Musical expression and performance.
University of Southampton, School of Humanities,
This study examines the philosophical question of how it is possible to appreciate music
aesthetically as an expressive art form. First it examines a number of general theories
that seek to make sense of expressiveness as a characteristic of music that can be
considered relevant to our aesthetic appreciation of the latter. These include accounts
that focus on resemblances between music and human behaviour or human feelings, on
music's powers of emotional arousal, and on various ways in which music may be
imaginatively construed by listeners. It argues that none of these are entirely
satisfactory. Then it proposes an alternative account, focusing on what is involved when
our appreciation of music as an expressive art is informed by our awareness of it as
something that is expressively interpreted in performance. It is claimed that this offers
the basis for a better understanding of at least some aspects of expressiveness in music
and its relevance to aesthetic appreciation.
Actions (login required)