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Sound and fury

To his surprise Simon Frith finds he agrees with most of Roger Scruton's assertions about musical meaning and value. But why does Scruton hate popular music?

By Simon Frith   January 1998

Roger scruton’s The Aesthetics of Music will not be the last word on the subject-there is too much philosophical fun to be had with the questions he is addressing: What is music? What does it mean? But it is an ambitious attempt at writing the definitive work, the book to which all theories of music must now refer. As such, it is written in Scruton’s sturdiest style. A great range of musicological, metaphysical and ideological flights of fancy are seen off with his well aimed analytic boot. The British philosophical approach-a central concern for linguistic clarity; argument via vignette-is brought…

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