The Experimental Psychology of Beauty

By C. W. Valentine | Go to book overview

Chapter XII MUSIC AND THE EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONS OR "MEANING"

Is music "the language of the emotions"?

Music has long ago been called "the language of the emotions", and the meaning of music has sometimes been interpreted as consisting in the emotions or even ideas expressed. Such interpretations have seemed to be implied in the sayings of some great composers themselves, and of some music critics. Another familiar interpretation is that of Schopenhauer, that music is the "objectification of the will", a view said to have been followed by Wagner. On the other hand there have been those who have said music expresses nothing but itself, and that it would not be music if it tried to do so.

To some extent the division of opinion is due to the attaching of different meanings to the term "expressive". All would agree, I imagine, that fine music is and should be impressive. Whether it is expressive presumably depends upon whether it expresses something other than itself, in the sense of communicating an idea or an emotion as intended by the composer.

No one that I know of has discussed this general problem with such thoroughness and acuteness as Edmund Gurney.1 So that the reader may know at once my own view and be on the look-out for any bias revealed in later discussion, I may say that I gladly subscribe to Gumey's two statements' first, "expressiveness of the literal and tangible sort is either absent or only slightly present in an immense amount of impressive music"; and second, "to suggest describable images, qualities, or feelings, known in connexion with other experiences, however frequent a characteristic of music, makes up no inseparable or essential part of its function". A third very fundamental point made by Gurney is the following". A tune is

____________________
1
See his book The Power of Sound, London, 1880.

-283-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Experimental Psychology of Beauty
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 440

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.