An Epistemological Declaration of Principles (A) and a Study of Application: Tristanakkord and Ich möchte hingehen of Franz Liszt (B)
Taking as a starting point the debate on who was first to write down the so-called “Tristan chord”, Liszt or Wagner, an examination is made of mental models in the reception of the two composers. The article consists of:
The conclusion is made that the apparently positive mental model for Liszt, pointing to the notion of musicality, veils what is actually a negative evaluation for him as a composer, because of the problematic relation this notion has to the cultural models of progress and creativity in nineteenth-century imagination. On the contrary, the mental model for Wagner, though often apparently negative, asserts Wagner’s uniqueness as a creator in the framework of the same cultural models of progress and creativity. The outcome is that the debate I have been referring to is already marked in favour of Wagner: the chord in question is always connected to his name and always referred to as the “Tristan chord”.
- An epistemological introduction, where the definitions of mental models and cultural models are set, and
- The second part, where the mental models for the two composers are examined.