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Single Idea 20402

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 8. The Arts / a. Music]

Full Idea

Mensdelssohn said that what music expresses is not too indefinite to put into words but, on the contrary, it is too definite.

Gist of Idea

Music is too definite to be put into words (not too indefinite!)

Source

Stephen Davies (The Philosophy of Art (2nd ed) [2016], 6.4)

A Reaction

Not sure whether that is true, but it is a lovely remark. It certainly challenges the naive philosophical view that words are the most precise mode of expression.

Book Reference

Davies,Stephen: 'The Philosophy of Art (2nd ed)' [Wiley Blackwell 2016], p.141