Aesthetic Music

July 18, 2021 by No Comments

What is Aesthetic Music?


Musicology is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of music. The study of basic concerns about music is considered music philosophy. Many philosophical issues in metaphysics and aesthetics are intertwined with the philosophical study of music. The following are some basic issues in music philosophy:

  • What does it mean to be a musician?
  • (What are the requirements that must be satisfied in order for anything to be classified as music?)
  • What’s the connection between music and the mind?
  • What can we learn about the world through music history?
  • What is the relationship between music and feelings?
  • What does music have to do with meaning?

The aesthetics of music investigated the mathematical and cosmological elements of rhythmic and harmonic structure in ancient times, such as with the Ancient Greeks. The attention turned to the experience of hearing music in the 18th century, and therefore to concerns concerning the beauty and human pleasure of music (Plaisir and jouissance).

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, followed by Immanuel Kant, is credited with initiating this philosophical revolution in the 18th century. The ancient term ‘aesthetics,’ which meant sensory experience, gained its modern sense as a result of literature. Philosophers in the 2000s tended to focus on topics other than beauty and pleasure.

Peter Kivy, Jerrold Levinson, Roger Scruton, and Stephen Davies all contributed significantly in the twentieth century. Many musicians, music journalists, and other non-philosophers, on the other hand, have made significant contributions to music aesthetics. Eduard Hanslick, a music critic and musicologist, and the composer Richard Wagner engaged in a heated discussion in the nineteenth century about whether music could communicate meaning. Microtonal music and the use of alternative musical scales have been explored and popularized by Harry Partch and a few other musicologists, such as Kyle Gann. Many contemporary composers, including La Monte Young, Rhys Chatham, and Glenn Branca, focused on a scale known as simply intona.

Music is considered to have the capacity to impact our emotions, intellect, and psychology; it may comfort us or arouse our desires. Music has a direct impact on the soul, according to Plato in The Republic. As a result, he suggests that music would be strictly regulated by the state under the ideal system (Book VII). [required citation] Confucius, an ancient Chinese philosopher, thought that music and rituals or rites were intertwined and harmonious with nature; he said that music was the harmonizing of heaven and earth, and that ceremonies created order, giving them highly important duties in society.

Lyricism, harmony, hypnotism, emotiveness, temporal dynamics, resonance, playfulness, and color are all aspects of music aesthetics (see also musical development).


Modern music psychology seeks to describe and comprehend musical sensations and behavior. This field’s and subfields’ research is largely empirical, with knowledge progressing based on interpretations of data gathered through systematic observation and interaction with human participants. Music psychology is a branch of study that has practical applications in a variety of fields, including music performance, composition, teaching, criticism, and therapy, as well as studies of human aptitude, skills, intellect, creativity, and social behavior.

1. Neuroscience:

The study of brain-based systems involved in the cognitive processes that underpin music is known as cognitive neuroscience of music. Listening to music, performing it, composing it, reading, writing about it, and other related activities are all examples of these behaviors.

It’s also becoming more interested in the neural underpinnings of musical aesthetics and emotion. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and positron emission tomography (PET) are some of the techniques used in this discipline (PET).

2. Cognitive Musicology:

Cognitive musicology is a field of cognitive science that aims to comprehend both music and cognition by computationally modelling musical knowledge. Computer models, which have their origins in artificial intelligence and cognitive science, provide an exacting, interactive medium in which to create and test hypotheses.

The brain’s similarities between language and music are investigated in this multidisciplinary subject. Neural networks and evolutionary programs are examples of biologically inspired computer models that are often used in research. This discipline studies the representation, storage, perception, performance, and generation of musical knowledge. The systematic patterns of these cognitive events can be explored by employing a well-structured computer environment.

3. Evolutionary Musicology:

“Origins of music,” “the subject of animal singing,” “selection forces underpinning music evolution,” and “music evolution and human evolution” are all topics covered by evolutionary musicology. Its goal is to better understand music perception and action through evolutionary theory.

Music may have had an adaptive benefit and served as a protolanguage, according to Charles Darwin, a theory that has inspired a number of conflicting hypotheses about music evolution. Another perspective sees music as a by-product of language development, a kind of “auditory cheesecake” that appeals to the senses without serving any adaptive role. Numerous music scholars have spoken out against this viewpoint.

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