In this essay, I undertake a comparative study of the ontologies of three quite distinct Western musical traditions – classical, rock, and jazz – approached from the unusual angle of their recordings. By the ‘ontology’ of a tradition I mean simply the kinds of things there are in that tradition and the relations that hold between them. A study of this scope is bound to leave many questions unanswered when restricted to this length. The ontology of classical music has been debated in the analytic tradition for close to half a century, and there has been a growing interest in the ontologies of rock and jazz in the last ten years. The advantage gained by the wide scope, however, is a bird’s eye view of the terrain. As I see it, that terrain is quite varied, and looking at it through the lens of recordings throws the differences into relief. I end with some reflections on the consequences of the ontological project for musicology.
Contribution to Book
Works, Recordings, Performances: Classical, Rock, JazzRecorded Music: Philosophical and Critical Reflections
Document TypeContribution to Book
PublisherMiddlesex University Press
Citation InformationKania, A. (2008). Works, recordings, performances: Classical, rock, jazz. In M. Doğantan-Dack (Ed.), Recorded music: Philosophical and critical reflections (pp. 3-21). London, England: Middlesex University Press.