Musical events and perceptual ecologies

Clarke, E, Williams, AE ORCID: and Reynolds, D 2018, 'Musical events and perceptual ecologies' , The Senses and Society, 13 (3) , pp. 264-281.

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This paper, followed by two responses, discusses the application of ecological theory to an understanding of a number of issues in the aesthetics of music. It argues for an understanding of music as based in event perception, with an expanded conception of the sources that are specified by those events. Building on the theory of affordances, it considers the limitations of an information theoretic conception of musical complexity, discusses the importance of perceptual learning (understood as shaping by a structured environment) in understanding the affordances of music for different listeners, and raises the challenging problem of the terms in which musical materials might be appropriately described. The apparent tension between ecological and aesthetic positions—in which adaptation and accommodation seem to be at odds with a modernist aesthetic perspective which prioritizes the unsettling and defamiliarizing function of art—is confronted, before the paper concludes with some observations about different disciplinary perspectives on aesthetics, and matters of specificity and generality.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: The Senses and Society
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1745-8927
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Prof Alan E. Williams
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 08:56
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 00:19

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