Sources for Aesthetics

General sources:

  • Adorno, Theodor, Aesthetic Theory, University of Minnesota, 1998.
  • Aristotle, Poetics in the Complete Works Vol II., Ed. Jonathan Barnes, Princeton/Bollingen Series LXXI.2, 1984, PP. 2316-2340.
    Summaries by Karen Park aand Szu-Hsien Lee
  • Croce, Benedetto, Aesthetic, transl. Ainslie, Nonpareil Books, Boston, 1983.
    Contains a general theory of aesthetics and a history of aesthetics.
    Summary on Theory of Intuition (Lee).
  • "History of Aesthetics" entry in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy VolI, PP. 18-35.
    Outline by Szu-Hsien Lee
  • "Problems in Aesthetics," PP. 35-56.
    Outline (Lee)
  • Leonard, George, Into the Light of Things, University of Chicago Press, 1994.
    The art of the commonplace from Wordsworth to John Cage.
  • Nietzsche, Friedrich, The Birth of Tragedy, Transl. Whiteside, Penguin Books, 1993.
  • Paddison, Adorno's Aesthetics of Music, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
    Summary (Lee).
  • Phililpson, Morris (ed.), Aesthetics Today, World Publishing Co., N.Y., 1961.
    A very good selection of readings involving style, form, expression and communication, psychology and philosophy.
  • Schopenhauer, Arthur, The World as Will and Representation, Vols. I & II, Transl. Payne, Dover Publications, 1966.
    General Summary (Lee).
    Simmel, Georg, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, U. of Ill. Press, 1991 is a good comparison.
    Germain Philosophers, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, by Scruton et al., Oxford, 1984-1997 is also a good reference.
  • Silverman, Kaja, The Subject of Semiotics, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Sources relating to Music:

  • Chua, Daniel, Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning, Cambridge, 2000.
  • Dahlhaus, Carl, Between Romanticism and Modernism, Transl. Mary Whittall, University of California Press., 1980.
  • Dahlhaus, Esthetics of Music, Transl. Austin, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Hanslick, Eduard, The Beautiful in Music, Transl. Gustav Cohen, Library of the Liberal Arts, 1957.
    One of the most important 19th century treatments.
  • Kramer, Lawrence, Music as Cultural Practice 1800-1900, University of California Press, 1990.
    Blurs the lines between philosophy, analysis, and sociology.
  • Meyer, Leonard, Emotion and Meaning in Music, University of Chicago, 1961.
    Very important aesthetic theory.
  • Meyer, Leonard, Music, the Arts, and Ideas, University of Chicago Press, 1967, 1994.
    A seminal work and a must read.
  • Monelle, Raymond, Linguistics and Semiotics in Music, Harwood Publ, Edinburgh, 1992.
    relates semiotics (signs which give us meaning) to music.
  • Rahn, John (ed.), Perspectives on Muscial Aesthetics, W.W. Norton, N.Y., 1994.
    The best anthology from many writers, analyzing the most important issues. Robinson, Jenefer, Music & Meaning, Cornell, 1997.
  • Scruton, Roger, The Aesthetics of Music, Oxford, 1997.
    Extensive treatment of sound, tone, representation, to performance and culture.
    Summary of "Expression" Chapter (Lee.
  • Small, Christopher, Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening, Wesleyan University Press, 1998.
  • Treitler, Leo, Music and the Historical Imagination, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1989.
    Treitler discusses synchronic versus diachronic views of history and poses the big aesthetic questions.
  • Twentieth-Century Sources in art:

  • Art in Modern Culture, An Anthology of Critical texts (Ed. Frascina and Harris), Harper-Collins, 1992.
    Essay on "Modernist Painting," by Clement Greenberg (PP. 308-314) is especially important. summary, (Lee).
  • Butler, Christopher, Early Modernism, Oxford, 1994.
    Deals with al the arts in period from 1900-1916 with varous movements.
  • Schjeldahl, Peter, The Hydrogen Jukebox, selected writings 1978-1990, University of California Press, 1991.
  • Wollen, Peter, Raiding the Icebox, Indiana University Press, 1993.
    Reflections on 20th century culture, relating much to theories of film, This is very creative philosophy.
  • Words of the artists themselves:

  • Abell, Arthur, Talks with Great Composers, reprint by Citadel Press, 1987.
  • Barron, Montuori (eds.), Creators on Creating, Tarcher/Putnam, 1997.
    Subtitled: Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind. Essays by Fellini, Henry Miller, Feynman, Tony Kushner, etc.
  • Bradshaw and Bennett (eds.), Boulez on Music Today, Faber and Faber, London1971.
  • Cage, John, I-VI The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, 1988-89, Wesleyan University Press, 1990.
    MethodStructureIntentionDisciplineNotationIndeterminacy etc. (Cage's syntax).
  • Duckworth, William (ed.), Talking Music, Schirmer Books, 1995.
    Conversations with John Cage, Philip Glass, 5 generations of American composers.
  • Eliot, T.S., Selected Essays, Harcourt Brace, 1932.
    One of the most important wellsprings for ideas on art.
  • Hahl, Koch, Jelena (ed.), Arnold Schoenberg Wassily Kandinsky, Faber and Faber, London, 1984.
    Letters, pictures, documents.
  • Kagan, Andrew, Paul Klee/Art & Music, Cornell, 1983.
  • Kandinsky, Wassily, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Dover, 1988.
    One of the most important aesthetic/theoretical documents in any art.
  • Schoenberg, Arnold, Style and Idea (ed. Stein, transl. Black), University of California Press, 1975.
    Vintage late Schoenberg.
  • Schwartz and Childs (eds.), Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music, Da Capo Press, 1967, expanded 1998.
  • Simms, Bryan, Composers on Modern Musical Culture, Schirmer Books, 1999.
    Goes from Debussy to Duke Ellington.
  • Stiles and Selz (eds.), Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1996.
  • Three Classics in the Aesthetic of Music, essays by Debussy, Ives, Busoni, Dover, 1962.
    Should be in every student's library.
  • Vallas, Leon, The Theories of Claude Debussy, Musicien Francais, (transl. O'Brian), Dover republ. 1967 of 1929 Oxford edition.
  • Major artistic movements in the 20th century:

  • Batchelor, David, Minimalism, London, Tate Gallery Publishing, 1997.
  • Bozzolla, and Tisdall, Futurism, London, Thanes and Hudson, 1977.
  • Bradley, Fiona, Surrealism. London, Tate Gallery Publishing, 1997.
  • Butler, Christopher, Early Modernism, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1994.
  • Crane, Diana, The Transformation of the Avant-Garde, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987.
  • Drucker, Johanna, Theorizing Modernism, New York, Columbia University Press, 1994.
    Visual art and the critical tradition.
  • Harrison, Charles, Modernism, London, Tate Gallery Publishing, 1997.
    Seminal work in the umbrella concept of modernism to modernity (includes 19thC. background).
  • Kramer, Hilton, The Age of the Avant-Garde, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972.
  • Krauss, Rosalind, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, Cambridge, MIT Press, 1994.
  • Malpas, James, Realism, London, Tate Gallery Publishing, 1997.
  • Overy, Paul, De Stijl, London, Thames and Hudson, 1991.
  • Rickey, George, Constructivism, Origins and Evolution, New York, George Braziller, 1995.
    Updated from 1967 edition.

    Updated: February 19, 2001.