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Sonic Subjectivities

Herbert, Ruth (2016) Sonic Subjectivities. In: Cobussen, Marcel and Meelberg, Vincent and Truax, Barry, eds. The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art. Routledge Music Companions . Routledge, New York, NY, pp. 223-234. ISBN 978138780613. E-ISBN 978-1-315-77056-7. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:61605)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
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To what extent do subjective experiences of sound art and mundane, informal experiences of music in daily life demonstrate a shared phenomenological territory? Given that both may possess an aesthetic dimension and feature fluctuations between a concentrated or distracted attentional focus, how accurate is the common distinction (e.g. Gaver, 1993) between ‘musical’ and ‘everyday’ types of listening? And is there a qualitative difference between pre-planned experiences (e.g. choosing to take part in a sound walk or visit an installation) in which particular listening stances may be consciously adopted, and those that occur spontaneously, primarily informed by unconscious processing? This chapter considers these fundamental questions, drawing on range of psychological perspectives on listening (e.g. ecological perceptual theory), phenomenological data from my on-going empirical study of listening experiences, documented accounts of the creation and reception of sound art, plus instances of commercial multi-sensory branding from the burgeoning field of Experience Design (XD), a practice located at the intersection between the aesthetic and the mundane.

Conceptualizing subjective experience in terms of listening modes or stances, (e.g. Schaeffer’s ‘listening’, ‘hearing’ ‘attending’, ‘understanding’) although valuable in capturing the global character of various listening behaviours simultaneously obscures the processual nature and shifting essence of subjective experience. It also fails to accommodate what is perhaps the most common ‘mode’ of experiencing any art form or aspect of daily life: multimodal or multisensory experience featuring a distributed attention. The final section of the chapter explores the utility of reframing listening episodes in terms of kinds of consciousness, in order to access a more nuanced and inclusive vantage point upon subjective experience.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Music and Audio Arts
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
M Music and Books on Music
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Ruth Herbert
Date Deposited: 03 May 2017 17:46 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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