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The Emotional Power of MusicMultidisciplinary perspectives on musical arousal, expression, and social control$
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Tom Cochrane, Bernardino Fantini, and Klaus R. Scherer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Emotions, identity, and copyright control

Emotions, identity, and copyright control

the constitutive role of affect attunement and its implications for the ontology of music

(p.341) Chapter 25Emotions, identity, and copyright control
The Emotional Power of Music

Ulrik Volgsten

Oxford University Press

In this paper I tie together three lines of argument. In line with existing research, I show that music is an important component in human identity construction and development, both on an individual and collective level. Moreover I argue that music fulfills these identity functions through its affective and emotional qualities. In my second line of argument I claim that these identity functions become severely restricted by today’s copyright-laws. As, for instance, national copyright-laws are increasingly forced to harmonize with the global TRIPS-agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), music becomes subject to the private rights of multinational corporations and media-conglomerates, whereby music loses its independence as a dynamic cultural expression and individual self-object. Against the totalizing threat of today’s copyright regime I claim, as my third line of argument, that the same principles that underlie music’s power to fulfill human identity functions show that music cannot be reduced to an expression subject to private rights. Music is more than a material set of sounds with a predictable physiological effect. Nor can music be reduced to an immaterial cognitive object. Music’s ontological status derives to an irreducible extent from the affective investment of its listeners.

Keywords:   Music, emotion, affect, identity construction, copyright, self-object, ontology, TRIPS

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