To dissipate utterly the supposition that the essay "On the Origin and Function of Music" was intend ed to be a theory of music at large, it may be well to indicate the scope of such a theory: showing, by implication, how small a part of it is included in the essay named. But let me first re-state some of the leading propositions of that essay, and give some additional evidences.
With the truth that music under all its forms is an expression of exalted feeling, must be joined the truth that the exalted feeling which most commonly manifests itself vocally, is one of joy. We see this among children especially. Hence through association it happens that there is a certain vague elation derived from the mere perception of music, even when distance renders its special nature indistinguishable: a faint wave of pleasure arises from sympathy with the half-audible sounds expressive of excited emotion. And this undefined gratification which music at large produces, seems always to remain the background on which each piece of music imposes its