Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Loving Music Till It Hurts - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Loving Music Till It Hurts

William Cheng


Can music feel pain? Do songs possess dignity? Do symphonies have rights? Of course not, you might say. Yet think of how we anthropomorphize music, not least when we believe it has been somehow mistreated. A singer butchered or mangled the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. An underrehearsed cover band made a mockery of Led Zeppelin’s classics. An orchestra didn't quite do justice to Mozart’s Requiem. Such lively language upholds music as a sentient companion susceptible to injury and in need of fierce protection.

Keywords: love, music, pain, justice, morality, politics, violence, peace

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190620134
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190620134.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Cheng, author
Assistant Professor of Music, Dartmouth College