Getting a grip on sight and sound

Sound and Mind contributor Kris Shaffer posts a reaction to a recent talk by Robert Walser on music cognition.

In addition to its tonal physics, New musicology sees music as a cultural force in which meaning is "co-constructed" rather than simply appropriated by the brain as a sensual pleasure, a position with which Edmund Blair Bolles appears to agree in this post at Babel's Dawn on the relationship between music and language. In this view, music is a cultural force that can be compared contrasted to the "conduit" model whereby music is simply delivered, or as Shaffer writes, "encoded/sent, delivered, and received/decoded."

In art and science, it's the derived meaning of the work that fascinates me -the what and how we know. For example, in studio furniture, a specific interest of mine, the object presents itself for inspection and, depending on the tastes and understanding of the viewer, can elicit an appreciation for its technical execution and visual completeness. In some ways it's the thought that counts. Of course in addition to its notation in the score, music has the added attribute of living in its sonic rendition.

Shaffer's post reminds me that there are many ways to experience things, an idea which
phenomenologists explore and map in surprising variety.

I suppose I bring this up because I'm currently reading
Being Given: Toward a Phenomenology of Giveness, which takes the phenomenal inquiry in a fascinating new direction. More later.


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