Emotional Contagion from Music to Listener

Stephen Davies

in Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608775
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729669 | DOI:
Emotional Contagion from Music to Listener

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A common response to music's expressiveness is a mirroring or echoing one; sad music tends to make (some) listeners feel sad and happy music to make them happy. Reflecting on the musical case enhances understanding of the listener's response. It also invites criticism and refinement of both the cognitive theory of the emotions offered by philosophers and the models for human-to-human emotional contagion proposed by psychologists. As well as exploring these matters, I defend my account of the listener's emotional response against objections presented to it by Jenefer Robinson.

Keywords: music; listener; emotional response; emotional contagion; cognitive theory

Chapter.  10042 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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