A Song in Your Heart

in The Music between Us

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226333281
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226333274 | DOI:
A Song in Your Heart

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According to Deryck Cooke, music is a language of the emotions, similar to speech. The psychologist Carroll C. Pratt also claims that music is a language of the emotions, while the ancient Confucian philosopher Xunzi once said that “music is joy.” Aside from joy, there are many other kinds of emotion that cultures tend to link with music. This link has often received at least three different explanations in the West: that music imitates or cognitively represents emotion, that music expresses emotion, and that music arouses emotion in musical participants. This chapter examines each of these theories and considers some of Western philosophy's answers to the question of how emotions and music are related. It suggests that listeners can relate to music in a fluid manner that allows for varying degrees of identification or detachment.

Keywords: music; emotion; Western philosophy; detachment; identification; listeners; Carroll C. Pratt; Deryck Cooke; Xunzi; joy

Chapter.  10981 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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