Musical improvisation as the place where being speaks : Heidegger, language and sources of Christian hope
The thesis enters several under-examined areas. First, improvisatory music will be considered as a human phenomenon in the widest sense (Chapter 1 ), and a phenomenon destined to suffer relative decline in the cultural environment of the modern West (Chapter 2). In consequence, the language in which improvisatory music is now discussed in the West will be shown to carry a negative charge (Chapter 3). Among various philosophies of music in the Western tradition, none appears to have foregrounded improvisatory music specifically. However Heidegger's philosophy, it will be suggested, harbours inner trends which favour the idea of music as a central component in philosophical discourse (Chapter 4) and may be used as a starting point for a re-emergent understanding of musical improvisation as a metaphysical principle (Chapter 5). Improvisation in music will be seen to be linked to the centrality of hope in human experience, and this will be exemplified in relation to certain cultures and twentieth-century composers (Chapter 6). Further to this connection between improvisation and hope, improvisation in a Christian liturgical context will be examined. There is a dearth of existing discussion, not only regarding improvisatory music in Christian liturgy, but liturgical spontaneity in general (Chapter 7).