For thousands of years, philosophers have struggled for an aesthetic theory of music. Platonic theorists argue that musical works are abstract objects, while Nominalist thinkers claim music is a collection of concrete particulars. Scholars fiercely debate the "ontology of music"-- are drawings "physical objects" while music is an abstraction allowing for "multiple instantations"? How do "harmony" and "composition" in music relate to harmony and composition in the visual arts?
Steinberg sidesteps these kinds of semantic debates by showing us the day when music froze in mid-air:
Bill Watterson, in his excellent new book, Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, said:
I love the unpretentiousness of cartoons. If you sat down and wrote a two hundred page book called My Big Thoughts on Life, no one would read it. But if you stick those same thoughts in a comic strip and wrap them in a little joke that takes five seconds to read, now you're talking to millions.Steinberg looked at layer upon layer of dense philosophical analysis, as impenetrable as coal under pressure, and picked out this little diamond-- clear, light and funny.