• 304 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • Price: $39.95
  • EAN: 9780877226413
  • Publication: Oct 1989

Sound Sentiment

An Essay on the Musical Emotions

Peter Kivy

The Corded Shell: Reflections on Musical Expression, published in 1980 and now out of print, was concerned with the question of how music comes to have the emotional properties that have been perceived in it and ascribed to it since antiquity. In that book, Peter Kivy argued that music possesses expressive properties, not as powers to arouse emotions in us but, rather, as perceived qualities of the music itself. In Sound Sentiment, he augments his previous work with four entirely new chapters. Incorporating the complete, corrected text of The Corded Shell, Kivy brings his earlier arguments up to date in light of recent work in the field, and discusses and answers various criticisms.


"Kivy’s is a lucid and eminently readable account, interesting both historically and conceptually, of musical expressiveness—flexible in that it gives scope to both the contour and the convention models, the account becoming more convincing as one reads, as the theory is applied to more and more specific passages of music, and as one after another bit of irrelevancy or pseudo-mysticism is progressively shucked off."
John Hospers, Journal of Aesthetic Education

"The Corded Shell, in its clarity, judiciousness, and breadth, will clearly take its place as a major work on musical expression. Those who seek to chart the murky waters of musical aesthetics are permanently in Kivy’s debt."
Jerrold Levinson, Canadian Philosophical Review

"Informed, lucid, and witty, Professor Kivy’s argument brings enlightened solace to the musical amateur and tempers the harsh stance of the musical purist. A splendid contribution to the aesthetics of music."
Virginia Quarterly Review

About the Author(s)

Peter Kivy is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and Associate Editor of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He received the Deems Taylor Award of ASCAP for The Corded Shell.

In the Series

The Arts and Their Philosophies

No longer active. The volumes in The Arts and Their Philosophies, edited by Joseph Margolis, include: overviews of such well-defined sub-disciplines as the philosophy of music, film, and literature; studies of important figures, schools, and movements; monographs on such topics as postmodernism, texts and interpretation, reference in fiction, and the methodology of art history; explorations of the intersection of the arts and other disciplines, such as feminism and interpretation, art and politics; and translations of major works.