ABSTRACT. The determination of an extra-musical “sense” of music is theoretically problematic: even if this “sense” is linked not to sentiments (as it generally is) but to the expectations of a specific Zeitgeist, in no case it is possible to negate the illegitimate universalization of an empirical position. Nevertheless also the formalist exclusion of any extra-musical “sense” from the field of theoretical possibles is problematic: the identification of music with its measurable components and elements (such as “sound, tone, rhythm” and intensity) would reduce music’s aesthetics (that is, its “beauty”) to the physical laws of sounds. On one hand the direct conceptualization is fallacious, on the other hand the exclusion of all conceptualizations is aesthetically irrelevant. This leads to the explication of the limits of any method concerning the extra-musical “sense” (whether positive or negative method), and at the same time it clarifies the peculiar, a-conceptual nature of the laws of beauty. pp. 71–92

Keywords: music; sense (music); formalism (music); legalism (music); Johann Sebastian Bach; Philip Glass; Eduard Hanslick; Albert Schweitzer

How to cite: Vestrucci, Andrea (2015), “Music, Wandering and the Limit of Any Method,” Knowledge Cultures 3(3): 71–92

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Institute Eric Weil, University of Lille 3;
University of Geneva, Switzerland

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