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Durham e-Theses
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The psychology of musical appreciation: an analysis of the bases and nature of the experience of listening to music

Robertson, C. E. (1936) The psychology of musical appreciation: an analysis of the bases and nature of the experience of listening to music. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



1) The aesthetic response to music is the purest and highest kind of musical appreciation,
2) In aesthetic listening the subject is absorbed in the music qua. music, identifying himself with the developing system of musical relationships,
3) Musical absorption tends to inhibit extra-musical experience.
4) Absorption or self-individuation in the music depends on the degree to which the musical system is grasped and followed.
5) Thus aesthetic listening has an intellectual basis. The subject grasps. follows and understands the relationships as regards pitch , rhythm and the dynamic qualities . He may know these only intuitively,
6) Progress from the lower levels of musical experience to the highest depends on the subject's musical receptivity and taste, and on how far these have been developed by training and/or experience,
7) Musical meaning is only definable in musical terms; and can only be understood by the subject who grasps the music as an organic whole.
8) The associative feature s of music cannot be entirely discounted i n musical listening. At the highest level their effect is at a minimum.
9) The emotional element i n aesthetic listening is bound up with the intellectual grasp of the musical system. Extra -musical emotion may be aroused by extra-musical factors, either objectively present (e.g. a programme) or subjectively supplied. In aesthetic absorption such emotion, tends to be inhibited,
10) Aesthetic emotion results from the subjective apprehension of a unique and significant musical whole, possessing beauty and value in the light of the subject's musical background,
11) Aesthetic listening has no practical value, but conation enters the experience. Underlying interest in the music for itself is a certain exaltation due to self-individuation, the power to predict, and the unconscious feeling of creatorship,
12) Musical experience is not apparently vital to all types; but musical aesthetic enjoyment enriches the life and the capacity to experience of the individual.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1936
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:56

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