This essay responds to Alva Noë's arguments that popular musics (rock, country, etc.) organize listeners through style and personality, while other musics, such as classical and jazz, organize listeners on the music itself. Noë's arguments suggest that music is an existential phenomenon, and thus that music is ontological. There is much to like here, including the idea that musics can be existentially different. However, the work of pop musics cannot be confined solely to stylistics and personality; pop also has musical interest, which I explicate as the exploration of sound (3D)—timbre, groove, beat, tonality, texture, and so on. Classical, jazz, and other kinds of music may seek to emphasize the music itself (2D), but they are also caught up in style. Music, I conclude, is rhetorical in how it organizes or "moves" us, and we must attend to all its dimensions, musical and stylistic, in order to understand how so.


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pp. 28-44
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