Music & philosophy

Below you can find and read texts about music philosophy written by me. Click on the titles to open the pdf-files.

Emotions in music. Ambiguity of musical expression. (ENG)

The problem of emotion in music is often considered in the context of other issues in the field of aesthetics of music: the broader issue of the meaning of music and the problem of musical expression. The mutual involvement of these three concepts and the different meaning attributed to them requires careful formulation of questions, with attention to their order. An attempt to answer a question will make sense only if a question is raised taking into account the particular solution of the problem from the lower level. Otherwise it is easy to get entangled in a snare of conceptual chaos and artificial aporia, it is easy to get lost in a thicket of different solutions constructed with a use of the same terms but with a different meaning – usualy interconnected differently. Thus it will be necessary – unless you want to shut yourself in a single theory – to develop a common ground of discourse enabling the juxtaposition of different but equally interesting theories. The theories, to which I will refer are: theory of Susanne Langer, Leonard B. Meyer and Peter Kivy.

I will be interested in the following issues: what kind of emotions we assign to music, what is their nature and what is the relationship between emotion and sound structures. In other words: how the relationship that allows to link these – seemingly – remote categories is possible and finally – where these emotions are. After a preliminary discussion on the meaning and emotion in music I will examine some issues related to the problem of expression in music. While the first part of this paper will be accompanied by a willingness to maintain a fairly broad perspective, in the next sections I will make the necessary clarification, narrowing, summary and finally – when all the cards are already on the table – I will present possible criticism of some of the solutions adopted earlier. (...)


Rola i znaczenie emocji w improwizacji na przykładzie muzyki jazzowej (PL)

[„The role and significance of emotion in improvisation. The case study of jazz music"]

Spora część niniejszej pracy stanowi analizę wybranych stanowisk w kwestii emocji oraz znaczenia w muzyce w ogóle (Leonarda B. Meyera, Susanne Langer oraz Petera Kivy'ego), której celem jest wypracowanie wspólnej płaszczyzny pojęciowej umożliwiającej zestawienie ich głównych tez a następnie – po krytyce, uściśleniu i modyfikacji niektórych rozwiązań – syntetycznej teorii ekspresji w muzyce. Po omówieniu zagadnień związanych z samą improwizacją, przybliżeniu narzędzi muzyka jazzowego oraz specyficznej architektury muzyki improwizowanej, staram się pokazać, na ile oraz w jaki sposób teoria ta ma zastosowanie na gruncie muzyki jazzowej – w szczególności zaś, czy jest ona wystarczająca. (...)