Susanne langer on music and time

Eran Guter, Inbal Guter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Susanne Langer’s idea of the primary apparition of music involves a dichotomy between two kinds of temporality: ‘felt time’ and ‘clock time’. For Langer, musical time is exclusively felt time, and in this sense, music is ‘time made audible’. However, Langer also postulates a ‘strong suspension thesis’: the swallowing up of clock time in the illusion of felt time. In this essay, we take issue with the ‘strong suspension thesis’, its philosophic foundation and its implications. We argue that this thesis is overstated and misdirecting insofar as it purports to describe what we experience when we hear music with understanding, and that it rests on a contested presupposition concerning the conceptual primacy of memory-time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-56
Number of pages22
JournalEstetika : The Central European Journal of Aesthetics
Volume58-59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Langer
  • Memory
  • Music
  • Time
  • Tonality
  • Wittgenstein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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