Nietzsche and Music: Philosophical Thoughts and Musical Experiments
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was not only a philosopher who loved and wrote about music; he was also a musician, pianist, and composer. In this ground-breaking volume, philosophers, historians, musicians, and musicologists come together to explore Nietzsche’s thought and music in all its complexity. Starting from the role that music played in the formation and articulation of Nietzsche’s thought, as well as the influence that contemporary composers had on him, the essays provide an in-depth analysis of the structural and stylistic aspects of his compositions. The volume highlights the significance of music in Nietzsche’s life and looks deeply at his musical experiments which led to a new and radically different style of composition in relation with his philosophical thought. It also traces the influence that Nietzsche had on many other musicians and musical genres, from Russian composers to current rock music and heavy metal.
This book is part of a series. View the full series, "Nietzsche Now", here.
Aysegul Durakoglu is Professor of Music at Stevens Institute of Technology, USA, and has concertized as a pianist and chamber musician nationally and internationally. She pursued her graduate studies at the Juilliard School and received a PhD from New York University, where she taught music theory and piano classes. Her major albums include Dances through the Keyboard and Douze Etudes by Claude Debussy.
Michael Steinmann is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, USA. He received his PhD from the University of Tübingen, Germany, and his Habilitation from the University of Freiburg. His books include The Ethics of Friedrich Nietzsche (2000), The Openness of Meaning. Logic and Language in Martin Heidegger (2008), and Reframing Ethics through Dialectics. A New Understanding of the Moral Good (2022).
Yunus Tuncel is a co-founder of the Nietzsche Circle and the Editor-in-Chief of its electronic journal, The Agonist. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research, USA, and teaches philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Towards a Genealogy of Spectacle (2011), Agon in Nietzsche (2013), Emotion in Sports (2019), and Nietzsche on Human Emotions (2021), and the editor of Nietzsche and Transhumanism (2017).
“Understanding Nietzsche requires appreciation of his relationship to music, which was a lifelong concern and one of his primary sources of inspiration. Durakoglu, Steinmann, and Tuncel have assembled a volume that takes up the many ways in which music informed his philosophy and approach to writing as well his engagement with music as a performer and composer. The book’s essays, written by a distinguished group of scholars, will enhance readers’ comprehension of Nietzsche and add to their awareness of how essential his love of music was to who he was and what he accomplished.”
University of Texas at Austin
“The essays in the anthology trace Nietzsche’s passion for music from his childhood all the way to his final works, including his late critique of Wagner and even into his period of insanity. The authors touch on numerous aspects of Nietzsche’s affinities to music and musical culture, as well as his impact on future musical production, and their contributions open a singular view into Nietzsche’s life and thought that often gets overlooked. This collection of essays will teach us to think differently about Nietzsche’s work as a whole and will allow us probe deeper into the interconnections between music and philosophy that permeate his work.”
Dirk R. Johnson
Hampden-Sydney College, USA
“This anthology offers a fascinating reflection on all the musical dimensions of Nietzsche’s thought and life. In twenty chapters, this book allows us to understand the philosophy of music developed by Nietzsche from Wagnerian idealism to the consideration of affect and experience. It also analyzes the most important: the relationship of the philosopher to musicians who are perhaps more inspiring than his philosophical peers. This philosopher-artist dreamed of being a composer and, despite his failures, his compositions give access to his physiology of music. Without a doubt, this anthology reminds us that music, for Nietzsche, was the resource of all his thoughts and emotions.”
New York University
Daniel H. Foster
Rebecca A. Mitchell
Martine S. Prange
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
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