return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 20405

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 4. Art as Expression]

Full Idea

One view explains music's expressiveness as 'associative'. Through being regularly associated with emotionally charged words or events, particular musical ideas become associated with emotions or moods.

Gist of Idea

Music may be expressive by being 'associated' with other emotional words or events


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

A Reaction

This is a more promising theory. I take the feeling in music to be parasitic on other feelings we have, and other triggers that evoke them. I'm particularly struck with story-telling (which Levinson and Robinson also like).

Book Reference

Davies,Stephen: 'The Philosophy of Art (2nd ed)' [Wiley Blackwell 2016], p.142

Related Ideas

Idea 20403 It seems unlikely that sad music expresses a composer's sadness; it takes ages to write [Davies,S]

Idea 20404 Music isn't just sad because it makes the listener feel sad [Davies,S]