Essay on the Origin of Languages and Writings Related to Music

Essay on the Origin of Languages and Writings Related to Music

by Jean Jacques Rousseau
     
 

"J.J. was born for music," Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote of himself, "not to be consumed in its execution, but to speed its progress and make discoveries about it. His ideas on the art and about the art are fertile, inexhaustible." Rousseau was a practicing musician and theorist for years before publication of his first Discourse, but until now scholars have

Overview

"J.J. was born for music," Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote of himself, "not to be consumed in its execution, but to speed its progress and make discoveries about it. His ideas on the art and about the art are fertile, inexhaustible." Rousseau was a practicing musician and theorist for years before publication of his first Discourse, but until now scholars have neglected these ideas.

This graceful translation remedies both those failings by bringing together the Essay, which John T. Scott says "most clearly displays the juncture between Rousseau's musical theory and his major philosophical works," with a comprehensive selection of the musical writings. Many of the latter are responses to authors like Rameau, Grimm, and Raynal, and a unique feature of this edition is the inclusion of writings by these authors to help establish the historical and ideological contexts of Rousseau's writings and the intellectual exchanges of which they are a part.

With an introduction that provides historical background, traces the development of Rousseau's musical theory, and shows that these writings are not an isolated part of his oeuvre but instead are animated by the same "system," this volume fashions a much-needed portal through which literary scholars, musicologists, historians, and political theorists can enter into an important but hitherto overlooked chamber of Rousseau's vast intellectual palace.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The volume shows that his work on music is not a by-way but belongs to the mainstream of his thought. For Rousseau, the volume shows, music is inseperable from the distinctive expressions of different human cultures and gives voice to the moral passions of the people. A brief but informative survey of the writings provides an excellent introduction to the substance of the volume . . . Invaluable to all serious students of Rousseau.” —Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611681277
Publisher:
Dartmouth College Press
Publication date:
10/03/2000
Series:
Collected Writings of Rousseau
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
658
File size:
8 MB

Meet the Author

JOHN T. SCOTT, Assistant Professor of Political Science and in the Honors College, University of Houston, is currently completing a book on Rousseau's political theory.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >