Despite being often considered the most atmospheric of the arts, music has stayed largely outside the atmospherological debate: a sufficiently in-depth investigation on the atmospheric space generated by sound and music started only a few years ago. The focus on atmospheric potential of music was held back, on the one hand, by the censorship imposed by serious academic musicology of any study emphasizing the link between emotions and music and, on the other hand, by the suspicion fuelled by the latest epigones of critical theory that just addressing this issue means to aesthetically legitimizing any superficial relaxing ambient music (“music for airports”, “elevator music”, etc.) or mood music (muzak). Dealing scientifically with musical atmospheres (as does this book) instead suggests that one should try to explain with relatively new tools why music, and why music above all, exerts a maximally pervasive effect and is therefore deeply involving on the affective level.
Federica Scassillo, graduated in musicology (2016), is currently a Ph.D. student in aesthetics (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”). Her current research activity focuses on the relationship between the Italian Opera of the 19th Century and the theory of atmospheres. She is a member of the editorial staff of the Sensibilia issue of Studi di Estetica. She is the author of “Spasimi d’ira, spasimi d’amore”. Le atmosphere nell’opera lirica (2017); E lucevan le stelle. Atmospheric, poetic and musical synaesthesia (2018); and “Si rinasce, ancor sento la vita qui…” Mood, atmosferico e atmosfera nell’opera lirica: due scene di morte a confronto (2019).