SourceArchiv für Musikwissenschaft, 58, 5, (2001), pp. 317-336
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI FGW
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
SubjectDeveloping normativity in education
This article examines various concepts, such as co-execution (Mitvollzug), aesthetic identification, and empathy (Einfühlung), which attempt to account for the intimate relationship between music and the individual. Eggebrecht’s theory of aesthetic identification and the theories of empathy put forward by Lipps, Volkelt, and Siebeck are first of all discussed. This is followed by a critical assessment of the basis on which these theories’ premise rests, namely, that musical encounters consist of a musical object that exists independently of the subject. A review of the central characteristics of the musical encounter – intimacy, holism, temporality, and lack of substance – leads to the conclusion that in direct musical experience, music manifests itself as an internal event rather than as an external object. It is therefore maintained that the concepts of co-execution, empathy, and "aesthetic identification" do not apply to the core experience of absolute music (although the latter does relate to several secondary phenomena in music), and that the relationship between music and the subject is more direct than these theories suggest. Thus, the listener does not enter into an intimate relationship with a musical work by permeating it by affect or identifying with it, but rather, music and the individual constitute a unit from the outset.
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