Professor of Performance Science at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, Austria.
Beauty and aesthetics have long been integral to human existence, explored in various works such as Friedrich Schiller’s “Concerning the aesthetic upbringing of mankind.” Aesthetics, rooted in the Greek word “aisthesis,” extends beyond beauty to encompass sensory perception in art and nature. This article delves into the multifaceted dimensions of aesthetics, emphasizing its significance in therapeutic, educational, and artistic contexts.
The exploration intertwines aesthetic, therapeutic, and educational facets, drawing analogies between aesthetics in art and music. The author views musical performance and listening as corporeal expressions, exploring their potential for healing and identity discovery in music therapy. The narrative adopts an associative montage approach, merging diverse aspects to form a comprehensive understanding of the intersections between treatment, healing, and cultural work.
Human experience, originating in the body, particularly in the expressive power of the ear leading to music, is emphasized. The article differentiates between aesthetic reception and production of music, underscoring the subjective nature of beauty. It discusses the profound impact of music on cognitive recognition, reflection, and emotional engagement. The text also explores the role of aesthetics in fostering connections, unity, and mutual understanding among individuals.
Music and aesthetics, as explored in the article, transcend mere entertainment or artistic expression. They touch upon existential questions about how individuals want to live and be. The subjective nature of beauty is highlighted, mirroring the selective nature of human connections, friendships, and preferences in art. The article concludes that, fundamentally, music and aesthetics are vehicles for self-discovery and expression, offering a means to navigate life’s complexities and discover meaning in the interplay between oneself and the world. Ultimately, it posits that the aesthetic task is paramount, opening up avenues for subjective interpretation and understanding of the world. The inquiry extends beyond the realms of art and music, prompting reflection on how individuals choose to shape their lives and relationships.