cannot readily see what kinds of experiences they are undergoing. One might infer that since it is difficult to play the violin, viola, or cello and since music is complex, musicians must concentrate intensively on the task at hand. When asked, however, what happens in their minds during a performance, the DSQ—consisting of Frederik Øland (Frederik Ø) on violin, Rune Sørensen (Rune) on violin, Asbjørn Nørgaard (Asbjørn) on viola, and Fredrik Sjölin (Fredrik S) on cello—gave some interesting descriptions that are roughly categorizable as shown in figure 14.1:

fru str at ed

pl ay

in g

Topography of musical absorption min d not- -wande ri bein g-th ng ere

standard absorption

absorbed not-being-there

ex-static absorption

Figure 14.1  A topography of musical absorption. See Høffding 2019 for more details.

310   Simon Høffding If we begin with standard absorption, this is the broadest category in which the DSQ members find themselves most of the time. A core feature that brings together the various kinds of experiences in this category is a feeling that the music is somehow playing itself, as expressed by Frederik Ø: You can perhaps say that what we’re striving for, at a technical level, is that it . . . is coming by itself and that you are not too aware of it; that you do not spend any energy on it; that you just have it coming by itself but that you are aware of it maintaining itself; that there is this small control.

Standard absorption generally takes place when a performance unfolds in a pleasant manner that at least to some degree corresponds to the performance plan.4 The musicians can enjoy the sound of a chord perfectly pitched or the sight of their fingers moving in the right way. Standard absorption can also be informed by a more reflective attitude, as in Frederik Ø’s “small control” that is always present in the background in case things should go awry. Another example comes from Rune, who speaks of wondering or even worrying about whether he looks interesting or adequately expressive to the audience. On occasions, the DSQ members get distracted or absent-minded, here labelled mind-wandering not-being-there. Frederik Ø calls this “going to Netto [a Danish chain store],” which means that, for some time, one mentally leaves the performance to think about something as trivial as what one might need to shop for later. Asbjørn expresses it as follows: “It could be like if you are driving and then have driven . . . or suddenly find yourself someplace else on the road—that you suddenly are 500 metres further down the highway and cannot recollect having driven those 500 metres.”5 Both Frederik Ø and Asbjørn positively affirm that mind-wandering not-being-there is like normal absent-mindedness, as when one cannot remember whether one has locked the front door, or where one’s keys are placed. While playing, and seemingly without detracting much from the quality of the performance, the mind wanders somewhere else and thus exhibits an intentionality distinct from that of standard absorption, which is directed towards some aspect of the performance. The DSQ members recognize that this mode of awareness is different from deep absorption and unlikely to lead to anything of particular experiential or artistic value. Mind-wandering not-being-there indicates that a performance is not particularly demanding. Next to it, however, we find frustrated playing. Certain situations can impose a great deal of stress on the musicians, stress that prevents the kind of effortless execution characteristic of standard absorption. Such stress can derive from physical or mental disturbances, irritations, or pains, or from an unusually noisy or inattentive audience. Rune notes that: In the Nielsen string quartet . . . it was not a good experience to play this piece of music. You entered a kind of “to hell with it”, like [mood], which is not very good when you have to play music. It became pure survival and I had these frustrated thoughts in my head—partly because of my own playing, partly because I know we can do it better.

