Music and philosophy, lecture/concert: Päivi Järviö and Marianna Henriksson
Päivi Järviö, university lecturer and Marianna Henriksson, harpsichord: Emotions felt or emotions described? Representation vs. expression in the affects of 17th-century music
Music by Girolamo Frescobaldi and Claudio Merulo
Singer and composer Jacopo Peri (1561–1633) is said to have conveyed the affect of the words he sang to listeners in such a compelling way that he forced them to weep or to rejoice as the singer wished. Musicology in our time, however, regards affects as “general states of physical and psychological response” or “historically or communally generated reactions or conventions”. Is there an inherent contradiction here, or are Marco Gagliano (who praised Peri) and Carl Dahlhaus (a modern musicologist) simply talking about two different things: the unique physical experiences of musicians and listeners in the case of Gagliano and an audience’s shared conventions for verbalising their experiences in the case of Dahlhaus?