Laboratory of Philosophy of Arts and Music (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Markus Georg Ophaelders
Markus Georg Ophaelders
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2B dal Apr 8, 2019 al Jun 1, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The workshop aims to provide students with an active knowledge of the German philosophical thought that since the eighteenth century has been confronted itself with the artistic practice and, in particular, with the musical writing



1) Since Aristotle put the phoné at the centre of his theory of language and sign, philosophy has never ceased to question the theoretical status of the voice. The twentieth-century philosophical reflection, which has dedicated works of decisive importance to the theme of the voice, gives ample testimony.
2) The term "voice", though, is also a central term in the musical lexicon, where it indicates both the singularity of the vocal emission and the "part" of a polyphonic tangle.
3) It is in the ambivalence between single voice and choral polyphony, between the expressive uniqueness of the proper body and the universality of its giving itself in the overall phenomenon of sound, that the question of the voice requires the contribution of musical reflection as well as the properly philosophical one.

No prior knowledge and skills are deemed necessary.


Aristotele, De Interpretatione

Giorgio Agamben, Il linguaggio e la morte, Einaudi, Torino 2008

Corrado Bologna, Flatus vocis, Il Mulino, Bologna 2002

Adriana Cavarero, A più voci, Feltrinelli, Milano 2003

Jacques Derrida, La voce e il fenomeno, Jaca Book, Milano 2001

Mladen Dolar, La voce del padrone, Orthotes, Napoli-Salerno 2014

Jean-Luc Nancy, La partizione delle voci, Il Poligrafo, Padova 1993

Carlo Serra, La voce e lo spazio, Il Saggiatore, Milano 2011

Leo Spitzer, L’armonia del mondo, Il Mulino, Bologna 2009

Paul Zumthor, La presenza della voce, Il Mulino, Bologna 1984


Since this is a Seminary, the didactic methods adopted are addressing exclusively attend-ing students. They consist of one frontal introductory lesson and one or two lessons held by professionals of the musical sector (singers, conductors of choirs etc.). During the other lessons the students will hold singular presentations of the chosen writings and discuss them in class. In this way fundamental concepts and structures of thinking and reflection and their respective application tools to implement theoretical notions in the direction of autonomous critical judgment will be elaborated by the students themselves under the guidance of the teacher.
Throughout the academic year, the teacher also holds a regular individual Reception at the times indicated on his page (without having to set a specific appointment). However, it is recommended that you consult the messages to be informed of any changes. During the first lesson, attending students will receive the full lesson schedule with the dates and top-ics discussed. Information on timetables and classrooms is also provided.
The content of books and lessons is adhering to the program.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Adriana Cavarero A più voci Feltrinelli 2003
Aristotele De interpretatione  
Corrado Bologna Flatus vocis Il Mulino 2002
Giorgio Agamben Il linguaggio e la morte Einaudi 2008
Jean-Luc Nancy La partizione delle voci Il Poligrafo 1993
Paul Zumthor La presenza della voce Il Mulino 1984
Leo Spitzer L’armonia del mondo Il Mulino 2009
Mladen Dolar La voce del padrone Orthotes 2014
Jacques Derrida La voce e il fenomeno Jaca Book 2001
Carlo Serra La voce e lo spazio Il Saggiatore 2011

Assessment methods and criteria

In order to obtain the credits the students have to relate on a chosen text pertinent to the thematic of the Seminary and discuss it with the others. Furthermore, the students should participate at the lessons.