Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


Deep Refrains : Music, Philosophy, and the Ineffable, Hardback Book

Deep Refrains : Music, Philosophy, and the Ineffable Hardback


We often say that music is ineffable, that it does not refer to anything outside of itself.

But if music, in all its sensuous flux, does not mean anything in particular, might it still have a special kind of philosophical significance?

In Deep Refrains, Michael Gallope draws together the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, Vladimir Jankelevitch, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari in order to revisit the age-old question of music's ineffability from a modern perspective.

For these nineteenth- and twentieth-century European philosophers, music's ineffability is a complex phenomenon that engenders an intellectually productive sense of perplexity.

Through careful examination of their historical contexts and philosophical orientations, close attention to their use of language, and new interpretations of musical compositions that proved influential for their work, Deep Refrains forges the first panoptic view of their writings on music.

Gallope concludes that music's ineffability is neither a conservative phenomenon nor a pious call to silence. Instead, these philosophers ask us to think through the ways in which music's stunning force might address, in an ethical fashion, intricate philosophical questions specific to the modern world.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336 pages, 10 halftones, 20 line drawings
  • Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Music reviews & criticism
  • ISBN: 9780226483559

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also by Michael Gallope