Rethinking Music: Ontologies of Music

Title: Rethinking Music

Editors: Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist

This book is a collection of essays on the same broad theme, written by some of the most prominent musicologists of this generation. The systematic presentation of modern music is useful to any reflective composer. There is nothing like understanding what someone else believes to clarify your own point of view. Here, rather than a review of the whole book, are analyses of three essays.

Essay 1 - The Ontologies of Music by Philip V. Bohlman

Bohlman begins with the strong affirmation that music is subjective, that we all understand it from different points of view. As each of us moulds a perspective, we have our own ontology of music. This makes any objective assessment of music's value impossible. Bohlman does not address this fact, more concerned with the ontologies themselves.

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