Music and the Numinous. (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts)
Publisher: Rodopi, 2007
The continuum of music-what is it, what does it do, how does it do it-has taxed countless philosophers over recorded time, and even the verb for what it does (express? arouse? evoke? symbolize? embody?) meets with no universal agreement. Not always is music admired: in the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet likens the skilled musician to an ineffectual preacher. Richard Elfyn Jones brings new ideas to the conundrum by taking up certain philosophers not usually cited in connection with music, in particular Alfred North Whitehead and the classical Greek notion of process (as opposed to event), and thus of process theology. The book opens up an original approach to the transcendent and, to many, the sacred quality heard in music, drawing both upon authorities concerned with the numinous (that feeling of awe and attraction behind religious experience) and upon his own lifelong engagement with music as scholar, teacher and composer.
Peter Williams, former Dean of Music, University of Edinburgh