Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Was hat Musik mit den Gefühlen zu tun?

Hanslicks Frage und der »starke« Kognitivismus

Juli 2012, 16. Jahrgang, Heft 63, pp 70-96

What has music to do with emotion? Hanslick´s question and the »strong« cognitivism

The focus of this paper is on Peter Kivy´s cognitivist account of the relationship between music and emotion whereas the emphasis is placed upon the question of how music arouses emotional responses in listeners. According to Kivy, music is not able to evoke gardenvariety emotions in any aesthetically relevant way which it can embody as its audible properties. However, it can induce full-fledged emotions of a special kind (excitement, awe, wonder, etc.) that are determined by the aesthetic properties of a musical work and not by its emotional character when it possesses any. After presenting Kivy´s position, the author critically examines its underpinning assumptions. It is argued that Kivy´s explication of the mechanism of musical arousal and of the nature of »musical emotions« which is based upon a »reductionist« notion of aesthetic/expressive properties is inadequate.

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