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Alexey Aliyev

Introduction For a long time, the thesis that musical works 1 cannot be identical to any spatiotemporal entities was accepted by most ontologists of music, 2 including Gregory Currie, Peter Kivy, Jerrold Levinson, Richard Wollheim, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. , 3 4 In recent years

James O. Young

A bewildering array of accounts of the ontology of musical works is available. Philosophers have held that works of music are sets of performances, abstract, eternal sound-event types, initiated types, compositional action types, compositional action tokens, ideas in a composer’s mind and continuants that perdure. This paper maintains that questions in the ontology of music are, in Rudolf Carnap’s sense of the term, pseudo-problems. That is, there is no alethic basis for choosing between rival musical ontologies. While we have no alethic basis for choosing any ontology of music, pragmatic reasons can be given for favoring certain ontologies of musical works over others.

D. W. Hughes


Edited by Laurence Wuidar

This collection of essays analyzes the relationships that exist between esotericism and music from Antiquity to the 20th century, investigating ways in which magic, astrology, alchemy, divination, and cabbala interact with music. The volume seeks to dissolve artificial barriers between the history of art, music, science, and intellectual history by establishing an interdisciplinary dialogue about music as viewed against a specific cultural background. The synthesis of scientific and historical contexts with respect to music, explored here on a large scale for the first time, opens up a wealth of new approaches to music historical research, music performance, and musical composition. Each chapter presents either a unique example of music functioning within esoteric and scientific traditions or a demonstration of the influence of those traditions upon selected musical works.

L’ouvrage analyse les relations entre l’ésotérisme et la musique de l’Antiquité au 20ème siècle étudiant comment la magie, l’astrologie, l’alchimie, la divination et la cabale ont interagit avec la musique. Il vise à dépasser les frontières entre l’histoire de l’art, l’histoire de la musique et l’histoire des sciences et des idées afin de nouer un dialogue interdisciplinaire sur la musique autour de contextes historiques et scientifiques précis. L’ouvrage offre une première synthèse sur les rapports entre ésotérisme et musique ainsi que diverses pistes de recherche à poursuivre.

James O. Young

The claim that many musical works are representational is highly controversial. The formalist view that music is pure form and without any, or any significant, representational content is widely held. Two facts about music are, however, well-established by empirical science: Music is heard as resembling human expressive behaviour and music arouses ordinary emotions. This paper argues that it follows from these facts that music also represents human expressive behaviour and ordinary emotions.

Céline Drèze

This paper sets forth an initial synthesis of the musical practices of the Marian sodalities established in the two former Belgian provinces. The musical history of the Belgian sodalities has been compiled on the basis of disparate and heterogeneous archival sources, which shed light on the musical practices of the Marian sodalities in two ways. First, they reveal the financial, human, and material resources brought together by the sodalities, as well as the close links maintained by the sodalities with the various local musical bodies. Secondly, the documents indicate two activities for which particular use of music was made: the yearly Marian feasts and the Lenten meetings for meditation. The information gathered from the archival sources can be cross-referenced here with some musical sources, most probably destined for the celebration of these feasts: 1) an international series of litany settings; 2) a corpus of musical works based on texts on the passion of Christ.

Joanna Barska

According to John A. Sloboda, meanings and emotions are the most important elements of the musical experience. My chapter focuses on both of these aspects, as I ask three questions about music and narrativity. Firstly: when or whether can we talk about a narrative or narrativity with reference to musical works? Secondly: when can we speak of music as possessing meaning? Finally: in what way do our emotions affect meaning and determine our interpretation of a musical work? Whenever a musical work is perceived and creates a story in our mind, it is based both on the composer’s suggestions as well as on our own strategy of interpretation, which is also dependent on cultural aspects. I distinguish between two areas of music. The first one can only stimulate the individual’s emotions, reflections, recollections, etc. This kind of music is represented, for instance, by etudes or fugues, without titles, commentaries, or any other hint as to the work’s semantic interpretation. This kind of music would result in a different, particular meaning for each listener—through its tempo, key, and character. The second area is music with an intention of telling a story or at least implying certain moods, emotions, and meanings. In this article I analyse Franz Liszt’s Faust Symphony in Three Sketches after Goethe and Fryderyk Chopin’s Fantasy on Polish Airs in A major, Op. 13, and ask: is it possible to apply here the category of ‘tellability’? Can a musical piece be a story?


Christopher Booth


Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida, revered for its visual elements and unique cinematography, has gained considerable attention since its 2014 international release. In addition to its stunning black and white photography and academy ratio format, the film imparts multivalent layers of meaning with its score, which uses preexisting music almost exclusively. The music is largely contemporaneous with the film’s 1960s setting, however two selections stand out as uniquely meaningful: Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and Busoni’s transcription of Bach’s “Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ”. In fact, inasmuch as Pawlikowski formulates his two primary characters, employing mise en scène to demonstrate psychological and emotional conditions, he deploys these two musical works as supplemental indicators of these characters’ respective motivations. In this paper, I will discuss the hermeneutic representation of preexisting music as it establishes and even alters filmic narrative. Through analysis of text, texture, and form, I will describe the auteur’s unique presentation of narrative nuance, both connotative and denotative.

The titular character’s internal struggle, a dominant component in the narrative, is both complex and dynamic. The same could be said for the protagonist’s aunt, Wanda, though the two share few similarities. Coincidentally, however, each is driven by music. The music not only acts as supplement to the dramatic presentation of each character, but as an interpreter between act and significance. For Ida, who is driven to an austere, repressed existence, Bach/Busoni’s music frees her from external forces and allows her introspective identity to crystalize. For Wanda, a retired judge who is constantly driven from the very order and discipline for which she is publicly known, Mozart’s symphony is an addiction that modifies her behavior.

Kirnbauer, Martin

[English version] The term 'oratorio' denotes very diverse musical works, whose commonality can be expressed as follows:  major vocal compositions with instrumental accompaniment, depicting a plot of usually sacred subject matter, intended for unstaged and extra-liturgical performance. In the