Volume 44, Issue 1, Spring 2014
Emotions and Understanding in Music
A Transcendental and Empirical Approach
The aim of this paper is to sketch a theory of musical experience which takes the empirical research seriously without abandoning or neglecting music’s transcendental features. The tension between the recent empirical approach, as represented particularly by Huron’s ITPRA theory, and the transcendental fact that music as an instance of art is something one can understand and, moreover, can understand oneself through, should be overcome by elaborating on the concept of emotion and the role it can play in musical understanding. This will be done against the narrower background of the pragmatists’ theories of meaning, as represented by the semantic work of Meyer and Brandom, and their broader link to the philosophy of Hegel and the great (aesthetic) systems of German idealism.