A realist approach to categorizing musical works

Cantabrana, Cody (2022) A realist approach to categorizing musical works. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis seeks to advance our comprehension of musical ontology as it pertains to realism from a platonist vantagepoint. Similar to other areas of ontological inquiry, such as fictional and mathematical objects, musical ontology is a specific field in philosophy of art that disputes the categorical nature and identity of musical objects. Much like its fictional and mathematical counterparts, categorizing works of music has been amply discussed by realists. In order to advance our understanding in this field, I will examine the categorical nature of such objects and the consequences realists face upon application.

My dissertation will be separated in two distinct parts: one developing and one applying my platonist account. The first three chapters develop a certain stripe of musical realism that has previously been unexplored in the literature. In order to achieve this aim, Chapter One lays out a taxonomy of ontologies that catalogs realists, non-realists (nominalism and anti-realism), and arealist accounts. Chapters Two and Three provide two realist accounts hitherto undiscussed in the taxonomy. What makes both accounts enticing to the musical realist is that they endorse a property theory of musical works, which stands in contrast to its popular cousin, type/token theory. In particular, Chapter Two unpacks the property theory from an aristotelian perspective, while Chapter Three does so from a platonist perspective. Chapter Three provides the account that I develop and endorse.

The purpose of application—contained in the last three chapters—is meant to not only show my account’s implications, but also exhibit how these can render the account advantageous. Chapter Four will explain how realists should approach and contemplate the role of the musical score. Chapter Five will provide a realist response to the role of artificial intelligence in musical composition, and Chapter Four will provide a realist’s modest definition of music. My goal is to showcase my account’s fruitfulness in these applications, as well as to demonstrate how it can facilitate further questions about the nature of musical works and the categories to which they belong.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Supervisor's Name: Kemp, Dr. Gary and Leuenberger, Professor Stephan
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83103
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2022 10:40
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 10:40
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83103
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83103

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