Phenomenology   311 The intentional attitude here is one of “pure survival,” of trying “to make one’s way back” to standard absorption, often leading to an overly technical focus or a reflective attention to specific body parts aching or functioning improperly, or to aspects of the performance not working optimally. There is a mismatch between expectation and execution that prevents the freedom experienced in standard absorption from unfolding. While frustrated playing might be greatly discouraging to the performing musicians, it is often not perceptible to the audience. At the bottom and right-hand side of the topography we find two kinds of deeply absorbed experiences, which are marked by potent changes in fundamental phenomenological structures, such as self-awareness, intentionality, and time consciousness. Deep forms of absorption are also related to more romantic and mystical conceptions of the musician as a medium, to beliefs that it is not the musician her- or himself who is playing and that the musician should lose her- or himself in the music. Deep forms of absorption are highly pleasant, existentially significant, and treasured, although very rare: the DSQ members—each with a musical track record of over thirty years—say that they have experienced it only a handful of times. If pleasant, significant, and treasured, why does such absorption occur so rarely?6 I believe that we have as yet too poor an understanding of the phenomenon to answer this question. There is no particular kind of mental action the DSQ members can produce to bring about such states of absorption. Rather, it is something that happens to them. As a passive (see Høffding 2019, ch. 10) and elusive kind of experience, neither musicians nor researchers can trace its genesis; hence, we cannot adequately answer when, why, and with what frequency it occurs. Though elusive, it is not as mystical as some musicians take it to be. It can, for instance, take two distinct and seemingly opposite forms: absorbed notbeing-there marked by a seeming absence of awareness and post-performance amnesia (see Høffding & Montero 2019); and ex-static absorption marked by unusual clarity, as if at a great distance from the performance and by a sense of omnipotence and extraordinary beauty. The cellist, Fredrik S, practising a Bach cello suite, gives an example of the former: The deeper you are in, the less you observe the world around you . . . and I had this especially powerful experience . . . where I completely disappeared. I remember that it was an incredibly pleasant feeling in the body. And it was incredibly strange to come back and at that point. I spent a few seconds to realize where I had been. I had been completely gone and with no possibility of observing . . . It was this intense euphoric joy.

Being completely gone means being unaware of one’s perceptual input, of thinking, of remembering or of any other mental function for that sake. “No possibility of observing” does not merely mean that Fredrik S wasn’t seeing anything around him or that he wasn’t listening to what he was playing. Rather, I take it to indicate that his awareness was not intentionally directed at all (on non-intentional awareness see, for instance, Thompson 2014, 231–271 on dreamless sleep). Furthermore, I take it to mean that he was

312   Simon Høffding momentarily almost deprived of the most fundamental form of self-awareness, that ­pre-reflective and ubiquitous sense of being a subject accompanying all experience (Zahavi 2005, 1999). All that remains after waking up from this (lack of) experience is a pleasant bodily sensation and a euphoric joy that is perhaps indicative of that most primal form of consciousness which Evan Thompson calls “the bare feeling of being alive” (Thompson 2014, 234–235). This feeling of being alive experienced as euphorically joyful should lead us to acknowledge the centrality of affectivity and emotion in consciousness (Colombetti 2014; Colombetti and Roberts 2015). Finally, given primarily as sensation in the body, absorbed not-being-there seems to confirm the claim found in phenomenology (Zahavi  1999, 91–109; Taipale  2014) and some strands of cognitive science (Gallagher  2005; Gallagher et al  2015; Varela, Rosch, and Thompson  1991) that consciousness is essentially embodied. To a phenomenologist, that consciousness is embodied does not trivially mean that the mind needs a brain and a body to exist. It means, rather, that the form, movement, and potential of the body shape or partially constitute the very nature of the mind. Further, one must distinguish between many different kinds of bodies. Both Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, for instance, distinguish between the physical body (roughly speaking, the body as object) and the lived body (equally roughly speaking, the body as subject) (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008, 129–151). To better understand what kind of body the DSQ members rely on, let me introduce some terminology from Dorothée Legrand. To accomplish our everyday actions we do not normally pay attention to how our body moves. Its degree of manifestation is “transparent” (Legrand 2007) and its functioning pre-reflective, allowing us to focus on the world around us. We can, however, shift our focus and make our body an intentional object through a wilfull act of attention, such as counting the hairs on one’s hand. In that case, the body’s degree of manifestation will be “opaque” and its functioning will be reflective. Thus, the intentional object of my awareness is either the world or my body, never both (Ingerslev 2013). This puts the expert musician in a predicament. The musician needs their body to function pre-reflectively and automatically, that is, transparently, but they also need to be able to make very fast conscious adjustments, drawing on the opaque body. For this purpose, Legrand claims that experts develop a “performative body”: Expertise (with one’s body as in dance, or with one’s mind as in some meditative states) can . . . put this subjective character of experience “at the front” of one’s experience without turning it into a mere intentional object.  (Legrand 2007, 512)

