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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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My thanks go first of all to all those who gave me encouragement and found ways to mobilize the strength and energy in me to write this book. In some cases these were quite fleeting encounters, and their topography was not always what might be expected in a "classical" scenario. As an example I give Claudio and Mirella Toso Ambrosini's live-in kitchen in Venice, where I met a mass of interesting people. There, as in other places, some of them "touched" me, although only a few of them had a lasting influence on my life. Those who did comprise first and foremost my family, as it was and as it now is: as it was: I mean my parents, Wilhelm and Emma Noller, to whom I would like to erect a memorial here, although such meagre words cannot do justice to what I owe to them; above all to my mother, who helped me to embark on what I can only today describe as an experimentum vitae. And then my family as it is: Marija Jankova, without whom this book would never have been written, and Johannes, with whom I carry on such fruitful discussions, whereby I not only profit from his knowledge as a physicist and cosmologist, but also from his ability to act as a mediator between the approaches of cultural studies and the exact sciences. And that takes me back to a period during my intellectual development in which I avidly devoured the writings of...

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