Philip Armstrong


Please click on any of the following links to view the books on music semantics published by Philip Armstrong.

Alternatively, please click on the links below to view the respective articles.

'Of Clocks and Clouds, Of Coherence and Conceivability; A Philosophical Analysis of the Music of Ligeti.' Clocks and Clouds, for 12-part female choir and orchestra, composed by György Ligeti in 1973, takes its name from an article by Karl Popper which examines the role of mechanistic patterns and emergent phenomena in nature and in human thought. This paper by Philip Armstrong examines the implications of the music and the ideas contained in the music for semantic theory. (February 2021, pdf)

Webern Five Orchestral Pieces Op 10 and the Semantics of Extra-Formal Narrative. Fünf Orchesterstücke Op 10 by Anton Webern is often seen as representing the antithesis of Romantic music, and in particular the refutation of an emphasis upon extra-formal narrative. This paper explores an alternative method to establishing semantic features in music, an approach based on metaphor theory. It argues that all language reference is grounded not by literal features, which in the domain of music would ordinarily be pitch and rhythm, but by conceptual systems that are generative and creative, and based on metaphorical associations. (October 2020, pdf)

The Liszt Paradox The article examines how the composer Franz Liszt, at the peak of his powers as a composer, became aware of a contradiction between his values pertaining to music and those pertaining to religion, and the effect this had on his music composing after 1857. (July 2019, pdf)

A Model-Theoretic Analysis of the Characteristics that Differentiate Pluralism from Populism in a Democratic Context. The article examines the role of an international school in modern society in the context of a comparative analysis of the deontic logic of tolerance and respect which is associated with Social Pluralism and the deontic logic of disaffection and resentment which is associated with Populism. (March 2019, pdf)