Music as an Art

Music as an Art

by Roger Scruton


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As Scruton argues in this book, in earlier times, our musical culture had secure foundations in the church, the concert hall and the home; in the ceremonies and celebrations of ordinary life, religion and manners. Yet we no longer live in that world. Fewer people now play instruments and music is, for many, a form of largely solitary enjoyment. As he shows in Music as an Art, we live at a critical time for classical music, and this book is an important contribution to the debate, of which we stand in need, concerning the place of music in Western civilization.

Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German idealism, as well as recalling the author's struggle to encourage his students to distinguish the qualities of good music. Scruton then explains—via erudite chapters on Schubert, Britten, Rameau, opera and film—how we can develop greater judgement in music, recognizing both good taste and bad, establishing musical values, as well as musical pleasures.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472955715
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sir Roger Scruton is the author of Understanding Music and The Aesthetics of Music as well as numerous bestselling books of philosophy, history, fiction and criticism. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple. He currently teaches an MA course in philosophy for the University of Buckingham.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I Philosophical Investigations 7

1 When is a Tune? 9

2 Music and Cognitive Science 27

3 Music and the Moral Life 49

4 Music and the Transcendental 71

5 Tonality 85

6 German Idealism and the Philosophy of Music 109

Part II Critical Explorations 125

7 Franz Schubert and the Quartettsatz 127

8 Rameau the Musician 137

9 Britten's Dirge 147

10 David Matthews 153

11 Reflections on Deaths in Venice 165

12 Pierre Boulez 173

13 Film Music 179

14 The Assault on Opera 185

15 Nietzsche on Wagner 191

16 The Music of the Future 211

17 The Culture of Pop 231

Bibliography 245

Acknowledgements 250

Index 251

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