Music and Ethical Responsibility

Cambridge University Press, 2014

My book, entitled Music and Ethical Responsibility published by Cambridge University Press, is now out!

Book cover

The research question that is common to all of my work is: how does music affect the ways people interact? This book explores this question directly. In a nutshell, it explores the ethical responsibilities that arise in musical experience. Using a phenomenological approach, I argue that all musical experience involves encounters with other people. Drawing upon the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, I also argue that ethical responsibilities arise in encounters with others. So, what are the ethical responsibilities that arise in musical experience? That is what I explore in the book, using case studies ranging from improvisation to ‘other people’s music’ to noise along the way. To dig into this question, I explore a range of topics including: musical meaning, musical experience, and inherited ideas of music and morality. Below is the table of contents.

You can read most of the introduction here.

Here are some links to publisher descriptions and previews:

Music and Ethical Responsibility

Jeff R. Warren, PhD


Chapter One : Meaning and Ethics in Music

Chapter Two : Experiencing Music

Chapter Three : Framing Elements of Musical Experience

Chapter Four : Improvisation and Ethical Responsibility

Chapter Five : Musical Improvisation as Festival

Chapter Six : Music, Proximity, Ethics

Chapter Seven : Ethical Responsibility and Other People’s Music

Conclusion: Ethical Responsibility in Musical Experience