Friday, November 30, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Musical Materialism

I thought I'd post a link to 'Musical Materialism' and also a paper I wrote with Joshua Spencer, 'Musical Materialism and the Inheritance Problem' (it's short) since the plan is to start with some of that stuff for next time. The papers can be found here: (I believe library access is required to get to them.) Please bring questions, comments, objections or new arguments in favor (one can hope!) for next time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Love and Music

This post probably would have been more helpful a month ago... Levinson explores the relationship between music and love. For those of you who love PhilBites like I do:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alterenate second paper topic


Next week, we'll discuss Levinson's performance means criterion as laid out in section III of  What a Musical Work Is.". Take a look at his discussion of Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata in subsection (a) of section III. Then look at Kivy's criticism of Levinson on the Hammerklavier, p. 88-90 of "Orchestrating Platonism," and Levinson's reply to Kivy on p. 240-241 of "What a Musical Work is Again." I want us to come up with a good recap of the exchange.

Now, here's a paper topic that comes out of the discussion we'll have. If you're wrirting on fine individuation, you don't have to write on this.:

Levinson's Hammerklavier argument for the performance means criterion commits him to the position that any performance of the Hammerklavier is on a historically accurate fortepiano (and not on the piano). Discuss, with attention to the exchange between Kivy and Levinson on Hammerklavier.

Try to be as concise as possible. Stick to the point. Use quotations to show that you've intepreted L and K correctly. Feel free to use our discussion of the topic in class. Due Friday November 24.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The VW date is this Wednesday. If you have concerns, email me or come see me before class.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Here's a paper topic. I'll provide an alternate topic within a few days. I'll also get Rosa to photocopy Kivy's "Orchestrating Platonism" (publisheed in his anthology, The Fine Art of Repetition) By, the way, if any of you find the Kivy paper online, please blog how we can access it. The Kivy paper is directly relevant to the alternate paper-topic. I hope to finish up Levinson's IND condition next week and at least make a start on PER (the performance means constraint). The Kivy paper concerns PER.

A few of the papers handed in a couple of weeks ago were too long. Some of you tried to present fairly ambitious theses justified by fairly long and complicated chains of argument, with the results that i) your arguments for the individual bits didn't hold together and ii) you lost control of the large-scale structure of your paper. Therefore, I want you to scale back for this paper. Keep the length to six pages at most. Also, bear in mind that a treatment of the following question depends more on small-scale tactics than big-picture theoretical narrative. When you present someone's view, make absolutely sure that you back your interpretations up with quotations, some of which only need to be a few words long. If you're unclear about what I want, email me or talk to me. Let's set a due date of Tuesday, November 20.

Topic: In "Fine Individuation," Matheson and Caplan argue that Levinson's IND condition is unstable. Present Levinson's case for IND and then present  M&C's argument that it is unstable. Respond to M&C.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

John Frusciante is the old guitarist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (I'm not a huge fan of the Peppers, but he has some great solo stuff, I think). Anyways, I don't think he really offers much new insight, but insofar as he is a man who has dedicated his life to "creating" music and holds that all he is doing is discovering.. well, it bodes well with me. He's a bit of a rambler; speaking is certainly not his strong point, but I think he has some interesting things to say.

Watch from 2:25 to about 5:00.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Also, check out:

Can a Musical Work Be Created? Caplan, Ben, Matheson, Carl. British Journal of Aesthetics, 44(2), 113-134, 22 p. April 2004. Abstract Available (AN PHL1780092


Fine Individuation Matheson, Carl, Caplan, Ben. British Journal of Aesthetics, 47(2), 113-137, 25 p. April 2007.

Both are evailable. BTW, I don't know what's going on with the italics.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I left papers with Rosa for you to pick up:

Jerrold Levinson: What a Musical Work Is, Again
Peter Kivy: Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence

Also, read the following, which are evailable:

Levinson: What a Musical Work Is
Kivy: Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence

Sorry for the tardiness. Please tell others who might not be checking out the blog very often! It would be good for everyone to have picked the papers up before the weekend.