This Royal Musical Association (RMA) Study Day seeks to engage with conflicting yet complementary dialogues regarding the possibility (or even non-possibility) of an ontology of music. In recent years there has been lively debate between diverse positions rooted in musicology and both continental and analytical philosophy; the purpose of this Study Day is to highlight these differences, whilst emphasising shared ground and suggesting ways forward. To this end, the Study Day – which is supported by the RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group – will provide a platform for postgraduate students to present their research and to discuss challenges posed to, and possibilities inherent in, commonly held assumptions regarding musical ontology from an array of interdisciplinary viewpoints.
Topics for consideration
– The question of musical meaning between musicological and analytical-philosophical traditions and contrasts therein
– New ontological proposals in the ontology of musical works
– ‘Early’ music as the root of modern ontologies
– Composers as the traditional arbiters of what constitutes a musical work
– The metaontology of music
– Video games and indeterminacy (and the challenges they pose)
– Historical and ethnographic perspectives
– Phenomenologies of music
– Popular music
– Insights from outside of the humanities: scientific, sociological etc.