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The Theories of Music of Jerrold Levinson

Jerrold Levinson holds the position of the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. He is most widely known for studying the aesthetics of music and for his search of the meaning and ontology in art, film and humor.

Levinson’s interest in the aesthetics of music led him to examine musical principles from historical and contextual perspectives. He established the theories of evaluating music and found that the emotional response in musical appreciation was legitimate.

Levinson believes that music is related to thought the same way as language is. He thinks that music is also the expression of thought. His position is revealed in the analysis of the ideas of Wittgenstein about the meaning of music. Levinson states that Wittgenstein underestimates the appreciation of music. He believes that music is not simply the structure of sounds perceived by us. He thinks that it is inserted in our form of life in a complicated way, and this form is essentially linguistic. That is why, in his opinion, music is apprehended in terms of language and linguistic practices.

In his essay “Philosophy and Music” Levinson analyzes the influence of Western classical musical compositions on several philosophical theories in European history. In “The Aesthetic Appreciation of Music” he describes the ways listeners evaluate musical works, particularly in terms of aesthetic understanding and expressivity. He studies the Western classical music of the 19th century, especially Gabriel Faure.

In one of his essays the philosopher revises his previous work in ontology, and expands the context to both musical and literary works. In this work he studies the role of the composer in the kind of entity a musical work is.

In the other two essays Levinson focuses on the evaluation of music. “Musical Beauty” explores the relationship between two kinds of claims that can be made about music, that it is beautiful, and that it is good music. “Values in Music” researches various ways in which music can be valuable.

In the essay “Shame in General and Shame in Music” professor studies the issues of expressivity and explores the question of whether music can express emotions, particularly complex emotions, such as shame. The main cases examined in this essay are also drawn from the Western classical paradigm.

Jerrold Levinson holds the position of the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. He is most widely known for studying the aesthetics of music and for his search of the meaning and ontology in art, film and humor.

Levinson’s interest in the aesthetics of music led him to examine musical principles from historical and contextual perspectives.

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100002167
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CREATED ON
October 17, 2016
COMPLETED ON
October 18, 2016
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$31
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