A Concise Survey of Music Philosophy helps music students choose a philosophy that will guide them throughout their careers. The book is divided into three sections: central issues that any music philosophy ought to consider (e.g., beauty, emotion, and aesthetics); secondly, significant philosophical positions, exploring what major thinkers have had to say on the subject; and finally, opportunities for students to consider the ramifications of these ideas for themselves. Throughout the book, students are encouraged to make choices that will inform a philosophy of music and music education with which they are most comfortable to align.
Frequently, music philosophy courses are taught in such a way that the teacher, as well as the textbook used, promotes a particular viewpoint. A Concise Survey of Music Philosophy presents the most current, prevalent philosophies for consideration. Students think through different issues and consider practical applications.
There are numerous musical examples, each with links from the author's home website to online video performances. Examples are largely from the Western classical canon, but also jazz, popular, and world music styles. In the last two chapters, students apply their views to practical situations and learn the differences between philosophy and advocacy.
"Hodges has written an excellent resource for those wanting a short-but meaningful-introduction to the major concepts in music philosophy. Applicable to a number of courses in the music curriculum, this much-needed book is both accessible and flexible, containing musical examples, tables and diagrams, and additional readings that make it particularly useful for a student's general introduction to the topic. I especially like the emphasis on the personal development of a philosophical position, which makes the material especially meaningful for the student of music."
-Peter R. Webster, Scholar-in-Residence, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, USA