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Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608775.001.0001

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Cross-cultural Musical Expressiveness: Theory and the Empirical Program

Cross-cultural Musical Expressiveness: Theory and the Empirical Program

Chapter:
(p.34) 3 Cross-cultural Musical Expressiveness: Theory and the Empirical Program
Source:
Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music
Author(s):

Stephen Davies

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608775.003.0004

Instrumental music expresses emotions such as sadness and happiness and the music of different cultures share important organizational and other features. If music's expressiveness is grounded in these musical universals, we might speculate that musical expressiveness, like displays of the basic affect programs discussed by psychologists, are appreciable across cultures. A critical review of psychologists' cross-cultural studies of recognition of music's expressive qualities is equivocal, however. The low number of such studies and their methodological weaknesses leave the issue in doubt.

Keywords:   expressiveness, affect program, instrumental music, cultures, musical universals

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