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Abstract

Most recent writings about the philosophy of music have taken an analytic or linguistic approach, focusing on terms such as meaning, metaphor, emotions and expression, invariably from the perspective of the individual listener or composer. This essay seeks to develop an alternative, phenomenological framework for thinking about music by avoiding these terms, and by extrapolating from the writings of Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger. On the basis of discussions of musical time, its multiple levels of matter, and its internal dialectics, the essay presents a particular understanding of “style” as the primary basis for mediation between production and reception. It concludes that music is no more or less than itself; and that it comes into presence and resounds within a nonconceptual and collective socio-historical world, thereby dissolving all distinctions between feelings and ideas, and fears and desires.

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