Music of the Mind

Music can represent a kind of systematic exaggeration of the rhythm and intonation of speech. A given musical idiom can therefore operate in a manner very similar to the emotional lexicon itself. Singing a given phrase with a certain kind of melody is similar to stating it with certain facial expressions, or qualifying its statement with an emotion term. There is a disengaged rapport among the various elements of the art form, similar to that which characterizes a bundle of related proto-intentions. Harmony, melody, lyrics, orchestration, phrasing, and intonation combine to suggest an orientation in the same way that emotional expression often suggests. Our everyday thinking is more like music than like logic.

— William Reddy, “The Logic of Action: Indeterminacy, Emotion, and Historical Narrative,” History and Theory

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