The Language of Music

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Language of Music
The Language of Music.jpg
The 1960 Oxford University Press edition
Author Deryck Cooke
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Aesthetics
Published 1959
Media type Print

The Language of Music is a 1959 book by the critic and musician Deryck Cooke.


Cooke expounds the expressionist theory of art, according to which beauty in music depends upon the accurate representation of the emotions of its creators. He matches various predicates with musical phrases or chordal sequences.[1] Cooke believes that memory for melodic contour and implicit harmony is allied to its affective character.[2]

Scholarly reception[edit]

The Language of Music is perhaps the most often cited representative of the expressionist theory of art.[1] No systematic experimental study of Cooke's theory has emerged relating it to musical education, but one pilot study showed that for 22 non-musician students, his characterizations of musical phrases were not experienced.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sharpe, Robert (1995). Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 599. ISBN 0-19-866132-0. 
  2. ^ a b Spender, Natasha (2004). Gregory, Richard L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 631. ISBN 0-19-866224-6.