Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Nature of Musical Feeling 
quarter or a half tone. He will like or dislike only what he can hear, 
and the sensitive person, therefore, has vastly greater occasion for 
affective response to pitch than the person who is not sensitive 
to pitch. This is even more true in the realm of images, ideas, 
and emotions. Images of pitch, memories of pitch, thoughts of 
pitch, emotions aroused by pitch, skills in the performance of 
pitch, all call forth feelings of attraction or repulsion, agreeableness 
or disagreeableness; but the person who is sensitive to pitch has 
vastly greater resources in these higher mental processes than the 
person who is not. In other words, a person who is pitch-conscious, 
likes to hear pitch, is likely to build his memories, ideas, and skills 
in terms of this medium, but always living under the delicate 
balance of seeking the agreeable and attempting to avoid the 
The same is true of the sense of intensity, the sense of time, and 
the sense of timbre. The degree of sensitiveness to one or all of 
these determines the number of objects or experiences to which he 
can respond affectively. The highly sensitive person lives in a vastly 
larger field than the less sensitive, and he is more likely to select his 
pursuits of life in those fields within which he has the greatest 
resources, the largest number of pleasures, the greatest power. This 
is the reason for the quite generally recognized classification of 
musical minds into the tonal, the dynamic, the temporal, and the 
qualitative. The musician may be born with superior capacity in 
one or more of these, and, as a result, he concentrates his interests 
around the use of these capacities in which he has the greatest 
What is true of sensitivity for each of the attributes of hearing is 
true for each of the different sense modalities. The person with high 
sensitivity for color and strong visual imagery tends to find his 
outlets in this field and to be dominantly conscious by responses of 
attraction and repulsion within this field. This is particularly true 
in the stronger feelings, usually called emotions, which result in 
marked outward expression. 
Hearing and sight are the two dominant senses, followed, per¬ 
haps, by the kinesthetic sense as third in order. The artist in 
graphic and plastic arts tends to live in a visual world; the musician 
in an auditory world, though never exclusively. Affective situa-


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