Cristina Costa
Conservatório de Braga
Universidade de Lisboa

Inspirational Value of Cooke’s and Zarlino’s Theories on Emotions in Music
Dedalus 22-23 (2018-2019), pp. 185-201. Download PDF

The two theories about emotions in music analyzed here shall be considered as potential sources of inspiration to the musician. One is Deryck Cooke’s theory (The Language of Music, 1959) in which he defends that each kind of music interval and tonal progression has a specific emotional content, which can be grasped through its relation to words. The other is the theory of Gioseffo Zarlino (L’istituzioni armoniché, 1558) explaining emotional effects of tunes through a similarity between its proportions and those of the body’s substances that regulate our humors.
My aim is to identify the chief aspects of these theories that can account for their ‘inspirational value’, a concept borrowed from Richard Rorty (Achieving Our Country, 1998), supposed to mean ‘the capacity to encourage action’.
Inspiration, Emotions, Music, Words, Body

Biographical note
Cristina Costa estudou na Escola Superior de Música do Porto (Licenciatura em Contrabaixo, 2000), na Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa (Mestrado em Teoria da Literatura, 2007) e na Universidade do Minho (Licenciatura em Filosofia, 2014). É professora de Contrabaixo no Conservatório de Braga desde 1992. Os seus interesses incluem filosofia da linguagem, lógica, misticismo e livros de auto-ajuda. Pertence à SGI Portugal (uma organização que visa fortalecer espiritualmente as pessoas através da propagação do Budismo de Nichiren Daishonin) e ao Programa em Teoria da Literatura, como aluna de Doutoramento.