Music and Thought - 2nd semester


a) To offer conceptual and methodological tools, as well as to promote critical and self-critical competences, in the fields of Aesthetics, the History of Ideas, and the Philosophy of Music;

b) To provide bibliographical guidance and to develop skills in information retrieval and analysis according to scientific standards of relevance and reliability;

c) To develop the ability to conceptualize, to question and to problematize any relevant topic of musicological research, within a broader, interdisciplinary scope;

d) To hone skills in oral and written communication, in keeping with international academic standards of clarity and rigor;

e) To foster the interest in philosophical reflection more generally, to stimulate the production of original research in the area, and to encourage the critical analysis of musical and musicological discourse.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Pedro Cachopo


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



A background in Aesthetics/Philosophy of Music and reading skills in English are recommended.


ADORNO, T. W., Essays on Music, Berkeley: U of California P, 2002.
BENJAMIN, W., “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility”, Selected Writings, Vol. 4, Cambridge, Harvard UP, 2003, pp. 251-283.
BOLTER, J. and R. GRUSIN, Remediation: Understanding New Media, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999.
CHION, M., Sound: An Acoulogical Treatise, London: Duke UP, 2016 [1998].
DANIUS, S., The Senses of Modernism: Technology, Perception, and Aesthetics, Ithaca, Cornell UP, 2002.
GOEHR, L., The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works, New York: Oxford UP, 2007.
KITTLER, F., Gramophone Film Typewriter, Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999.
KREUZER, G., Curtain, Gong, Steam: Wagnerian Technologies of Nineteeth-Century Opera, Berkeley: U of California P, 2018.
RANCIÈRE, J., “Metamorphosis of the Muses”, in Sonic Process: A New Geography of Sounds, Barcelona: Museu d’Art Contemporani, 2002, pp. 17-30.
STERNE, J., The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction, New Haven: Duke UP, 2003.

Teaching method

The course will be in a seminar format and comprise lecture and discussion moments. A strong emphasis will be placed on the analysis of textual and audiovisual examples, whose analysis will provide the starting point for each class. Students are expected to actively participate in the discussions.

Evaluation method

Assessment is based on
1) an essay to be discussed with the teacher (50%);
2) an oral presentation on one text (essay or book chapter) from the syllabus (30%);
3) the participation in class throughout the semester (20%).

Subject matter

In 2019/20, we will focus on the relationships of Music, Modernity, and Technology. With a view to investigating the transformations of music in modernity, we will discuss the impact of the technological reproducibility of sound and image on musical production and reception from the mid-19th century to the early 21st century. We will examine how the artistic potential of technology was appropriated by multiple artistic trends (from the Avant-Garde to Postmodernism). The topics to be discussed in this course include:

- Notions of musical autonomy and heteronomy
- The historicity of the concept of musical work
- The concept of aura and the implications of its decline
- The original and the copy from the point of view of musical and musical-theatrical interpretation
- The role of technology in broadening the concept of music
- The impact of technology on the interaction of music with the other arts
- Phenomena of intertextuality, intermediality, and remediation