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Peculiar AttunementsHow Affect Theory Turned Musical$
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Roger Mathew Grant

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823288069

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823288069.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Peculiar Attunements
Author(s):

Roger Mathew Grant

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823288069.003.0001

This chapter places the recent turn to affect into conversation with a parallel movement that took place in eighteenth-century music theory. Because theorists in that period struggled to explain how music functioned as a sign, they began to propose an alternative, materialist theory of vibrational attunement in order to account for music’s affective power. The chapter demonstrates the similarities between eighteenth-century attunement theories and contemporary affect theory, explaining how the peculiar problems of theorizing affect generate repeating patterns in the historical evolution of the concept. It also includes a discussion of the book’s methodology and a brief sketch of its contents.

Keywords:   affect, Affektenlehre, attunement, Descartes, materialism, mimesis, sign, Spinoza, vibration

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