The Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group was first established in May 2010, after a Royal Musical Association Study Day (in association with the British Society of Aesthetics) on the topic of Music and Philosophy, held at King’s College London on 20th February 2010. Following its founding, our first event was  a symposium on ‘What can science tell us about musical meaning?‘, held at King’s College London on 10th Nov 2010.

Our aim is the following: To provide a distinctive, long-term forum offering opportunities for those with an interest in music and philosophy to share and discuss their work, in the hope of furthering dialogue in this area.

We plan to work towards this goal through four courses of activity:

(i)  Multi-day conferences
(ii) A series of smaller events
(iii) A presence at other events
(iv) An on-line presence centered around a website and mailing list

The Group was formed in the wake of a Royal Musical Association Study Day (in association with the British Society of Aesthetics) on the topic of Music and Philosophy, held at King’s College London on the 20th February 2010.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Royal Musical Association and the British Society of Aesthetics.


The Study Group is currently run by a five person Committee consisting of:

  • Andrew Huddleston (Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London), Treasurer
  • Tomas McAuley (Department of Musicology, Indiana University), Chair
  • Nanette Nielsen (Department of Music, University of Nottingham/University of Oslo), Secretary
  • Hannah Templeton (Department of Music, King’s College London), Events Coordinator
  • Nick Zangwill (Department of Philosophy, University of Hull), Communications Officer

Members of the Study Group Committee are joined on this year’s Conference Committee by:

  • Bill Brewer (Department of Philosophy, King’s College London)
  • Jeremy Coleman (Department of Music, King’s College London)
  • James Fogarty
  • Michael Gallope (Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota)

Advisory Board

  • Mark Evan Bonds (Department of Music, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Andrew Bowie (School of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Malcolm Budd (Department of Philosophy, University College London)
  • Daniel Chua (School of Humanities, The University of Hong Kong)
  • Marcel Cobussen (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University)
  • Nicholas Cook (Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge)
  • Stephen Davies (Faculty of Arts, The University of Auckland)
  • John Deathridge (Department of Music, King’s College London)
  • Andreas Dorschel (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz)
  • Michael Fend (Department of Music, King’s College London)
  • Lydia Goehr (Department of Philosophy, Columbia University)
  • Cynthia M Grund (Department of Philosophy, University of Southern Denmark at Odense)
  • Garry L. Hagberg (Philosophy, Bard College)
  • Björn Heile (Department of Music, University of Glasgow)
  • Peter Kivy (Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University)
  • Jerrold Levinson (Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland)
  • Susan McClary (Music Department, Case Western Reserve University)
  • Max Paddison (Department of Music, Durham University)
  • Michael Spitzer (School of Music, University of Liverpool)
  • Hiroshi Yoshida (Graduate School for Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto)

International Coordinators

  • Hye-yoon Chung (Division of Music, Myongji University), International Coordinator for South Korea
  • Mårten Nehrfors (Stockholm University/King’s College London), International Coordinator for Sweden
  • Golan Gur (Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge), International Coordinator for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Israel