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Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608775.001.0001

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Emotional Contagion from Music to Listener

Emotional Contagion from Music to Listener

(p.47) 4 Emotional Contagion from Music to Listener
Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music

Stephen Davies

Oxford University Press

A common response to music's expressiveness is a mirroring or echoing one; sad music tends to make (some) listeners feel sad and happy music to make them happy. Reflecting on the musical case enhances understanding of the listener's response. It also invites criticism and refinement of both the cognitive theory of the emotions offered by philosophers and the models for human-to-human emotional contagion proposed by psychologists. As well as exploring these matters, I defend my account of the listener's emotional response against objections presented to it by Jenefer Robinson.

Keywords:   music, listener, emotional response, emotional contagion, cognitive theory

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