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Music, Truth and Belonging: Listening with Heidegger
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology.
2015 (English)In: Philosophy of Music Education Challanged: Heideggerian Inspirations / [ed] Frederik Pio & Øivind Varkøy, Dordrecht: Springer , 2015, 131-146 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite Heidegger's ambiguous—sometimes even hostile—relation to music, his thinking opens itself up to the musical sphere not least through key words such as Stimmung, Fuge, and hören ('mood', 'fugue', and 'listening'). This article suggests that if his thinking on the artwork is taken into account, especially its relation to truth and Being, then there is reason to rethink many of the conceptions that are pivotal for how we listen to, teach, and study music.The starting point is Heidegger's treatment of the conflict between Wagner and Nietzsche, where he rejects Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk. However, since he only repudiates the emotionality of music, another position of his should come to the fore, that indicated in Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes. All artworks open up a world. Truth happens in these works. This must be valid for music, too, even if Heidegger remained silent on how. It is shown in the article—with the 'Eroica' Symphony as principal example—how a musical world may change the conception of the world, how music may establish truth with a 'thrust'.

This thrust can be recognized only if the listener is thoroughly attuned. In this attunement, the listener belongs to Being. Heidegger's formulation in German clarifies the relation: Zugehörigkeit ('belongingness') incorporates the verb zu hören ('to listen' or 'to hear'). Such a relation to the artwork is, of course, entirely at odds with how music is conceived in our education. In the concluding part of the article, it is suggested how Heidegger's listening can not only inform but even reform the notion of music in academia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer , 2015. 131-146 p.
, Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, ISSN 1573-4528 ; 15
Keyword [en]
Truth, Belonging, Music, Listening, Artwork, Education
National Category
Pedagogy Arts
Research subject
Music Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112082DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9319-3_8ISBN: 978-94-017-9318-6ISBN: 978-94-017-9319-3OAI: diva2:777987
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2015-03-31Bibliographically approved

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