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Music is considered an art so can we consider the sound of the wind an art?

Great question. It might be made even more vexing if we compare the sound of wind with a musical piece in which musicians play instrumental music that resembles almost exactly the sound of wind. The chief reason why most of us would distinguish the two is because it is long held that works of art are artifactual: things (events or sounds) that are produced intentionally. The term "art" actually comes from the word "ars" which refers to the technique (techne) that is used to produce something. So, for most of history and today, the term "art" is short for "work of art" and because the sound of wind is (typically) not an intentionally produced to be a work (of art), the two are different. Still, we can imagine someone recording the sound of wind and then using this in an overall musical production. We can also imagine musical compositions intended only to be performed on windy day or during extreme weather conditions in which there is thunder and lightning. In such ways, artists might attune their...

I am listening to the theme music of a movie soundtrack. While I enjoy the theme music there is nonetheless something about it that strikes me as inauthentic and hallow. The thing is that I can't point to what it is that I find inauthentic. Maybe I might say that the music tries for an unconvincingly and excessively cinematic vastness and grandeur of emotion. But much equally ambitious cinematic music does not strike me as inauthentic. Is it philosophically incoherent to speak of a piece of music as lacking certain virtues such as authenticity when you are not even certain how a piece of music might be called authentic in the first place? How could it make sense? It seems odd to me that I can make such judgments.

Interesting! The topic of authenticity in music has been a lively one, especially (for some reason) in the 1980s and 1990s. The topic was usually defined by disputes about whether a musical performance of, say, Bach, could be authentic if it was performed with instruments that were unknown to the composer. Might it be the case that to really hear Bach's B Minor Mass one has to hear it on instruments modeled on those employed by the great German Baroque era composer? I believe Peter Kivey has a good book on authenticity in the arts, especially music. I think that the majority of philosophers who have considered this question concluded that authentic Bach does not require using only Baroque era instruments. But quite apart from concerns with instruments or questions about when music is faithful to a composer's intentions, etc (which you did not ask about!), I think there are other ways of talking about authentic music. In your case, I don't think it is odd at all to think in terms of authenticity...

Does music exist without a listener? This is kind of a corollary to the tree falling in the woods question- but it definitely deviates. Does the noise exist without someone to hear it? If music is created by a musician, does it really matter if anyone hears it? Does music have more value than random noise- because it was created with a purpose? Does this purpose give it more value than other waves?

Great questions. If by 'music' one means actual auditions (sounds), then it seems that the same reply works with the tree in the woods. There would be no sound and thus no music without auditions and thus without someone or thing to hear it. And the definition of music in terms of sound is an important one in the philosophy of music. Jerrold Levinson, for example, defines music as follows: Sounds temporily organized by a person for the purpose of enriching or intensifying experience through active engagement (e.g. listening, dancing, performing) with the sounds regarded primarily, or in significant measure as sounds. But if we change things a bit and think of musical composition, then your question about the musician seems very tempting. After all, imagine a musician composed a piece like the ninth symphony, perhaps writing out all the score, but the piece is never played. In that case, I think many of us would say the muscial composition exists even if there is no sound made at all based on...