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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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The emotional power of musical performance

The emotional power of musical performance

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 4The emotional power of musical performance
Source:
The Emotional Power of Music
Author(s):

Daniel Leech-Wilkinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.003.0004

The extent to which the emotional power of music depends on performers has been disastrously underestimated, disastrously because so much writing on music over the past two centuries has been focused on the wrong phenomenon, attributing meanings and effects to scores which in fact emerge from imagined, remembered or revisited performances. It follows that when we attribute powers of persuasion to specific composers and compositions—power to change our state of mind, often to move us as deeply as almost anything we experience—we are in fact misattributing much. This conclusion brings with it all sorts of dangers, particularly for performers from whom it removes much comforting constraint, but at the same time it clarifies our task for those who study music’s affective process.

Keywords:   Music, emotion, performance, Chopin, Schubert, Cortot, recordings

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