• What Music Isn't and How to Teach It

    Author(s):
    Arnold Berleant (see profile)
    Date:
    2009
    Subject(s):
    Music, Teaching
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    musical meaning, musical emotion, music experience
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6DN3ZW0S
    Abstract:
    Unlike the other arts, music has no direct connection with the rest of the human world. True, there are bird songs and natural “melodies” in the gurgling of brooks, but these are hardly the materials of music in the way that landscape can be the subject-matter of painting or the human body the material of dance. And no natural sounds can stand alone as quasi-artworks the way that the deeply eroded limestone blocks from China’s Lake Tai can be admired as abstract sculptures. Music demands to be understood on its own terms. This is not a new requirement, for others, from Hanslick to Copland, have urged us to focus on music as experience that is intrinsically and only musical. Still, false analogies are convenient, none more so than the platitude, “Music is the language of emotion.” Music as emotion that is linguistically structured! What happened to music as its own intrinsic, full experience—auditory, somatic, multi-sensory, sensible experience?
    Notes:
    Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, 8/1 (April 2009), 54-65. http://act.maydaygroup.org/php/current.php. Reprinted in Arnold Berleant, Aesthetics beyond the Arts (Farnham, UK & Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012).
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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