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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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On the resistance of the instrument

On the resistance of the instrument

Chapter:
(p.74) (p.75) Chapter 6On the resistance of the instrument
Source:
The Emotional Power of Music
Author(s):

Tom Cochrane

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.003.0006

This chapter examines the issue of the ‘resistance’ of the musical instrument to the expressive intentions of the performer, arguing that it has a major influence over the pursuit and achievement of the different values embodied in the act of musical expression. It is argued that from the perspective of both the performer and listener, the struggle to produce a sound can serve creativity, the stimulation of pleasure, and the sharing one’s emotion with others. The influence of these values is discerned in the historical development of musical instruments with a particular focus on contemporary technological applications. A contemporary development in musical instrument technology is then introduced where the transparency between the performer’s emotions and the music produced has apparently been maximized. This system, called ‘the mood organ’ uses physiological data indicative of the performer’s emotional state to automatically generate music expressive of that emotion. As a consequence it can potentially bypass the skill and even the intentions of the performer.

Keywords:   Musical instrument, emotion, sincerity, resistance, intentions, skill, sensors, technology, physiology, mood organ

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