In Philosophy of Song and Singing: An Introduction, Jeanette Bicknell explores key aesthetic, ethical, and other philosophical questions that have not yet been thoroughly researched by philosophers, musicologists, or scientists. Issues addressed include:
The relationship between the meaning of a song's words and its music
The performer's role and the ensuing gender complications, social ontology, and personal identity
The performer's ethical obligations to audiences, composers, lyricists, and those for whom the material holds particular significance
The metaphysical status of isolated solo performances compared to the continuous singing of opera or the interrupted singing of stage and screen musicals
Each chapter focuses on one major musical example and includes several shorter discussions of other selections. All have been chosen for their illustrative power and their accessibility for any interested reader and are readily available.
Jeanette Bicknell is an independent scholar based in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Why Music Moves Us (2009) and is the co-editor (with John Andrew Fisher) of Song, Songs, and Singing (2013).
Preface. Acknowledgments. Chapter One "Words". Chapter Two "Music". Chapter Three "Giving Voice (What Do Singers Do?)". Chapter Four "Singers and Audiences". Chapter Five "Three Ways to Think about Authenticity in Performance". Chapter Six "Authenticity, Value & Technology". Chapter Seven "Performance: Ethical Considerations". Chapter Eight "Song & Drama". Chapter Nine "Meaning: Songs in Performance". Chapter Ten "Why Sing?"