Music, Emotion and Language: Using Music to Communicate Essay
ABSTRACT: There has yet to be a culture discovered which lacks music. Music is a part of our existence, but we do not fully understand it. In this paper, working in the tradition of Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Langer, I elucidate some of the connections between music and the emotions. Using contemporary philosophy of mind theories of emotion, I explain how we can have a better understanding of our emotive responses to music. I follow the pattern through representational painting and abstract painting to music, and show how each functions as an intentional object for the object of our emotions in response to each art form.
There has yet to be a culture discovered which lacks …show more content…
Aristotle explained 2500 years ago that music is mimetic or imitative. (5) Imitative of what? the harmony of the spheres? the sounds in the world around us? human emotion? To a certain extent all of these are right. What remains the same, however, is the role that emotion plays in the significance of our responses to music. In what follows I will give a brief account of how current philosophies of mind explain that emotion works, how aesthetic responses are said to work in terms of emotion, and finally how music fits into these structures.
In order to understand what the basis is of our emotive responses to music, we must begin with an