Philosophy of Music 2020/2021 (7.5 credits)

Spring 2021, 100 %, Campus

Start date: 12 April 2021

End date: 16 May 2021

Application Deadline: 15 October 2020

Enrolment Code: UU-00511 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Location: Uppsala

Selection: All qualified applicants will be admitted.

Entry Requirements: Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree with the main field of study within the humanities.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application or tuition fees. Formal exchange students will be exempted from tuition fees, as well as the application fee. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 12500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 12500

About the course:

What is music, and why do we play and listen to it? Is music a form of communication, and if so, what does it communicate? How do the ways in which we think about and conceive of music today relate to the ways in which music was thought about and conceived in the ancient world, and in the centuries preceding ours?

The purpose of this course is to gain a grounding in such questions in two ways. In the first half of the course, students will be introduced to key issues and texts in the history of philosophical thought about music, from ancient Greece until the 20th century. Of particular focus here are historical notions of music and ethics, the relation between music and rhetoric, the notion of music as mimesis, the idea of "absolute" or pure music, and the problematics of musical modernism. The second half will focus on topics prominent in the contemporary philosophical study of music. These include the expression of emotion in music, music's relation to language and metaphor, the concept of a musical work, and the role of music in film.

More information


Department of Philosophy

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 H

Box 627, 751 26 UPPSALA

Telephone: 018-471 7351

Course Administrator Ulrika Valdeson


Telephone: +46 18 471 72 99