Absorbed not-being-there is one example of how the performative body works. “At the front” of Fredrik S’s experience is an affective and bodily consciousness, yet one that is not given as an intentional object. The combined status as pre-reflective yet at the front of experience accounts for the twofold quality of such absorption, namely that it is, at one and the same time, strongly felt as well as indistinct and uncategorizable. Legrand develops this kind of thinking further with Susanne Ravn (Legrand and Ravn 2009; see also Colombetti 2014, 113–134), but I leave the discussion here with a few general remarks on her work.

Phenomenology   313 Legrand’s idea of the performative body pushes us to rethink what the body can be and she shows how thinking about expertise can develop our concepts. Further, she confirms the embodiment thesis by showing how intense training of one’s body can develop genuinely new forms of consciousness. An example of this can be found regarding ex-static absorption. Asbjørn expresses it as follows: You are both less conscious and a lot more conscious I think. Because I still think that if you’re in the zone, then I know how I’m sitting on the chair, I know if my knees are locked, I know if I am flexing my thigh muscle, I know if my shoulders are lifted, I know if my eyes are strained, I know who is sitting on the first row, I know more or less what they are doing, but it is somewhat more, like disinterested, neutrally registering, I am not like inside, I am not kind of a part of the set-up, I am just looking at it, while I’m in the zone. But if I’m not in the zone, I become a co-player, I become a part of the whole thing and cannot look at it like a bird over the waters. I become conscious of things because I am not part of them to the same extent7 . . . It is not a primitive control. It is a kind of very deep control. Ur-control. You really feel like a commander deploying the troops and control it in a way and it gives a kick that you are just a kind of pure superiority and pure control.

Asbjørn’s is a stark contrast to Fredrik S’s being “completely gone.” He reports detailed visual perception of the audience, kinaesthetic awareness of his own body, and importantly, a perspective on the performance as if it isn’t himself playing. He is “neutrally registering” things from afar and feels that he does not need to intervene, but that he, through a quasi-telekinetic control, can determine the performance without having to interfere directly. The key markers of ex-static absorption, as seen from this example, are an altered sense of phenomenal distance to one’s own experiential life accompanied by an altered sense of agency, through which one experiences an omnipotence as if the performance takes care of itself while one can enjoy the spectacle. Now that we have a brief overview of the range of experiences musicians can undergo while performing, let us look at how the topography of absorption challenges thinking on the role of reflection in expertise.

Musical Self-Awareness: Between Reflection and Coping Based on readings of Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, Hubert Dreyfus has argued that our primary way of being in the world is a direct coping with our environment, a second nature whose smooth operations are impeded when thinking or reflection kicks in (Dreyfus 2005, 2007b, 2013). More precisely, Dreyfus claims that thinking and coping are mutually exclusive (Dreyfus 2007a). (For a discussion of Dreyfus’s philosophy, see

