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Essay sample - What does it mean to say of a piece of instrumental music that it has certain emotional qualities?
Pages 6 (1506 words)
When the emotion is experienced, prompted by something perceived, imagined, or thought about, it will have a real or imaginary object upon which it is directed, the emotion being about this intentional object (Lippman, 46). …
A musical instrument being an expression of emotion in a persona or number of characters, the listener is right to imagine, in accordance with the nature and development of the music, a persona undergoing an emotion or series of emotions, or a number of characters doing so.
Hence, it can be said that the idea that the emotional qualities of music are such that they are liable to induce an emotional response in the listener. This liability in a musical instrument need not be thought of as a disposition of the emotional quality of a piece of music to arouse a corresponding emotion in listeners who perceive the quality. When it comes to the use of musical instruments, a very great deal depends on the correct conception of the emotions. A common view is the so-called cognitive theory of the emotions, which is adhered to by the principal of philosophical sceptic about music’s ability to arouse emotions of the garden variety. The cognitive theory exists in many forms, which differ in both the number and nature of the elements of which emotions are said to be composed. What is definitive of the theory is that it represents each type of emotion as being defined by a particular kind of proposition or thought plus some combinations of bodily sensations, hedonic tones, and feelings. ...
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