This article aims to explore the nature of discordant sound, such as guitar feedback, in several respects: its status as music, its status as art and the extremely interesting aesthetic responses it evokes. I will argue for its value as an art form on the grounds that: (1) it is a neglected and overlooked area of music in terms of philosophical aesthetics; (2) it raises some interesting ontological questions about the nature of artworks; and (3) it highlights some key aspects of aesthetic responses, e.g., emotions and the body. Examining the works of such music artists as The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, both of whom employ this sound phenomenon extensively, and drawing on the philosophical ideas of a number of key thinkers in aesthetics, I aim to show how feedback is situated as an aesthetic "object/environment" and go on to make a tentative exploration into the possibility that emotional responses can be encompassed in the overall aesthetic response to music.

Included in

Aesthetics Commons



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