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The Imaginary Museum of Musical WorksAn Essay in the Philosophy of Music$
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Lydia Goehr

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198235415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198235410.001.0001

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A Nominalist Theory of Musical Works

A Nominalist Theory of Musical Works

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 A Nominalist Theory of Musical Works
Source:
The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works
Author(s):

Lydia Goehr (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198235410.003.0002

Lays the foundation for an investigation into the concept of a musical work according to the terms of analytic philosophy. It considers a range of analytic positions, but focuses ultimately on Nelson Goodman's influential nominalist and extensionalist account of musical works and performance compliance. Goodman's view that the musical score is a uniquely specified character in a notational system generates strict theoretical criteria to distinguish between constitutive and contingent features of works and compliant and non‐compliant performances. The critical examination of Goodman's theory is used to prepare the ground for a more general argument against the possibility of reaching a satisfactory account of the complex relation between philosophical theory and musical practice while working within the parameters of analytic philosophy.

Keywords:   analysis, compliance, extensionalism, Nelson Goodman, nominalism, performance, score

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