Thinking about Music: Beauty, Meaning, and Expression

Overview

Learn about key historic and current thinkers, composers and music critics, acquire skills in music philosophy. This course presents key concepts in music aesthetics, by combining historical knowledge from works by philosophers, composers and music critics from Antiquity, to the 18th to the 21st century. Participants will acquire basic music-philosophical skills, including learning how to outline, source and build an argument both in group discussions of accessible set texts and in writing a final essay.

Programme details

Session 1

Aesthetics of Music: Philosophical Reflection on an Artform

Session 2

Music in Antiquity: Music and Imitation

Session 3

18th Century: Music as Idea - The Rational, Empirical and Beautiful 

Session 4

19th Century: Music and Meaning - On Autonomous Form, Programmes and Progress

Session 5

Music, Identity and Difference: the Piano as a symbol of Paternalism?

Session 6

20th Century: Music in the Age of Technological Reproducibility

Session 7

Music as a Product of Societal, Political and Economic Forces?

Session 8

Musical Phenomenology: Music Experienced

Session 9

Music and the Academy: Who Cares if you Listen to my New Music?

Session 10

Representing Non-Western Music: Postcolonial Thought

Session 11

Music, Postmodernism and Global History

Session 12

Thinking about the Popular in Music

 

 

Fees

Description Costs
Programme Fee (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner) £850.00
Programme Fee (Standard Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1485.00
Programme Fee (Standard Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1245.00
Programme Fee (Superior Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1600.00
Programme Fee (Superior Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1345.00

Tutor

Dr Joris de Henau

Tutor

Joris de Henau is a musicologist and organist. He has lectured and tutored in music and philosophy at the Universities of Durham and Newcastle, and Oriel College, Oxford. He publishes in scholarly journals and regularly attends international conferences, on music, philosophy and trauma studies.

Course aims

This course aims to present key concepts in music aesthetics, combining historical knowledge from works by philosophers, composers and music critics from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Participants will acquire basic music-philosophical skills, including learning how to outline, source and build an argument both in group discussions of accessible set texts and in writing a final essay.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to:

  • Understand key concepts and theories in the history of music aesthetics
  • Have read set texts by philosophers and musicians
  • Write an essay, drawing on subject-specific skills, including close listening and critical reading
  • Connect theoretical considerations with practical musical examples

Assessment methods

Students are assessed during the summer school by either a 1500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1000 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is mandatory.