Understanding Music - Philosophy and Interpretation

roger-scruton-understanding-musicContinuum (2009)

Roger Scruton first addressed this topic in his celebrated book The Aesthetics of Music (OUP) and in this new book he applies the theory to the practice and examines a number of composers and musical forms.

His continued fascination with Wagner provides much interesting content but he also deals near-death blows to his favorite targets like Pierre Boulez and Hoagy Carmichael. His legal encounter with The Pet Shop Boys is well documented (they sued him for libel in 1999) and the book closes with a devastating chapter on pop music, containing more controversial views that readers will relish. Many will be delighted; others enraged. However, underlying this book there is a consistent argument and passion for tonality and rhythm.

"The prolific philosopher turns his attention back to music, exploring the fundamental elements that make a great piece. Ranging from Wagner to Hoagy Carmichael and even a final chapter on 'the disaster of pop', this is trademark, provocotive Scruton." - Bookseller, 20 May 2009.

You can read Marco Respinti's review of the Italian edition of 'Understanding Music' in Italy's daily newspaper  'Libero' published in September 2014.

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Latest Articles

Le Figaro - March 19

Earlier this month, Roger spoke with Eugenie Bastie for Le Figaro - Click here to read the article.

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How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings that inspire them, have found themselves confronted with the cry “that’s not relevant?” In the...

Gratitude for Philosophy- The Telegraph, Dec 18

I began my career as an academic philosopher, and am often asked what philosophers do. ‘Philosophy’ means ‘the love of wisdom’, but what is wisdom? Does the person with wisdom...

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2019 Events

Wed 31st Jul - Fri 9th Aug - 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

Thur 29th Aug - Sun 1st Sept - Scrutopia Alumni Meeting 

Fri 26 - Sat 27th April - CRASSH conference, Cambridge

Sat 15th June - Philosophy Day

Thurs 19th Sept - ISI Gala for Western Civilization, Philadelphia

Sat 30th Mar - FT Oxford Literary Festival