314   Simon Høffding Høffding 2014; Schear 2013; Sutton et al. 2011; Breivik 2007; Dow 2015.) To support this claim, he relies on anecdotes from various experts such as baseball and chess players who seem to demonstrate that thinking about what you’re doing as you’re doing it impedes expert performance. He claims that such experts are bereft of intentional content while optimally performing, that they are unconscious, or “like a sleepwalker” (Dreyfus 2013, 28, 38). One the one hand, Dreyfus’s conclusions are consistent with a large body of literature on expertise in psychology, in particular on “choking” (Beilock and Carr 2001; see Cappuccio 2015 for a general discussion of the concept). On the other hand, he challenges fundamental phenomenological thinking on the nature of selfawareness, most notably the thesis that all awareness necessarily entails a ubiquitous self-acquaintance or pre-reflective self-awareness, formulated by Zahavi as “the minimal self ” (Zahavi 2005; 2011). On basis of the minimal-self thesis, one would argue that a performing expert cannot be entirely unconscious, because unconsciousness would normally entail lying motionless and literally blacked-out on the ground, which is clearly not the case. In performance, even if denied in experts’ anecdotes, there must be at least some bodily proprioceptive awareness and with that an implicit minimal selfawareness. In other words, Dreyfus’s “unconscious coping” and Zahavi’s “minimal self ” cannot both be true. What does the topography above have to say in this discussion? First, it does recognize that when Dreyfus writes of expertise as unconscious sleep-walking, he is pointing to (albeit perhaps mis-characterizing) a real phenomenon, what we have described as absorbed not-being-there. The topography, however, also demonstrates that absorbed expertise is much more than sleep-walking or automatic action. Asbjørn’s ex-static experience, reported with detailed descriptions of visual and proprioceptive input, involves an abundance of intentional content, a heightened awareness that shares the distance to its intentional objects with reflective attitudes. And Rune’s thinking about how he looks to the audience while standardly absorbed shows that reflection is not exclusive of coping. Rather, we might formulate expertise as the mastery of a reflection-infused coping, a learning to master one’s reflective faculties such that they enhance, rather than impede, performance. In this fashion, expertise consists in building up a homogeneous and continuous mental space that spans from not-being-there states to reflective ones. Such an understanding of pre-reflective and reflective self-awareness in the phenomenology of expertise would also be in line with recent trends in philosophy of mind (Montero 2016) and cognitive science (Christensen, Sutton, and McIlwain 2015; Sutton et al. 2011).

Agency and Losing Oneself in Music Even if the topography of musical absorption arguably shows reflection and coping to be continuous, we’re still left with the following paradox: some DSQ members claim to have had experiences of absorbed not-being-there and these instances are of great

Phenomenology   315 emotional and existential significance to them. Even if they claim to have “completely disappeared” in the moment of absorption, these were still extraordinary and intense experiences. This phenomenological contradiction is crystallized by Frederik Ø and Asbjørn, who initiate their descriptions of deep absorption with: “it is exactly both being present and not being present simultaneously” and “you are both less conscious and a lot more conscious I think.” Frederik Ø and Asbjørn here are talking about what we might know as the experience of losing oneself in the music. What exactly is lost, when one loses oneself in the music? If the self is lost, then who is performing? And what about the minimal self? Frederik Ø and Asbjørn both describe deep absorption as “being both more and less present simultaneously,” but I suggest that such a contradiction should not be taken to invalidate their utterances. Rather, the contradiction demonstrates that we are working in uncharted mental territory that is difficult to grasp and to express for the musicians as well as for the researchers studying them. Remember that as experts, the DSQ members have trained intensively, not just in the manipulation of their instruments, but also in various mental positions, flexibilities, and techniques that go beyond the phenomenological capacities necessary for everyday living. Just as musical experts, through practising, have altered significantly their plastic brains (Vuust et al. 2005, 2009), so too have they altered their plastic minds, that is, their basic experiential structures such as the sense of agency—or so I take the phenomenological study of absorption to suggest. To conclude my critique of Dreyfus, from the topography of musical absorption we have seen that reflection accompanies some forms of absorption and not others, and that it does so without impeding performance. Reflection then cannot be an essential aspect of absorbed expertise. It is a much richer phenomenon better captured from another perspective. Turning to the topography of absorption, both standard absorption and the deeper forms of absorption can be construed as positioned on a phenomenological continuum that revolves around fluctuations in the sense of agency. (On the extensive discussion of agency see Dow 2017; Gallagher 2012, 2007; Buhrmann and Di Paolo  2017; Grünbaum  2015.) Further, an analysis of the sense of agency in musical absorption can bring us closer to answering the question of what it means to lose oneself in the music. The question of losing oneself in the music relates to the topic of agency because a ubiquitous trait of even the most minimal and pre-reflective sense of self is the sense that one is an agent who can affect change. According to Shaun Gallagher, the self involves a sense of agency, that I can initiate action, and a sense of ownership, that I am the one to whom things happen (Gallagher 2005, 173). These two senses are normally overlapping and phenomenally indistinguishable, but in certain cases they are experienced as separate: if I am tripped, for example, I did not initiate the action, but the consequences nevertheless happen to me. I am owner, but not agent of the experience of being tripped. Let us see how the experience of musical absorption can be partially grasped as a change in the musician’s sense of agency. The Danish bassoonist

