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The Emotional Power of MusicMultidisciplinary perspectives on musical arousal, expression, and social control$
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Tom Cochrane, Bernardino Fantini, and Klaus R. Scherer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.001.0001

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Control and the science of affect

Control and the science of affect

music and power in the medieval and Renaissance periods

Chapter:
(p.271) Chapter 20Control and the science of affect
Source:
The Emotional Power of Music
Author(s):

Laurence Wuidar

Kristen Gray Jafflin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.003.0020

This chapter presents an overview of the historical debate on music and emotion, from the period of ancient Greece up to the Baroque theories of Affektenlehre. The author explains how certain conceptions of emotions and their relations to music were dominant during these periods, focusing particularly on the religious and medical discourse of the Renaissance concerning the power of music on the soul and body. Aristotle assumed Plato’s ethical and educational considerations, while also devoting part of his philosophical reflection on music to its hedonistic dimension, as music generates and intense pleasure. This explains why it was believed necessary in musical, medical and political circles to control the production of music. The second part of the paper is then centered on specific cases with regards to the relationship between music, medicine and theology, including the relationship between music and demonology found in the theological and medical literature. In particular, in order to control the hedonistic aspects of music, priority had to be given to the text. Music emotional effectiveness should serve and enrich the discourse, enabling holy words fully to penetrate the soul and body of the faithful.

Keywords:   Music, emotion, Ancient Greece, Medieval period, Renaissance, theology, demonology, medicine, Aristotle, Plato

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