Download Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology by Julian Dodd PDF

By Julian Dodd

During this unique and iconoclastic ebook, Julian Dodd argues for what he phrases the easy view of the ontological nature of works of natural, instrumental song. This account is the conjunction of 2 theses: the type/token conception and sonicism. The type/token thought addresses the query of which ontological class musical works fall less than, and its resolution is that such works are varieties whose tokens are sound-sequence-events. Sonicism, in the meantime, addresses the query of ways works of song are individuated, and it tells us that works of tune are exact simply in case they sound precisely alike. either conjuncts of the easy view are hugely arguable, and Dodd defends them vigorously and with ingenuity. even supposing the easy view is favoured by way of only a few writers within the philosophy of tune, Dodd keeps that it's the default place given our usual intuitions approximately musical works, that it might probably solution the kinds of objections that experience led different philosophers to brush aside it, and that it really is, in retrospect, the main promising ontology of track on supply. particularly, Dodd argues that the type/token thought deals the simplest clarification of the repeatability of works of tune: the truth that such works admit of a number of prevalence. additionally, he is going directly to declare that the theory's such a lot amazing outcome - particularly, that musical works are everlasting existents and, for that reason, that composers realize instead of create their works - is minimally disruptive of our intuitions about the nature of composition and our appreciation of works of tune. by way of sonicism, Dodd argues either that this fashion of individuating works of tune is prima facie right, and that the putative counter-examples it faces - such a lot significantly, these propounded via Jerrold Levinson - could be harmlessly defined away. within the ontology of tune, simplicity principles.

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Additional resources for Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology

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As if this objection were not serious enough, it in fact serves to introduce a further, deeper worry. For the philosophy of mind upon which Collingwood’s ontology of music is predicated—namely, that a tune’s running through one’s head is a process in which one stands in a quasiperceptual relation to a real but mental tune—has been decisively refuted by both Wittgenstein (1953: §§363–97) and Gilbert Ryle (1949: ch. 8). ¹⁷ But this transition is no more valid here than in the perceptual case. ‘The argument from hallucinations’ fails because the fact that Macbeth seems to see a dagger does not entail that he ‘sees’ a seeming-dagger (Smith and Jones 1986: 98–9), so we should not assume that hearing a tune in one’s head is being aware of a seeming-tune.

Would not this also count as an instance of the work? To my mind, there is no harm in treating such a pattern of sounds as a genuine token of In This House, On This Morning. First, and as Wolterstorff himself argued when considering the question of whether a work’s tokens may include playings as well as performances, it would seem to be true that the work could be heard in the concrete sound-pattern, even though this pattern is produced without the intervention of human actions; once more, there seems little prima facie ²⁰ Here I assume the truth of timbral sonicism: that the only properties normative within works of music are acoustic ones.

Equally, we cannot privilege one particular occurrence—say, the piece’s first complete run-through—as the work. For such events have properties that works do not have, and vice versa: Marsalis composed In This House, On This Morning, not a performance of it; and whilst the work itself currently exists, the same cannot be said of the concrete sequence of sounds constituting the piece’s first run-through. In fact, the prospects for identifying a work with its first complete performance are dimmer still.

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