Understanding Music - Philosophy and Interpretation

roger-scruton-understanding-musicContinuum (2009)

Roger Scruton first addressed this topic in his celebrated book The Aesthetics of Music (OUP) and in this new book he applies the theory to the practice and examines a number of composers and musical forms.

His continued fascination with Wagner provides much interesting content but he also deals near-death blows to his favorite targets like Pierre Boulez and Hoagy Carmichael. His legal encounter with The Pet Shop Boys is well documented (they sued him for libel in 1999) and the book closes with a devastating chapter on pop music, containing more controversial views that readers will relish. Many will be delighted; others enraged. However, underlying this book there is a consistent argument and passion for tonality and rhythm.

"The prolific philosopher turns his attention back to music, exploring the fundamental elements that make a great piece. Ranging from Wagner to Hoagy Carmichael and even a final chapter on 'the disaster of pop', this is trademark, provocotive Scruton." - Bookseller, 20 May 2009.

You can read Marco Respinti's review of the Italian edition of 'Understanding Music' in Italy's daily newspaper  'Libero' published in September 2014.

Buy from Amazon

Latest Articles

Sir Roger presented with the Star of the Order of Merit of Hungary

On Tuesday 3rd December, the Hungarian Ambassador Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky welcomed friends and guests to announce that the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit of Hungary would...

30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

On Friday 15th November  Sir Roger was awarded the Silver Medal by the Senate of the Czech Parliament in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which saw...

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would crush civil society - UnHerd, 13 Nov 19

The 1989 uprising against communism in Eastern Europe was a bid for freedom, and for many commentators it was little more than that. The oppressors happened to be the Communist...

Scrutopia Summer School 2020

Now running for a fourth year, the Scrutopia summer school offers a ten-day immersion experience in the philosophy and outlook of Sir Roger Scruton, the British writer and philosopher who...

Recent Books

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

Music as an Art

Bloomsbury  (August 2018) Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German...

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Bloomsbury (November 2017) Addressing one of the most politically turbulent periods in modern British history, philosopher Roger Scruton asks how, in these circumstances, we can come to define our identity,...

2019 Events

Wed 31st Jul - Fri 9th Aug - 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

Thur 29th Aug - Sun 1st Sept - Scrutopia Alumni Meeting 

Thurs 10th Oct - University of Buckingham London Programmes - Masters in Philosophy

Scrutopia Summer School Wed 29 July - Fri 7 August 2020