Peter Kivy is the author of many books on the history of art and, in particular, the aesthetics of music. This collection of essays spans a period of some thirty years and focuses on a richly diverse set of issues: the biological origins of music, the role of music in the liberal education, the nature of the musical work and its performance, the aesthetics of opera, the emotions of music, and the very nature of music itself. Some of these subjects are viewed as part of the history of ideas, others as current problems in the philosophy of art. A particular feature of the volume is that Kivy avoids the use of musical notation so that no technical knowledge at all is required to appreciate his work. The essays will prove enjoyable and insightful not just to professionals in the philosophy of art and musicologists, or to musicians themselves, but also to any motivated general reader with a deep interest in music.
"...it is precisely the breadth of this display that recommends The Fine Art of Repetition as among the handful of most important books in recent years on the philosophy of music...The pleasure of reading this variety of Kivy lies not just in the refined wit and eloquence of the formulations he offers but in attending to his pleasure and astonishment at how even the most minute or seemingly mundane questions regarding the nature of music and musical experience lead--it seems inevitably--to some of the most central and constitutive features of human life...The Fine Art of Repetition will be read with profit and pleasure by students and experts alike in music theory and aesthetics." Thomas Huhn, Canadian Philosophical Review "Peter Kivy's The Fine Art of Repetition: Essays in the Philosophy of Music is a tour, in effect, of his thinking on music over the past thirty years. Those familiar with his earlier work will revisit some of his most important articles as well as the central themes that have made his work in the philosophy of music so distinctive. Those not previously versed in Kivy's work will find this an excellent introduction." Kathleen Marie Higgins, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism "Peter Kivy is the leading authority in the philosophy of music as practiced in the Anglo-American or 'non-speculative' tradition in philosophy. He is, to a large extent, responsible for rejuvenating, over the last 20 years, the discipline of music aesthetics through his many papers and books on the topis." Douglas Dempster, Music Theory On-Line