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The University of Southampton
International Summer School

Thinking About Music

What is music? What does it express, and what is its value?


These are the questions to which most philosophers, especially in the Romantic period, tried to answer. Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, all of them reflected on the nature and purpose of this wonderful and mysterious art, giving it a proper space in their philosophical systems.

During this short course we will engage in a journey to discover the art of sounds through the reflections of the greatest philosophers of the Western cultural tradition. And, at the same time, we will try to find out what the musicians, themselves, deemed as important in composing their music.

Through a parallel between the history of philosophical thought and the history of music we will be able not only to understand more thoroughly the musical aesthetic conceptions but also to appreciate more the compositional masterpieces of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The academic organising this topic is Dr Laura Abbatino, Visiting Fellow associated with the School of Humanities.

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