Two overlapping blue and yellow heads.

Philosophy Mixed: Philosophy and Music

By Nick Williams
Other Side Drive Host

From the Texas State Department of Philosophy and KTSW, welcome to Philosophy Mixed, the podcast series exploring philosophy and the nature of things. Rebecca Farinas (TXST Philosophy) and Nick Williams (KTSW) are joined by Nico Schuler and Utah Hamrick (TXST School of Music) to discuss issues surrounding music’s influence on our culture today. We want to thank Kimberly Clay (KTSW) for her help with this session.

Nico Schuler talks about musicology and how expression and interpretation contribute to personal and shared meanings in making and listening to music while referencing varied sources, such as bird song, Johann Sebastian Bach and Jacob J. Sawyer. Utah Hamrick discusses jazz as a conversational and communicative medium, referencing historical jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong. In addition the concept of live music is examined, along with music as a way to approach social issues and the importance of music education.



David Byrne, How Music Works, (Picador: NY, NY, 2013).

John Dewey, Art as Experience (Perigee Books: NY, NY, 1980).

Susanne K. Langer, Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art (Harvard University: Cambridge, Ma., 1957).

David Rothenberg, How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise (Picador: NY, NY, 2013)

Why Birds Sing: A Journey Into the Mystery of Bird Song (Basic Books: Cambridge, Ma., 2005).

Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound (Basic Books: NY, NY, 2008).


Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, “Hotter Than That” (1927)

Johann Sebastian Bach, Two Part Invention No. 9 in F Minor

Ludwig Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, op. 2 No.1

Jacob J. Sawyer, “I’m de Captain of the Black Cadets”

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