• Listeners’ Bodies in Music Analysis: Gestures, Motor Intentionality, and Models

    Author(s):
    Mariusz Kozak (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    American Musicological Society, Music and Sound, Performance Studies
    Subject(s):
    Music analysis, Music theory
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    embodiment, phenomenology
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6HZ4Z
    Abstract:
    In this article I demonstrate how listeners understand musical processes with their bodies, and how their gestures can be used to build analytical models. Specifically, I draw on the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty to argue that situated, active listeners project their motor intentional gestures inside music, where they reconstitute the very nature of musical space and its objects according to their own unique perspective. Rather than passively reflecting gestures of performers, these listeners use their own bodily states to create the structure and meaning of music. I illustrate how those states can be mobilized for analysis by taking quantifiable features of gestures—acceleration and temporal profiles—as models of musical structure, and by using those models as a basis for analytical narratives. I focus on three pieces—Olga Neuwirth’s Vampyrotheone, Elliott Carter’s ASKO Concerto, and Thomas Adès’s Living Toys—in which motion-capture studies revealed the different roles of listeners’ gestures in organizing musical experience.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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