316   Simon Høffding Peter Bastian writes about the sense of agency when it comes to choosing how and what to play during a performance: Sometimes you can feel that an idea is coming that you can choose to follow. That is one end of the spectrum of choice: “I choose.” Then there are the situations in which you simply are a witness to something happening, or a medium for what happens. Here, you are not to the same extent conscious of a choosing entity. The choices proceed quicker than you. Quicker than contemplative thought. It is still you choosing, but there is no distance between you, the choice, and what you choose. It is one thing. (Bastian 1987, 7; my translation)

Bastian says that it is still him choosing. But this “him” is not his ordinary self standing apart from and choosing between a number of distinctively given musical options. This “him” is rather an unusual fusion of his normal self (“you”), the options afforded or imposed by the music (“the choice”), and the music that manifests itself through the instrument (“what you choose”). The sense that it is not fully up to Bastian to choose what he wants to play begins to account for this altered sense of agency. There is a felt negotiation of agency between his normal sense of self and at least two other sources, namely the music and one’s bodily habitualities. (For further discussion, see Høffding 2019, ch. 10.)

The Agency of the Music It is trivially true that the music, understood in the Western art music tradition as the score, exerts agency on the performance. If you do not play the notes that correspond to the score of the Chaconne from J. S. Bach’s Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, you cannot be said to be performing the Chaconne. Despite this constraint, the skilled musician finds room for musical colouring, nuancing, and interpretation and thus can exert their own agency unto the music—they are always improvising to some extent, as Bruce Benson argues (Benson 2003). When I point to the agency of the music, however, I do not refer merely to the trivial causal impact of the score on the musician. Rather, according to the DSQ, to Bastian, and to many other musicians I have interviewed, in absorbed, “authentic” performance, the music as performed seems to dictate a very specific meaning or direction that the musician is obliged to obey. It exercises not merely a causal, but a constitutive determination over the musician’s sense of agency. This was already indicated by Bastian, but here is a clearer example from Fredrik S explaining how to play a musical phrase: for each point [note] you advance, [it] provides the premise for where the next point would be because the tone itself in a sense defines the next tone, and so on, because otherwise the phrase becomes unnatural. And therefore you’re really in the tone, you’re really on and then it kind of reveals how the next tone will become . . . everything builds towards how it is going to become and it is impossible to predict how it will play out. It depends on what you laid as ground.

Phenomenology   317 Fredrik S and Frederik Ø both mention laughing and being surprised when discovering that the music sometimes is going in directions counter to what was agreed upon in prior practice. The music makes its own demands, exerts its own agency, and if not followed, “the phrase becomes unnatural.” Bastian mentions that you become “a medium for what happens” and Asbjørn that musicians can perceive themselves as a medium for composers such as Beethoven. The music exerts this kind of interactive agency, thereby influencing the musician’s own sense of agency. This is the starting point for the account of what it means to lose oneself in the music or for the sense that it isn’t oneself who is playing. The Japanese psychiatrist Bin Kimura also engages the difficulty of distinguishing between music and musician in absorption when he writes that “the music that vibrates in this virtual space of aida, inside the participants as much as outside of them, has its own autonomous life beyond that of each musician’s will” (Kimura 2000, 42; my translation). The musician plays the music, but the music also plays the musician, because in order for the performance to be “natural,” in Fredrik’s words, the musician must submit themselves to the agency, to the sense of meaning, direction, or purpose, inherent in the music. In line with enactive theories of cognition (Noë  2004; Thompson  2007; Gallagher 2017), the score and the musician enter into an interactive system that enacts or brings forth the performance. We can also say that agency is distributed between or partially offloaded to the music (Krueger 2014b; for enactive approaches to music see Krueger 2009, 2014a; Schiavio et al. 2016; Lesaffre, Maes, and Leman 2017).

