Friday, February 11, 2011

Doggone It, Is It Music?

A colleague is teaching a class in the philosophy of music and began by asking if certain instances of sound production fit the definition of music. He played this clip:
The class contended that if this was a free act by Tucker, they would consider it music. But if Tucker was trained to do this by way of treats or some other means of conditioning, then it would not be music. The intention on the part of the dog was a determining factor in deciding the question, they held. Does this really matter?

What about the dog in this clip from Pink Floyd at Pompeii where it is clear that the dog is just yelping at the sound of the harmonica?

Is there a difference between the two scenarios? Are either music? Both?