Music as Pure Duration: a dialogue between music and philosophy

Horsley, Joshua Robert orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0089-5150 (2018) Music as Pure Duration: a dialogue between music and philosophy. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Music as Pure Duration: a dialogue between music and philosophy is a multi- method Practice Based Research project that contributes to dialogue between music and philosophy within the field of music. The thesis is comprised of a compositional portfolio and written component. It places hybrid of New Music and Electroacoustics in dialogue with Metaphysics. By interpreting Bergson’s temporality and Husserl’s consciousness of internal time through music, it questions how temporality is distinct in music compared to physical objects and sound. Chapter One defines the study. Chapter Two focuses on the composition of Sedemus, reading the design schematic of a chair as instruction for music. It discusses the relationship between spatiality and temporality, accuracy and interpretation. Chapter Three critiques Sedemus, leading to the dialogic composition of Sedere Audire. It differentiates analytical knowledge from intuitive knowledge in the context of music and sound. Chapter Four offers music as a metaphysical concept, realized as Day Born. It investigates the heard and the audible. Underpinned by Husserl’s treatment of Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory, it is succession, simultaneity, and continuity that appear critical to the differentiation of non-audio and audio entities. In the context of Hermann’s definition, Chapter Five focuses on analytical accuracy in the sonification of a cuboid and uncovers a tension between validity and aesthetics. Chapter Six presents compositions informed by the concepts of unfolding (in Struck), differentiating analysis and intuition (in Discern), and piano as object or musical instrument (in Reduce). Chapter Seven summarises the research findings and points towards continuing research. Sedemus, Sedere Audire, Day Born, and the sonifications demonstrate new insights gained through practical and philosophical analysis whilst Struck, Discern, and Reduce demonstrate tacit and intuitive knowledge. This research is intended to be of interest to musicians, especially those seeking to embed their music practice within philosophy. It is expected that philosophers with specific interest in temporality, Bergson, or Husserl, may also find interest.

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