Where Does Music End and Nonmusic Begin? Fine-tuning the “Naturalist Response” Problem for Nontonal Music’s Naturalistic Critics


As to what distinguishes music from other sound, some investigators in both philosophy and cognitive scientists have answered “tonality.” It seems subservient even to rhythm. Tonality is considered to be the central factor around which the piece is oriented; it gives a sense of home, expectation, and completeness. Most important, much of this inquiry builds on naturalistic, evolutionary explanation to account for human nature and behavior. The conclusion of such line of thought is that sounds missing tonality or tonal focus cannot be music. This article challenges such sort of naturalistic criteria distinguishing music from nonmusic. Permitting certain sets of sounds to be considered music does not necessitate denial or approval of naturalistic explanations but does allow nontonal music to serve a part of human and musical evolution

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