Understanding Music: Philosophy and Interpretation

Understanding Music: Philosophy and Interpretation

by Roger Scruton
     
 

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Roger Scruton first addressed this topic in his celebrated book The Aesthetics of Music (OUP) and in this new book he applies the theory to the practice and examines a number of composers and musical forms. His continued fascination with Wagner provides much interesting content but he also deals near-death blows to his favorite targets like Pierre Boulez and

Overview

Roger Scruton first addressed this topic in his celebrated book The Aesthetics of Music (OUP) and in this new book he applies the theory to the practice and examines a number of composers and musical forms. His continued fascination with Wagner provides much interesting content but he also deals near-death blows to his favorite targets like Pierre Boulez and Hoagy Carmichael. His legal encounter with The Pet Shop Boys is well documented (they sued him for libel in 1999) and the book closes with a devastating chapter on pop music, containing more controversial views that readers will relish. Many will be delighted; others enraged. However, underlying this book there is a consistent argument and passion for tonality and rhythm.

Editorial Reviews

BBC Music Magazine

Illuminating ... touching ... much to inspire. Anyone who is capable of being deeply moved by music should read it.
Classical Music

Aesthetic arguments are well summarised, disagreements presented very largely without querulousness; [Scruton] ... avoids shrill dogmatism. And while he makes substantial reference to music theory, he does so without the cack-handedness of many non-specialist music students.
Literary Review

As a welcome addition to Roger Scruton's continuing canon of fascinating works on the nature and meaning of music, this short, dense book amply supports his genuine and lifelong belief that aesthetic contemplation offers the key to proper understanding of motivation and meaning, not just in ourselves, but in everything around us.
Good Book Guide

Roger Scruton presents a depth of knowledge and understanding that could make listening to a symphony all the more meaningful ... worthwhile for those who would like a deeper relationship with classical music.
The Bookseller

The prolific philosopher turns his attention back to music, exploring the fundamental elements that make a great piece. Ranging from Wagner to Hoagy Carmichael and even a final chapter on 'the disaster of pop', this is trademark, provocotive Scruton.
From the Publisher

“The prolific philosopher turns his attention back to music, exploring the fundamental elements that make a great piece. Ranging from Wagner to Hoagy Carmichael and even a final chapter on 'the disaster of pop', this is trademark, provocotive Scruton.” —The Bookseller

“As a welcome addition to Roger Scruton's continuing canon of fascinating works on the nature and meaning of music, this short, dense book amply supports his genuine and lifelong belief that aesthetic contemplation offers the key to proper understanding of motivation and meaning, not just in ourselves, but in everything around us.” —Literary Review

“Illuminating ... touching ... much to inspire. Anyone who is capable of being deeply moved by music should read it.” —BBC Music Magazine

“Roger Scruton presents a depth of knowledge and understanding that could make listening to a symphony all the more meaningful ... worthwhile for those who would like a deeper relationship with classical music.” —Good Book Guide

“Aesthetic arguments are well summarised, disagreements presented very largely without querulousness; [Scruton] ... avoids shrill dogmatism. And while he makes substantial reference to music theory, he does so without the cack-handedness of many non-specialist music students.” —Classical Music

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781474270175
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
02/25/2016
Series:
Bloomsbury Revelations Series
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,085,166
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Professor Roger Scruton is visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall Oxford and visiting Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. His other books include Sexual Desire, The West and the Rest, England: An Elegy, News from Somewhere, Gentle Regrets and I Drink Therefore I Am (all published by Continuum).

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