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Single Idea 20344

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 4. Emotion in Art]

Full Idea

Hanslick concluded from the fact that music doesn't express definite feelings like piety, love, joy, or sadness, that it isn't an art of expression.

Gist of Idea

Music is not an expressive art, because it expresses no familiar emotions


report of Eduard Hanslick (The Beautiful in Music [1854]) by Richard Wollheim - Art and Its Objects 48

A Reaction

Whether music is 'expressive' (which it may not be) should not be confused with whether it is emotional, which it clearly is, even in its coolest examples. Hanslick viewed music as a code, not a language.

Book Reference

Wollheim,Richard: 'Art and Its Objects' [Penguin 1975], p.127