Musicking and Material Affect

emboiment materiality

To what extent might some affective experiences be constituted by features of the environment? In this talk, I consider dimensions of what I term “material affect”: the idea that features of the environment may not only support the emergence of different kinds of affective experiences but, additionally, take over and govern certain aspects of their development, character, and functioning. I argue that, in certain listening contexts, music functions as an especially powerful environmental resource enabling listeners to realize affective experiences and embodied practices that would otherwise remain inaccessible. Music, I propose, therefore ought to seen as part of the physical vehicle needed to realize this enhanced affective repertoire. To support this claim, I consider various ways that we actively manipulate and integrate with musical contexts in order to realize these novel experiences. I also draw upon different strands of empirical work, including studies from developmental psychology and work on amusia.


Embodiment and Materiality

Contact name: Emily Payne

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Audience: Open to all