Sounding Off brings together a selection of essays on philosophy of music written by Peter Kivy-the leading expert on the subject. The essays fall into four groups, corresponding to Kivy's major interests. Part I contains two essays on the nature of musical genius. In Part II, three essays take up the subject of authenticity in performance, and explore what Kivy terms 'the authenticity of interpretation'. Part III contains four essays concerning the much discussed issues of musical representation and musical meaning. Finally, Part IV consists of three essays on the 'pure musical parameters': these are essays on 'music alone' or 'absolute music'-music as the pure, formal structure of (sometimes) expressive sound. Eight of the eleven essays presented here are previously unpublished, and the book includes two appendices which provide Kivy's responses to criticism.
Peter Kivy was educated at the Walden School in New York City, as well as with private teachers in oboe and music theory. He received his BA with highest honours in Philosophy at the University of Michigan, in 1956, and an MA in Philosophy from that University in 1958. He then went on to receive an MA in Music History from Yale University, and a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University. He has taught in the Philosophy Department of Rutgers University since 1967, and is presently Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy. Professor Kivy has published numerous books and articles, both historical and analytic, in the philosophy of art, and is a past President of the American Society for Aesthetics.
PART I: GENIUS ; PART II: AUTHENTICITIES ; PART III: MEANING AND REPRESENTATION ; PART IV: MUSIC ALONE