Chapter

Soundings

in Transfigurements

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226734224
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226734231 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226734231.003.0007
Soundings

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Hegel has no doubt but that the depth sounded by music is that of the self. In his words, most directly, “music makes the inner life resound in tones,” yet it is not as though the inner life would otherwise go entirely unsounded, as if this depth required the advent of music in order to announce itself at all. States of the soul and feelings have natural forms of expression, as in a cry of pain, a sigh, a laugh. Yet in order to become music, these natural forms must be stripped of their wildness and crudeness and the feelings expressed must be linked to specific, determinate tones, and relations between tones. Only in this way can the transition from nature to art, from natural outcry to music, be made. Hegel does mention, precisely in this connection, the songs of birds, their delight as they put themselves forth in their songs, but, nonetheless, will not allow these creatures with their songs to cross the threshold from nature to art. Though perhaps belied by his repeated, significant reference to bird songs, Hegel's insistence that there is no natural music is an index of the distance he takes from the Critique of Judgment, from its celebration of natural beauty.

Keywords: Hegel; music; sounds; tones; nature; art

Chapter.  9534 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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