Chapter published in:Perception Metaphors
Edited by Laura J. Speed, Carolyn O'Meara, Lila San Roque and Asifa Majid
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 19] 2019
► pp. 165–184
Why do we understand music as moving?
The metaphorical basis of musical motion revisited
Although musical structure is commonly perceived as moving, its motivation remains a debated issue. Conceptual Metaphor Theory approaches assume that musical motion is motivated by conceptual metaphors like time is motion and change is motion. The current study aims to investigate whether these conceptual metaphors successfully describe musical motion. For the analysis, a corpus of 10,000 words taken from the genre of music criticism (academic musicology journals and newspaper concert reviews of classical music) was compiled and exhaustively analysed with respect to metaphorical expressions. The results suggest that whereas many motion expressions for music seem to be motivated by time is motion as well as change is motion, a number of instances may instead present cases of fictive motion.
Keywords: conceptual metaphor, musical motion, fictive motion, time is motion, change is motion, Event Structure Metaphor, music criticism
Published online: 21 February 2019
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