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La Musique
Anthologie littéraire et philosophique

How, from Antiquity to the present day, has music been defined, conceived and lived? From the singing of Homer’s sirens to Rousseau’s music of the heart; from the harmonious music of the spheres that nourished the Middle Ages to Mallarmé’s science of objective, purely material tones, which resonated all the way to Boulez, music has been thought about and analyzed in many different ways in the Western world. For the first time ever, this anthology presents some hundred literary, anthropological and philosophical texts, which together draw a historical path through Western thought on the subject of music.
Behind this outline of major aesthetic and intellectual movements in which formal discourse about music was constituted, it is in fact the range of portraits that humanity has conceived of itself that forms the true heart of this project: Homer sings the danger of the sensual enjoyment of sound that can overwhelm the faculty of reason; Plato ensnares music (both the means and the organology) in the political and moral project of his Republic, Pythagoras perceives the laws of universal harmony that rule the relationships between celestial spheres in its organization; the Middle Ages catches it in  mnemonic techniques through which the soul is supposed to conceive through remembering; Proust uses music to evoke the crystallization of images and involuntary reminiscences; Balzac, pursuing Rousseau-inspired theories, turns it into the free channel of the sensitive heart; George Sand, starting from the same concept, sees in it the vector of a political discourse founded on universal love…
From epic and lyrical poetry to philosophical demonstration, from musical studies to novels, and from aesthetic programs to writings about music; what can be found in this anthology is a constantly moving definition of what music does, overlooking the questions that every historical era has asked itself.
The book is prefaced with a general introduction about the meaning of music in Western society, and each text is introduced with a brief introduction or explication.

La Musique -
  • Available material :
    Finished copy

  • Buchet/Chastel
  • Musique
  • Publication date : 20/10/2011
  • Size : 16,5 x 24 cm, 366 p., 25,35 EUR €
  • ISBN 978-2-283-02479-9
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