Is music philosophy?

This is an extract from

The Concept of Music, Robin Maconie, Clarendon Press, 1993, p. 172

” …. could it be that every aspiring musician and songwriter, every music track for a television commercial or situation comedy, is discoursing on fundamental philosophical issues without knowing it? Are audiences being subliminally programmed in theology by music disguised as entertainment? Whether musical example has anything of substance to contribute to fundamental issues of philosophy probably depends on the significance one attributes to revelation. Revelation attaches to harmony and order, but is intellectually tainted by association with cults and superstition;its reciprocal, argument, attaches to action and disorder, but is accorded a higher value on a scale which by definition cannot be one of attainment and must refer to aspiration, the joys of taking part, running rather than winning, etc. Certainly if music is decodable as philosophy, it has the advantages of being both more memorable, more concentrated, and undoubtedly more subtle than corresponding exercises in language, and must be rivalled in aesthetic appeal only by mathematics. An obvious corollary, intentional or otherwise, of music being demoted from influence in the Church and thereby from the intellectual life of the community, is that it must have given philosophy a new sense of position and something to do.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s