The last twenty years or so have seen a surge of interest in the philosophy of music. However there is comparatively little philosophical literature devoted specifically to songs, singing and vocal music in general. This new collection of essays on the philosophical aspects of song and singing includes articles on the relationship between words and music in songs, the ontology of songs and recordings, meaning in songs, the metaphysics of vocal music in opera and the movies, and the ethical challenges raised in song performance. The essays discuss a large range of examples, including rock, lieder, jazz songs, blues, doo wop, and rap.
New essays by leading philosophers of art, including Peter Kivy (on "realistic song" in film), Jerrold Levinson (on jazz singing), Lee B. Brown (on the "minstrel hypothesis" in popular music), and Ted Gracyk (on linguistic pragmatics and song meaning).
Papers that offer ground-breaking theories of the appreciation of rock recordings, the ethical implications of popular songs, the ontology of ephemeral artworks, the ontological status of cover versions, and of how a genre of popular music can both express and be a function of its social context papers that challenge existing accounts of much-debated topics, including operatic metaphysics and of the ontology of recorded music.
Interdisciplinary essays that cut across aesthetics, philosophy of music, cultural music studies and musicology.
Essays that are clearly written and engaging.