In defence of music's eternal nature : on the pre-eminence of musica theorica over musica practica
Since the Renaissance, the normative approach to a philosophy of music has concerned itself primarily with the subjective experience of the listener. This was not always the case. From Greek Antiquity to the Renaissance, music was considered a rigorous, mathematical discipline that shed light on objective truths concerning cosmology and cosmogony. Musica theorica, therefore, took precedence over musica practica and was taken much more seiously in musical scholarship. Although tension had always existed between Musica theorica and Musica practica, such tension reached its peak during the Renaissance and as a result, a shift occurred: Musica theorica was pushed into the background, and Musica practica stepped forward.The intention of this thesis is to convince its reader of the need to bring Musica theorica back to its proper place in musical and philosphical scholarship, where objective answers can be found, and music's innate eternal nature is revealed. The thesis begins with a historical survey of musical scholarship that eventually brings the reader to the center of the controversy that ensued during the Renaissance, and then forward to present day discussions in philosphy of music that are concerned with music's subjective and temporal properties. It is hoped that the reader will see the need for a new shift to occur in philosophy of music that focuses on music's objective and eternal properies (that are wholly distinct from the subject experiencing it), and will come away with a new perspective regarding the interdisciplinary nature of philosphy and music.
Galilei, Boethius, Pythagoras, aesthetics, humanism, mathematics, tuning systems, Descartes, Goodman
Master of Arts (M.A.)