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Introduction to a philosophy of music

Introduction to a philosophy of music

Kivy, Peter

This volume is intended for anyone interested in the fundamental questions about music, and incorporates a history of the subject. Topics include: emotions in the music, formalism, the emotions in you, foes of formalism, and the performace thereof

Paperback, Hardback, Book. English.
Published Oxford: Clarendon, 2002
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – Two available in Main Collection 780.1/KIV

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00243581 Main Collection 780.1/KIV Standard Available
    00227735 Main Collection 780.1/KIV Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Peter Kivy
ISBN: 0198250479, 0198250487, 9780198250470, 9780198250487
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: ix, 283 p. : facsim., music ; 21 cm.
Subject: Music Philosophy.; Music philosophy


  1. Preface
  2. 1. Philosophy of..
  3. 2. A Little History
  4. 3. Emotions in the Music
  5. 4. A Little More History
  6. 5. Formalism
  7. 6. Enhanced Formalism
  8. 7. The Emotions in You
  9. 8. Foes of Formalism
  10. 9. First the Words: Then the Music
  11. 10. Words without Songs
  12. 11. The Work
  13. 12. And the Performace Thereof
  14. 13. Why Should you Listen?
  15. Readings and References, Index

Author note

Peter Kivy is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Jersey. He is the author of New Essays on Musical Understanding, also published by Oxford University Press (2001).


Philosophy of music has flourished in the last thirty years, with great advances made in the understanding of the nature of music and its aesthetics. Peter Kivy has been at the centre of this flourishing, and now offers his personal introduction to philosophy of music, a clear and lively explanation of how he sees the most important and interesting philosophical issues relating to music. Anyone interested in music will find this a stimulating introduction to some

fascinating questions and ideas.


Though not a textbook, Kivy's book neatly covers the history of musical aesthetics from Plato onwards, and thus could easily be used in philosophy of music classes.
The Philosophical Quarterly||Written clearly and engagingly, Peter Kivy's introduction to musical aesthetics usefully summarizes his own influential views on various issues in the philosophy of music.
The Philosophical Quarterly||Peter Kivy is the most influential and prolific author on the philosophy of music within the analytical tradition ... Kivy has written a very readable and elegantly composed philosophy of music, which requires no prior knowledge of musicological terminology. The treasures of the book are the keen analyses of the issues, the sophisticated argumentations, and the wealth of relevant arguments ... It is a most valuable book for those who want to confront their views of

music with one of the best-argued positions in musical aesthetics.
British Journal of Aesthetics