Why We Love Music — Ebook
|Author :||Carl E. Seashore|
|Publisher :||Human and Literature Publishing|
|Categories :||Philosophy / Essays, Music / Essays|
Why does a person love his sweetheart, his food, his safety, his social fellowship, his communion with nature? The answer to each of these is a long story, involving not only common sense and scientific observation but a profound intuitive insight, a self-revelation. In all, it will be found that love is a favorable response, a reaching out for the satisfaction of a fundamental human need, an effort to secure possession, and a willingness to give an equivalent, indeed a more or less unconditional surrender...
It is therefore evident that any attempt to account for a specific affection, such as the love of music, must be fractionated, placing responsibility in turn upon the scientist, the artist, and the self-revelation of the inspired music lover at each culture level. It has become the recognized function of the psychology of music to integrate the contributions from all scientific sources, such as anatomy, physiology, anthropology, acoustics, mental hygiene, and logic, in their bearings upon the hearing of music, the appreciation of music, musical skills, theories, and influences. To account for the emotional power of music, the psychologist must consider the taproots of the artistic nature of the individual in relation to the nature of the art object, music. He must trace the unfolding of the organism as a whole from inherited reflexes, instincts, urges, drives, and capacities in an integrated pattern; he must consider the function of the art in human economy and especially the goals attained by the pursuit of the art. In this task there is room for intricate specializations and division of labor. It is my purpose here to present merely a rough skeletal outline of some of the outstanding features which underlie the love of music from the psychological point of view.
Every impulse has two aspects: attraction and repulsion. All of us love music in some degree; all of us hate some music; and most of us in the economy of nature are comparatively indifferent and extravagantly wasteful to the role that music might play in our lives. Hatred and indifference to music are important realities in life worthy of serious consideration; but our topic restricts us to the positive side of musical response, the love of music.
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