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Academic Articles // Musicking // Part #2

4. Ilie Gabriela, Thompson William Forde // 2011 // Experiential and cognitive changes following seven minutes exposure to music and speech
Music Perception, 28(3), pp. 257-264
Limited Access here

IN TWO EXPERIMENTS, WE ASSESSED THE EXPERIENTIAL and cognitive consequences of seven minutes exposure to music (Experiment 1) and speech (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants listened to music for seven minutes and reported their emotional experiences based on ratings of valence (pleasant-unpleasant) and two types of arousal: energy (energetic-boring) and tension (tense-calm). They were then assessed on two cognitive skills: speed of processing and creativity. Music varied in pitch height (high or low pitched), rate (fast or slow), and intensity (loud or soft). Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 using male and female speech. Experiential and cognitive consequences of stimulus manipulations were overlapping in the two experiments, suggesting that music and speech draw on a common emotional code. There were also divergent effects, however, implicating domain-specific influences on emotion induction. We discuss the results in view of a psychological framework for understanding auditory signals of emotion.

5. Simpson, Paul // 2008 // ‘Falling on deaf ears’: a postphenomenology of sonorous presence
Environment and Planning A 41(11) 2556 – 2575
Free Access here

In this paper I engage with how we attend to sound in terms of musical performance, but also more generally. Whilst recent work in geography has begun to approach the significance of practices of listening, particularly in terms of its performance, its interpretative role, and its cultural politics, I want to approach the act of listening itself and sound itself. In doing this I take inspiration from the recent work of Nancy and particularly his rethinking of ontology as being-with. More specifically, I will focus on three themes central to his general philosophical project, namely sense, the subject, the body, and, further, his conceptions of sonorous presence, resonance, rhythm, and timbre which relate more specifically to his work on listening. The discussion decentres the role of interpretation, or as Nancy suggests ‘hearing’, in academic and geographic accounts of listening and calls for a greater understanding of the resonance produced when sound impacts upon the body when we ‘listen’. In turn, this contributes to the development of a postphenomenology through its critique of the intentional subject in understanding the subject as resonant, always still to come, folding and unfolded, echoing in its being-with sound. This also develops understandings of the nonrepresentational in its affirmation of a finite thinking of the singular-plural. I take as a lens into this discussion a recent experiment undertaken by the Washington Post where the world-renowned, virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell busked at a Washington Underground station, and, apparently, fell on a thousand pairs of ‘deaf ears’.

6. Bull A., Hickmott S. // 2012 // Irrevent musicking: flashmob chamber music and the politics of space
Kings College London (Conference Paper)
Free Access here

This paper is based on a ‘flashmob chamber music’ experiment the authors organised in urban spaces in Cambridge, U.K. We will describe two instances of flashmob chamber music, one in a park and the other in a squatted social centre, and use these examples to argue that in this experiment the music 'itself' became different in different spaces, to theorise how and why this happens, and to explore how urban public space can affect and be affected by musical interventions.
We will draw on and extend Born's (1991) conceptualisation of music as multi-textual by foregrounding questions of spatiality. According to this groundbreaking work, musical meaning is not fixed but multi-textual, constituted by various levels of mediation. We will explore how spatiality can be accommodated within this theory, asking how different levels of mediation compete to determine musical meaning. In particular, we will explore whether genre as a 'set of orientations, expectations and conventions' (Neale:1980) can be disrupted by spatiality; classical music as a genre has a powerful ideological force but by stripping it of some of its institutional trappings – hierarchy of performer/audience, ritualised social space, rehearsing to perfection, the assumption of transcendent experience – then the music 'itself' becomes less determined by its genre and more determined by the social and spatial relations it enables.
Finally, we will situate these questions within discussions of contemporary urban public space. Drawing on work by David Harvey and Hannah Arendt on co-presence, the city, and constructions of private and public space, we will examine the politics of space in relation to performance. Is there indeed still space for public musicking in UK towns and cities and, post-Reclaim the Streets, is claiming space with music still a radical act, akin to Hakim Bey's claiming of space in the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ)?
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