Moving Forward the Concept: Critical Reflections on Universality of Music Perception

Ilkin Mehrabov
Department of Geography, Media & Communication Studies, HumanIT, Karlstad University, Sweden

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Ingår i: On the Move: ACSIS conference 11-13 June Norrköping; Sweden 2013

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 95:12, s. 97-108

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Publicerad: 2014-01-17

ISBN: 978-91-7519-563-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This theoretical paper is an attempt of trying to look at universal aspects of music; especially as outlined by Philip Tagg; and engaging into articulation on how music can universally be pleasurable for people who are total strangers to its origins and roots. Main argument of the paper; driving its conclusions from analysis of historical and recent studies concentrating on bio-emotional perception of psychophysical dimensions of musical cues within the different tonal systems; is that only the emotional part of the music; only the hidden emotions of joy and sorrow; unconsciously decoded by audience members listening to it; are responsible for this fascination and nothing else can be counted in when trying to understand the universality of music and musical codes. Paper focuses on critique of semantic interpretations of music and instead calls for moving the focus of scholar attention towards biological perception of music by human brain and nervous system. Paper ends with a call for a more cross-cultural research on emotional perception and interpretation of music; both Western and non-Western.


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