We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Philosophy of Music?

By Melanie Smeltzer
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Musical Expert is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Musical Expert, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many people wonder what makes music music, why certain songs make us feel happy or sad, or how music serves to shape culture and history. These common musings are some of the fundamental questions asked and studied in the philosophy of music. As with the philosophy of science or psychology, this branch of study requires some background knowledge of the subject. Unlike the other two disciplines, however, music is something that most people have some understanding of — whether through the act of listening or through the complex art of performing.

Many forms of art, such as painting or literature, can be easily interpreted. Paintings generally focus on distinct shapes and forms that make the artist's statement obvious, while authors are able to verbally express emotions, ideas, and thoughts. Music, on the other hand, is largely considered abstract and open to interpretation. Thus, the philosophy of music is often a broad subject that is frequently debated.

One of the most common debates when it comes to the philosophy of music is how to define this art form. The broadest definitions state that music is either organized sound or the art of creating organized sound. Some contend that these statements are too broad, as speech and mechanical noises may be classified as organized sound, and poetry may also be placed into the category of creation. Other theories state that music can be defined by varying tones and pitches or by the intention of the person creating the music.

Another hotly debated subject in the philosophy of music is meaning and purpose. This debate questions why humans respond to certain types of music. Some believe that emotional responses and song interpretations are a result of cultural conditioning. Others, however, take a more scientific approach by suggesting that how we react to music is directly related to the evolution of our brains.

Value is also an important debate in the philosophy of music. Some feel that the great value we place on music is based on personal experience and emotional response, while others suggest that value is created solely on the mechanics of the art form. Another debate on the subject of value is whether or not we should hold such esteem for music. One position states that music is an integral part of society, while others contend that the simple pleasure of listening to music is trivial and unessential.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.