The Agency of Bodily Habituality But who is the musician in this coupling with the music? Surely, they are an agent with (some degree of) agency and ownership over the performance. But they are likewise a system of bodily habits (Merleau-Ponty 2004), practised and gradually incorporated over many years. These bodily habits or techniques (Crossley 2013) enable the musician to perform authentically highly demanding music. They allow the musician to manipulate body and instrument in the way most conducive to expressive beauty. Yet paradoxically, although enabling factors of successful performance, they do not fall primarily within the musician’s sense of agency. The agency of bodily habituality (Gallagher 1986) can be understood from the perspective of the body as well as from the perspective of the music. From the perspective of the body, Rune says that “you’re surprised about how much the fingers remember themselves. Let the fingers play. Just use the activity of the brain— but not on what you’re playing. Let go and think about something else.” There is a sense of automaticity, a trust that the fingers know how to play and that you do not need to control them. From the perspective of the music, we can return to the topography of musical absorption and look at the category of standard absorption, centrally marked by the feeling that the “music is playing itself.” For Frederik Ø, unless challenges or difficulties

318   Simon Høffding emerge he does not need to “control” the music or to intervene as an agent, at least not in the motoric and technical details that are handled by the system of bodily habitualities also known as the “body-schema” (Gallagher 1986, 2005). It goes for all skilled musicians that they can direct their attention elsewhere, such as on mental imagery, musical intentions and meanings, while the body plays the notes. In this way, standard absorption lies at the heart of ex-static absorption. The body, under the agency of its habitualities, can perform on its own, while one, at some distance, observes it unfolding.

Agency and Control These observations reveal an unexpected conclusion on the relation between the sense of control and the sense of agency. Under normal circumstances we would assume a positive correlation between these. Having a high degree of control ensures a high degree of the sense of agency. The reason I lose my sense of agency when tripped is because I am not in control of the situation. The topography of musical absorption, however, challenges this assumption. When in frustrated playing, the musician is thrown out of his comfort zone and tries to regain mastery by forcefully controlling more aspects of the performance than usual. This kind of control seems to interfere with both the agency of the music and the agency of bodily habitualities and does not lead to an increased sense of agency, but, on the contrary, to a diminished one—hence the frustration. (For different line of work on the relation between the sense of control and the sense of agency or freedom in obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD], see de Haan, Rietveld, and Denys 2015.) With respect to the sense of control, deep absorption is the opposite of frustrated playing. Think about Frederik Ø’s and Asbjørn’s sense of agency and control when they claim that rather than playing, they are observing the performance from a distance. In these situations the musicians have relinquished a great deal of control such that the agency of the music and of their bodily habitualities are coming to the fore. Relinquishing control, rather than assuming it, leads to a sharing of agency that is experienced as pleasant. It could also be described as an alteration of the sense of agency in which relinquishing or submission is experienced as coextensive with a sense of omnipotence, as when Asbjørn speaks of ex-static absorption: “It is not a primitive control. It is a kind of very deep control. Ur-control. You really feel like a commander deploying the troops and control it in a way and it gives a kick that you are just a kind of pure superiority and pure control.” Asbjørn describes feeing like a Napoleonic commander on a hilltop who, without physically interfering, can order his troops around and determine the outcome of the battle. In the performance, he doesn’t have to control little technical details. Rather he “imagine[s] the colour and then the seven technical sub-elements fall into place automatically.” He lets the agency of his bodily habitualities and of the music come forth, which is experienced like a telekinetic ability: he produces a thought or mental image and immediately the whole performance changes.

Phenomenology   319 Let us tie all these lines of thinking together. I asked near the beginning of this chapter what it might imply for the notion of the self to say that one is losing oneself in the music or that it is not the musi