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«Seiner Leidenschaften Meister sein» - «In control of the passions»

Zur Reflexion des Gefühls im Musikdenken - Emotion as reflected in musical thinking

Joachim Noller

Was heißt es, wenn Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach vom ausführenden Musiker fordert, er müsse selbst gerührt sein, bevor er seine Zuhörer in Rührung versetzen könne? Der Autor schreibt über die Idee der Emotion, über ihre Rolle im Szenario sogenannter Musikanschauung (von ca. 1750 bis heute). Von Interesse ist dabei weniger die Gefühlshaltigkeit der Musik selbst, als vielmehr die Art, wie das Musikdenken dieselbe be- und verhandelt; nicht Emotionen in tatsächlicher Wirkung, sondern wie sie, als Denkfigur, in musikalischen Zusammenhängen theoretisch bewältigt werden.
What does it mean when Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach demands that a performing musician must himself be moved before he can move his listeners? The author writes about the idea of emotions and their role in the scenario of what is called music appreciation (from about 1750 till the present day). His focus is not primarily on the emotional content of music as such, but rather the way in which it is treated in thinking about music; not on the actual impact of emotions, but the way in which they have been thought about in a musical context, as concepts around which a theoretical discourse crystallizes.
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XIII How “present” are aesthetic feelings?

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XIII

How "present" are aesthetic feelings?602

If we look for the buzzwords which dominate the debate on aesthetics at the turn of the millennium, then one of them which is at the cutting edge must be "presence"603. It seems to have left its footprint everywhere not only in aesthetics, but also in philosophy in general. But it cannot be our task here to present the full spectrum of thinking along these lines; as the chapter heading implies, our discussion will focus on one particular theme: does the presence theory help to understand aesthetic emotionality, can it also claim to represent a valid current approach in thinking about musical feelings? Our aim - if it is not already being far too presumptuous - is to sketch an outline for an answer to these questions; the route we must take to get there is, as so often, a labyrinthine one.

Especially in the field of aesthetics, "presence" is frequently contrasted with "representation". Indeed, it sometimes seems that the function ascribed to the attribute of being "present" is even the antidote to the alleged threat posed by the representation of something, in which the thing represented is merely substituted by artistic means, whether through being depicted or in some constellation of symbolic signs. One consequence of this is that the concept of representation oscillates between different aspects, so that it is subjected to a storm of criticism from all sides: if we...

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