The Continuum Aesthetics Series looks at the aesthetic questions and issues raised by all major art forms. Stimulating, engaging and accessible, the series offers food for thought not only for students of aesthetics, but also for anyone with an interest in philosophy and the arts. Aesthetics and Music is a fresh and often provocative exploration of the key concepts and arguments in musical aesthetics. It draws on the rich heritage of the subject, while proposing distinctive new ways of thinking about music as an art form. The book looks at: The experience of listening Rhythm and musical movement What modernism has meant for musical aesthetics The relation of music to other 'sound arts' Improvisation and composition as well as more traditional issues in musical aesthetics such as absolute versus programme music and the question of musical formalism. Thinkers discussed range from Pythagoras and Plato to Kant, Nietzsche and Adorno. Areas of music covered include classical, popular and traditional music, and jazz. Aesthetics and Music makes an eloquent case for a humanistic, democratic and genuinely aesthetic conception of music and musical understanding. Anyone interested in what contemporary philosophy has to say about music as an art form will find this thought-provoking and highly enjoyable book required reading.
'Hamilton has read widely, listened hard and had his own practical engagement with music as a jazz pianist, and there is much to be learned from his argument ... The range of Hamilton's interests, and his familiarity with modern, postmodern, and post-postmodern culture, help to support an argument that is far more interesting in its detail than can be conveyed in a short review. There is a freshness in his approach, and a pleasing disregard for pedantic controversies, that will surely attract new readers to a subject that has not always been as well served by its practitioners as it is served by Hamilton.' Roger Scruton, MIND 'Hamilton's is a distinctive philosophical voice, and Aesthetics and Music is a lively and stimulating contribution to a number of important debates.' - British Journal of Aesthetics The value of Aesthetics and Music lies in its producing the groundwork needed to present modern jazz as music worthy of Analytic philosophical treatment. Reviewed by Andrew McGettigan in Radical Philosophy, July 2008 Reviewed in Dagens Nyheter, Sweden - Jan 2008 'With a fine eye for argument, for teasing out and testing key assumptions within the philosophy of music, Andy Hamilton's Aesthetics And Music charts a knife-edge course between scholarship, clear and penetrating thinking, and above all sound intuitions.' Stephen Robinson, The Wire, December 2007 'An innovative, cross-disciplinary contribution to the philosophy of music, weaving Adorno's Critical Theory with Analytic aesthetics.' Professor Max Paddison, Durham University, UK. 'Aesthetics and Music is a rich and interesting study. Hamilton's approach is innovative ... [the book] should be recommended to anyone interested in the philosophy of music.' Stephen Davies, University of Auckland, Analysis 'A gifted philosopher, music critic and jazz performer, Andy Hamilton has produced a book which leaves neither the philosophy nor the music out. He guides us deftly through the aesthetics of Kant and Adorno without neglecting the reality of music as sound and rhythm, improvisation and composition, showing in an unusually open-minded, lively way - and in philosophical depth - how aesthetic experience is universal and human.' Professor John Skorupski, St Andrews University, UK 'A deeply informed author thinking hard about the musical matters which he considers - with justification - to be the most important... a lively and stimulating contribution to a number of debates.' M.W. Rowe, British Journal of Aesthetics Andy Hamilton's Aesthetics and Music is an unusual concoction: one part history of the aesthetics of music, one part review of recent work in the Analytic philosophy of music, and one part original contribution to musical aesthetics...Hamilton's respect for and sincere interest in improvised music, experimentalism, and sound-art is model for future writers on the philosophy of music. - Brian Kane, Current Musicology, No. 85, Spring 2008