What are Songs? What is Music? | Philosophy Tube ft. This Exists | Summary and Q&A

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November 26, 2015
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What are Songs? What is Music? | Philosophy Tube ft. This Exists

TL;DR

Are songs abstract objects or individual performances? The debate between platonism and nominalism in the context of music.

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Key Insights

  • ๐Ÿคจ The ontology of songs raises questions about their existence as abstract objects or individual performances.
  • โšพ Musical platonism considers songs as timeless abstract objects, while nominalism defines songs based on each performance.
  • ๐Ÿ’ณ The artistic value and creative credit of a song depend on the metaphysical understanding of the song itself.
  • ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐ŸŽจ Artists' intentions and their ability to shape or change their own songs highlight the importance of individual interpretations.
  • ๐Ÿ‘ The debate between platonism and nominalism extends beyond music and influences discussions in various fields.
  • โ“ The concept of what constitutes a song challenges traditional notions of artistic creation and originality.
  • ๐Ÿ–๏ธ Personal preferences and subjective experiences play a significant role in defining the essence of a song for both listeners and musicians.

Transcript

I've just got my ipod on shuffle and the first song that's come up is suffragette City by David Bowie suffragette City is a song it's a damn good song actually but what are songs that might sound like a bit of a weird question songs are bits of music surely but what I mean is what sort of thing is suffragette City because it's not like the Mona Lis... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the difference between suffragette City as an abstract object and its various performances?

According to musical platonism, suffragette City is an abstract object that exists independently of any performance, while nominalism considers each performance as a token of the song itself.

Q: Does an acoustic version or a cover version count as suffragette City?

The answer depends on the philosophical stance. For a musical platonist, any performance that captures the essence of suffragette City would count, while a nominalist might argue that each performance contributes to the overall definition of the song.

Q: Can an imperfect rendition by David Bowie still be considered the genuine suffragette City?

From a musical platonist perspective, an imperfect rendition would still be suffragette City as long as it captures the essence of the song. However, a nominalist might argue that such a rendition would be a different performance within the set of suffragette City.

Q: How did David Bowie create suffragette City if it always existed?

If suffragette City is considered an abstract object existing outside of time and space, David Bowie's role shifts from creating the song to discovering and performing it. The concept of artistic credit becomes complex in this context.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Suffragette City by David Bowie raises questions about the nature of songs and their existence in multiple copies, formats, and performances.

  • Musical platonism suggests that songs exist as abstract objects, while nominalism argues that songs are defined by every instance of their performance.

  • The artistic value and creative credit of a song depend on the metaphysical understanding of what constitutes the song itself.

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