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Deleuze and Music

Edited by Ian Buchanan, Marcel Swiboda

Hardback i (Printed to Order)

What would a Deleuzian music philosophy be like? For Deleuze, music informed his work on several levels. He did not merely write about music, it formed part of his thinking.

Deleuze and Music is the first volume to explore Deleuze's ideas from the perspective of music and sound. Music is central to Deleuze's work from Difference and Repetition and the Logic of Sense to Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature and A Thousand Plateaus (both written with Félix Guattari), music and sound-based problems contribute a great deal to the originality and singularity of his thought.

The essays in this volume explore a variety of these problems and their relevance to key debates in a number of areas including ethics, aesthetics, politics, epistemology and the history of ideas. They collectively demonstrate how music functions in Deleuze's work, exploring how at key stages in his thought ideas of melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint and the refrain provide the frame of reference for his immanent ontology, his Spinozist ethology and his (and Guattari's) politics of the 'people yet to come'. Furthermore, they show how music proves the exemplary medium for further exploring and developing his 'rhizomatic' conception of thought.

The volume provides a much-needed addition to the growing body of secondary work on Deleuze and will be of interest to students and researchers working across a diverse range of disiciplines, including philosophy and cultural and critical theory as well as art history, musicology and ethnomusicology.


  • The first book on Deleuze in relation to music covering all of the key Deleuzian texts
  • Covers different types of music, jazz, pop music, electronic music, heavy metal and improvised music
  • Demonstrate how music functions in Deleuze's work, exploring how ideas of melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint and the refrain shape his philosophical thinking.


Introduction: Deleuze and Music
Ian Buchanan
1 Studies in Applied Nomadology: Jazz Improvisation and Post-Capitalist Markets
Eugene Holland
2 Is Pop Music?
Greg Hainge
3 Deleuze, Adorno, and the Composition of Musical Multiplicity
Nick Nesbitt
4 Affect and Individuation in Popular Electronic Music
Drew Hemment
5 Violence in Three Shades of Metal: Death, Doom and Black
Ronald Bogue
6 Becoming-Music: The Rhizomatic Moment of Improvisation
Jeremy Gilbert
7 Rhythm: Assemblage and Event
Phil Turetsky
8 What I Hear is Thinking Too: The Deleuze Tribute Recordings
Timothy S. Murphy
9 Music and the Socio-Historical Real: Rhythm, Series and Critique in Deleuze and O. Revault D'Allonnes
Jean-Godefroy Bidima
10 Cosmic Strategies: The Electric Experiments of Miles Davis
Marcel Swiboda
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Ian Buchanan is Director of the Institute for Social Transformation Research, University of Wollongong. He is the author of A Reader's Guide to Anti-Oedipus and Deleuzism: A Metacommentary, and Editor of the journal Deleuze Studies.

Marcel Swiboda is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. He is reviews editor of Parallax, a journal in philosophical Cultural Studies.

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