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Contemplating ArtEssays in Aesthetics$
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Jerrold Levinson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206179.001.0001

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Musical Chills

Musical Chills

(p.220) 12 Musical Chills
Contemplating Art

Jerrold Levinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay focuses on a particular musical phenomenon, namely, the distinctive and usually pleasurable chills, shivers, or frissons that listening to certain passages of music produce in many listeners. This phenomenon is described and then situated in the field of musical pleasures as a whole, and the explanations of the phenomenon and its value that have been offered by cognitive psychologists are considered. A more satisfactory explanation is offered, one illustrated most fully in connection with a piano piece of Scriabin, his Etude in C# minor, op. 42, no. 5.

Keywords:   listening, music, shivers, musical pleasures, Scriabin

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