THE AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE IN MUSIC
IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTER WE HAVE seen that individuals differ significantly in what music means to them and in what they get out of it. The classification of these differences into types of musical responses at once raises the question as to their relative aesthetic values, whether any one type can be said to constitute the musical response more so than any one or all of the other types, and the basis of the differences, whether they are due primarily to some factors of native endowment or arise mainly as a result of training and experience. On this problem we have some views from writers on musical aesthetics and some data from experimental investigations.
The two outstanding works on the aesthetic phase of music versus its technical and scientific side are Hanslick The Beautiful in Music and Gurney The Power of Sound.
Hanslick is concerned entirely with combating the widespread notion that the significance of music lies in its power for emotional expression. This he calls a false assumption which has misled musical aesthetics into describing the feelings which music arouses instead of inquiring into what is beautiful in music. The task of aesthetic investigation, he holds, must be the beautiful object, and not the perceiving subject. And he complains that, apparently, it is only in music that this objective approach is lacking, so that the emotions are still as much as ever viewed as the only aesthetic foundation of music and looked upon as defining its scope and function.
The view that the aim and object of music is to arouse pleasurable emotions, or that emotions are the subject-matter which musical works are intended to express or convey, Hans