Conceptual blending and musical emotion

Spitzer, Michael
(2018) Conceptual blending and musical emotion. Musicae Scientiae: the journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, 22 (1). pp. 24-37.

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The scholarly literature on conceptual blending and emotion is very scant. One exception is a short section in Fauconnier and Turner (2002) focused on the emotion of anger. Fauconnier and Turner refer to the cross-cultural research of Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) on the anger script. The present article takes this dialogue on anger as a starting point to develop two separate yet interlinked matters: first, to open up a perspective on emotion from the standpoint of conceptual blending; second, to apply this perspective to the analysis of music’s structural features. The article begins by reviewing Juslin and Timmers’ (2010) model of the expressive character of acoustic features and proceeds to assess Lakoff and Kövecses’ theory of emotion as cognitive metaphor. Reconciling the cognitive metaphor of anger with the theory of conceptual blending allows us to analyze anger in two pieces, by Vivaldi and Haydn, respectively. The analysis throws into relief issues which arise when we apply conceptual blending to aesthetic objects in general, and musical works in particular. One key concept here is Fauconnier and Turner’s notion of time compression. Finally, the article examines Brandt’s (2006) useful ideas on blending in art as a way of further clarifying the special status of emotion in music, as distinct from utilitarian emotion in everyday life. The article concludes that a synthesis of conceptual blending and cognitive metaphor provides a useful tool for analyzing musical emotion.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aesthetics, analysis, anger, blending, emotion, metaphor
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 10:46
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2023 10:46
DOI: 10.1177/1029864917714302
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