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Emotion and Meaning in Music
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Emotion and Meaning in Music

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  5 reviews
"Altogether it is a book that should be required reading for any student of music, be he composer, performer, or theorist. It clears the air of many confused notions . . . and lays the groundwork for exhaustive study of the basic problem of music theory and aesthetics, the relationship between pattern and meaning."—David Kraehenbuehl, Journal of Music Theory

"This is the b
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Paperback, 307 pages
Published February 15th 1961 by University Of Chicago Press (first published February 1st 1961)
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John Park
2.5 stars.

The question of exactly how music can convey emotion has intrigued and troubled thinkers and musicians for generations; some have gone so far as to deny that it can do so. The question of the meaning of a piece of music is obviously related to such expression. This book, perhaps best regarded as an exercise in applied psychology, does deal—obliquely—with the expression of emotion, but meaning in the conventional sense seems a little more elusive.

I don't know how current its thinking is
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Christa
We have all become obsessed with the problem of meaning in various subjects. This book explains musical meaning and it's communication. "Not only does music use no linguistic signs but, on one level at least, it operates as a closed system, that is, it employs no signs or symbols referring to the non-musical world of objects, concepts, and human desires." Hence, the difficulty this book presents on the matter because it strives to analyze music where people usually don't consider music as merely ...more
Jessica
Classic and must-read for anyone interested in why music causes affect (emotion) and some of the most thoughtful analysis that links together psychology with music theory. While some of it shows its age in the dense writing, it is still quite relevant to today, as a springboard and foundation for the castles in the sky that are being built with the cognitive neuroscience of music. Took me a while to get through it because of the information density, but that really just underscores how excellent ...more
Iso Cambia
Jul 20, 2014 Iso Cambia marked it as to-read
Referenced in The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It by Philip Ball (p. 278).
Morgan Witter
Very interesting stuff! Really got me thinking!
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