Moved by Music Alone

British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):455-470 (2021)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In this paper I present an account of musical arousal that takes into account key demands of formalist philosophers such as Peter Kivy and Nick Zangwill. Formalists prioritise our understanding and appreciation of the music itself. As a result, they demand that any feelings we have in response to music must be directed at the music alone, without being distracted by non-musical associations. To accommodate these requirements I appeal to a mechanism of contagion which I synthesize with the expectation-based arousal mechanism proposed by Leonard Meyer. This account connects musical expressivity and arousal in a way that formalists have rejected, but I argue that it provides the best explanation of our observations of listener responses while also focusing on the music itself.
Reprint years
2021
PhilPapers/Archive ID
COCMBM
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-01-01
View other versions
Added to PP
2021-01-01

Downloads
185 (#39,312)

6 months
28 (#30,721)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?