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Hans Christian ØrstedReading Nature's Mind$
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Dan Ch. Christensen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.001.0001

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| 1808 | 1808 The Art of Music

| 1808 | 1808 The Art of Music

(p.214) 22 | 1808 The Art of Music
Hans Christian Ørsted

Dan C. Christensen

Oxford University Press

In continuation of ch 21 this chapter deals with the aesthetical aspects of Ørsted's experiments on sonorous figures. Inspired by Ritter's investigations of the effect of galvanism on his senses Ørsted and prompted by Rousseau's resignation in his Dictionnaire de musique to explain aesthetical keywords like ‘genius’, ‘taste’, ‘enjoyment’, etc. Ørsted saw in the symmetry of the sonorous figures evidence of the physical objectivity of the beauty of tones. He expressed his aesthetical ideas to the Scandinavian Literary Society in a dialogue *On the Cause of the Pleasure Evoked by Tones’ (1808), where Alfred (Ørsted's mouthpiece) discusses various conceptions of music put forward by four other interlocutors. The sonorous figures constitute an important part of Ørsted's aesthetics of nature, but he readily concedes that musical enjoyment also has a component of individual freedom.

Keywords:   aesthetics of nature, sonorous figures, Rousseau, dialogue, Kant

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