Michael Spitzer: “A very short history of fear in music”
- Date: 08 June, 15:15–17:00
- Location: Blåsenhus - Betty Pettersson Hall (14:031)
- Organiser: Department of Psychology
- Contact person: Patrik Juslin
The Open Seminar in Music Psychology
Michael Spitzer, University of Liverpool: “A very short history of fear in music”
Since its coming of age in the wake of 9/11 2001, the discipline of the history of emotions has made giant strides. Less so in musicology or music theory, which has yet to absorb the ideas, facts, and methods opened up by Juslin and Sloboda’s seminal collection (coincidentally also from 2001). Here, professor Michael Spitzer from University of Liverpool exemplifies his own approach, bringing historical and theoretical approaches together from the standpoint of music analysis (i.e., the analysis of compositional language and style). The basic emotional category of fear is a useful ‘red thread’ to guide us through the history of musical emotion, both in the common-practice period, 1650-1910, and earlier through the pre-modern era, when our modern concept of ‘emotion’ did not apply. Starting with a stereotypical model of musical fear in the nineteenth century, this ‘very short history’ outlines a genealogy of fear, peeling back the layers of successive stylistic and intellectual paradigms, through classical, baroque, renaissance, and medieval. In the course of this journey, Spitzer will question some basic assumptions about music-emotion research, such as the centrality of the psychology of expectations.