Ep5. Can music represent?
“THE REPRESENTATIVE FUNCTION OF SOUND — Auditory as well as visual sensations are nearly always interpreted as symbols of external events, and heard music will invariably represent the tonal sources and the motions of musical performance, in a symbolism present to everyone but the performer himself. Both static and dynamic entities may be conveyed symbolically: music may be dominated by an unchanging reference for as long as the symbolization lasts, sometimes for an entire composition, or it may take advantage of its unfolding nature and present us with a moving and developing object. Thus the basic representative symbolism of sense perception does not mean only that the sound of a trumpet represents a trumpet — that musical sounds symbolize singers and instruments — but also that the particular sounds of any given trumpet passage represent a trumpet being played in some particular fashion. From the dynamic point of view, music is the symbol of a series of events: of a succession of tensions and efforts and motions.”
- Edward A. Lippman, The Philosophy and Aesthetics of Music, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. p. 5. .