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ERIC Number: EJ872606
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Somaesthetics of Music
Maus, Fred Everett
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v9 n1 p9-25 Jan 2010
Philosopher Richard Shusterman's book "Body Consciousness" is the most recent and most extensive addition to Shusterman's project of "somaesthetics," an area of philosophy dealing with experiences of embodiment. Shusterman distinguishes three aspects of somaesthetics. Analytic somaesthetics is a "descriptive and theoretical enterprise"; pragmatic somaesthetics, a prescriptive undertaking, proposes and compares "specific methods of somatic improvement." Analytic and pragmatic somaesthetics are both linguistic discourses, in that respect remaining fairly close to current understandings of philosophical and academic undertakings. To these, Shusterman adds a third, practical somaesthetics, in which one actually practices techniques of bodily care and attention. By including this third area, Shusterman refuses to confine somaesthetics to one side of the theory/practice or, indeed, body/mind oppositions. For a musician, Shusterman's book invites an obvious question: could there be a "somaesthetics of music"? What would such a discipline be? What guidance might Shusterman's writing offer in formulating such a project? Have writers on music already done somaesthetic research, and if so, what have they contributed? The author focuses on somaesthetics of classical instrumental music, in part because of the existence of pertinent literature; but obviously, somaesthetic issues can arise for any music. In this essay, the author uses Shusterman's categories of somaesthetics to organize comments on some recent somaesthetic studies of music. Specifically, he reports on some valuable work that falls within analytic and pragmatic somaesthetics of music. In various ways, all the material he discusses proposes close relationships between embodiment and important aspects of musical meaning or content. (Contains 15 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A