Understanding Music Philosophy and Interpretation

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/25/2016
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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With Understanding Music and The Aesthetics of Music (1997) Roger Scruton set a new standard of rigour and seriousness in the philosophy of music. This collection of wide-ranging essays covers all aspects of the theory and practice of music, showing the significance of music as an expression of the moral life. The book is split into two parts, the first is devoted to the aesthetics and theory of music and the second consists of critical studies of individual composers, thinkers and works including essays on Mozart, Wagner, Beethoven's Ninth, Janácek & Schoenberg, Szymanowski and Adorno. Understanding Music will appeal to specialists in philosophy and musicology and also to music lovers who wish to find deeper meaning in this mysterious art. The Bloomsbury Revelations editions includes a new preface from author.

Author Biography

Roger Scruton is visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC, USA. He has published more than 40 books and writes regularly for The Times, The Telegraph and The Spectator.

Table of Contents


Part I

1 Introduction
2 Sounds
3 Wittgenstein on music
4 Movement
5 Expression
6 Rhythm

Part II

7 My Mozart
8 Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
9 The trial of Richard Wagner
10 A first shot at The Ring
11 True Authority: Janacek, Schoenberg and us
12 Thoughts on Szymanowski
13 Why read Adorno?


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