- Nancy Kovaleff Baker,
- Max Paddison
- and Roger Scruton
In its simplest sense, the term ‘expression’ is applied to those elements of a musical performance that depend on personal response and that vary between different interpretations. In this sense a piano teacher may enjoin a pupil to ‘put in the expression’, i.e. to play a piece with a certain articulation, tempo and phrasing. It is not clear how this use of the term relates to the concept that occurs in music criticism (as when a piece of music is said to express some emotion, outlook or idea). What does it mean to say of a piece of music that it has expression, or that it expresses, or is expressive of a certain state of mind? The question is a philosophical one, and reflects the profound uncertainty in contemporary aesthetics over the most important concept bequeathed to it by the Romantic movement.
For expression marks, see Tempo and expression marks...