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  • Thumbnail for Exploring God in Music:  Music of Mourning and Consolation
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    Emotion, Meaning, and the Voice by Vasquez, Raquel

    The voice, with its seemingly limitless capacity for expression, plays a powerful role in conveying emotion and meaning in music. Meaning is defined by Ian Cross and Elizabeth Tolbert as “[an] original something that refers to something else beyond itself” (2011: 24). In this paper, I use the word meaning to encompass the non-emotional responses, impressions, associations or experiences that occur within a listener while interacting with music. In the history of European concert music, discussions of emotion and meaning in music revolved around the voice beginning in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Before then, European writers did not believe that music had meaning in itself, but was merely a source of pleasure.