Shaping and Co-Shaping Forms of Vitality in Music: Beyond Cognitivist and Emotivist Approaches to Musical Expressiveness


  • Jin Hyun Kim University of Oldenburg



forms of vitality, musical expressiveness, aesthetic experience of music


Over the last three decades, there has been an increasing number of empirical studies on how music conveys and induces emotional expressiveness, revolving around both the longstanding discourse over compositional and performance features related to recognized or felt emotions, and more recent interest in (neuro)psychological mechanisms underlying emotions induced by music. However, the question of how expressive forms of music are shaped and co-shaped within the ongoing process of music-making and music perception has received little investigation. This paper focuses on the expressive forms of music that the developmental psychologist Daniel N. Stern refers to as ‘forms of vitality’, discussing how they are (co)shaped and give rise to aesthetic experience of music. The aim is the development of a theoretical framework allowing for a new research perspective on musical expressiveness—taking into account the aesthetic experience of music—in relation to the process of (co)shaping forms of vitality in music. Further, a hypothesis for and methodologies of empirical research fitting into this theoretical framework are considered, expanding the schema beyond cognitivist and emotivist approaches to musical expressiveness.