|Abstract||Descriptions of music in terms of emotion are metaphorical, or so I maintain. If so, it is a mistake to say that music “expresses”, “arouses” or “represents” the emotions that figure in those metaphorical descriptions. For the description of those relations between music and emotion would be literal: they would describe a relation – expression, arousal, representation – that holds between music and real emotion. And if that were the case, descriptions of music in terms of emotion would not be metaphorical. Once we embrace a metaphor theory, we should dispense with such relational theories of musical description. I have argued elsewhere for the claim that emotion descriptions of music are metaphorical, and I do not want to revisit that question here.1 I here assume this, so that we can engage with the following issue. Where a metaphorical description is appropriate we can ask why. What makes it appropriate? Since music is often metaphorically described in terms of emotion, we can ask this question of these metaphorical descriptions. We can ask what makes metaphorical emotion descriptions of music appropriate, both in general and in particular cases. That is, we can ask: in general why is it peculiarly appropriate to describe music in terms of emotion? And we can ask: why are particular metaphorical emotion descriptions of particular pieces or stretches of music appropriate? There are some who insist that emotion descriptions of music are literal, but say that they have a secondary literal meaning.2 I find such a view implausible, but for present purposes I could concede that it is theoretically an option. For such a view still incurs the duty to explain the appropriateness, not of a metaphor, but of the supposed secondary literal sense. We would now have the question: what is the relation between the two senses such that not only is it not a coincidence, but also such that it is appropriate that the two senses are expressed by the same word? A similar issue is raised whether we opt for a metaphorical view or a secondary literal meaning view. Now some writers have sought a unitary account of the appropriateness of emotion descriptions of music..|
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