Exciting narratives: Letting the music cultivate our imagination
The paper will begin with an account of several references to the much debated, as well as unquestionable, relation between music and language. Having as starting-point a few well-known statements by Carl Dahlhaus, Theodor Adorno, and Charles Ives, the paper will go on to scrupulously examine the musical processes in a passage of absolute music, that is, the first theme of the Adagio of Mozart’s Piano Sonata K. 280, also recording the experience a listener might have upon hearing the music. In trying to render meanings to this passage and, more generally, to find out how the music may “talk” to us and depict or portray human actions, the paper will benefit from an idea Kendall Walton had when describing another Mozart’s theme, and it will propose a fictional story, in which the characters act and behave in exactly the same way as the “musical characters” behave in the Mozart passage. Finally, it will attempt to track down in what respect the two “stories” (the musical and the fictional) differ from each other, as well as what exactly they do have in common.