Read e-book online Antithetical Arts: On the Ancient Quarrel Between Literature PDF

By Peter Kivy

ISBN-10: 0199562806

ISBN-13: 9780199562800

Antithetical Arts constitutes a defence of musical formalism opposed to those that could positioned literary interpretations at the absolute song canon. partially I, the ancient origins of either the literary interpretation of absolute song and musical formalism are laid out. partly II, particular makes an attempt to place literary interpretations on quite a few works of absolutely the song canon are tested and criticized. ultimately, partly III, the query is raised as to what the human value of absolute track is, if it doesn't lie in its representational or narrative content material. the answer's that, as but, philosophy has no resolution, and that the query will be thought of an enormous one for philosophers of paintings to contemplate, and to aim to respond to with out entice representational or narrative content material.

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For it seemed to have no plausible object of representation: the human voice seemed an unlikely candidate, although it was proposed from time to time; and there was no other in evidence to serve the purpose, if the human voice could not. ) It is in the context of the debate over whether or not absolute music is one of the fine arts that we must view Kant’s philosophy of music as a whole, and his musical formalism in particular. And so I turn now to Kant’s contribution to it. Form It is one of the most obvious aspects of Kant’s entry into the debate over absolute music’s credentials as a fine art that he radically transforms it from a debate over how or whether absolute music can be narrative, or representational to a debate, with himself, over how or whether it can possess perceivable form.

And disputes about how absolute music can correctly be described have tempted some to conclude that it cannot be described at all. ‘‘Music is ineffable’’ said one theorist at the beginning of the nineteenth century,³¹ and the view perennially recurs. Such skepticism to the contrary notwithstanding, it does seem reasonable to believe that if we can find language to describe the inner structure of the atom and the outer structure of the cosmos, we can do so for the familiar, everyday (to us) phenomenon of absolute music as well.

As Kant puts it, ‘‘Every expression in language has an associated tone suited to its sense. ’’¹⁴ The point is, then, that if the speaker expresses, say, anger in her speech, the angry tone of her expression will evoke, which I think is to say will arouse, anger in the hearer, empathetically, and this will then provoke the hearer to have the concept which that expressive tone is associated with, namely the concept of anger. Music, Kant thinks, follows the very same routine; and, furthermore, it goes beyond it.

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Antithetical Arts: On the Ancient Quarrel Between Literature and Music by Peter Kivy


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