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Abstract

This paper explores the extent to which ideas developed in The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems and further refined in The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (Gibson, 1966; 1979) can be applied to the analysis of perception and action in musical settings. The ecological approach to perception has rarely been applied to music, although some recent work in ecological acoustics, music theory and music psychology has begun to show an interest in direct perception of events and objects. We would argue that despite this pioneering work, Gibson’s most radical and controversial idea, that of the direct perception of affordances (Gibson, 1979), has not been adequately addressed in a musical context. Following an introduction to the theoretical background to affordances and a review of the ways in which previous authors have investigated ecological approaches to auditory perception, we show how both the production and perception of music can fruitfully be analysed using the concept of affordances, and how such an approach neatly integrates seemingly active and passive engagement with music. In addition, we place this ecological approach to music within a broader empirical context, giving examples of music-psychological, ethnomusicological and neuroscientific evidence which complement our more theoretical approach. In conclusion, we argue that the links between the performance, composition and reception are underpinned by the mutuality of perception and action.

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... It is in accord with the more over-arching bodily turn of musicology and related fields since the beginning of the twenty-first century (Pelinski, 2005). There is in fact a growing body of support for music as embodied and situated activity Performing and interacting with musical instruments, for example, is widely recognized as an embodied phenomenon (e.g., Leman, 2007;Windsor and De Bézenac, 2012). Furthermore, Clarke (2005), among others, has discussed the role of embodiment in the experience of music, particularly listening, and there also is support for an activation of the human mirror neuron system when experiencing music (Molnar-Szakacs and Overy, 2006). ...
... Furthermore, Clarke (2005), among others, has discussed the role of embodiment in the experience of music, particularly listening, and there also is support for an activation of the human mirror neuron system when experiencing music (Molnar-Szakacs and Overy, 2006). The concept of affordance has been used in music by a number of authors in recent years (e.g., Windsor, 1995Windsor, , 2000Clarke, 2005;Leman, 2007;Krueger, 2011Krueger, , 2014Menin and Schiavio, 2012;Windsor and De Bézenac, 2012;Einarsson, in press). It offers unique ways of describing the reciprocal relationship between performer/composer and musical structures, but also, as we will see, toward the performance situation as a whole, in all its complexity. ...
... It offers unique ways of describing the reciprocal relationship between performer/composer and musical structures, but also, as we will see, toward the performance situation as a whole, in all its complexity. Windsor and De Bézenac (2012), for example, have argued that "the concept of affordances helps to conceptualize the mutual relationships that exist between listeners and sounding objects and events, between performers and their instruments, and between musicians in a manner quite foreign to more cognitive structural approaches to music psychology" (2012, p. 103). This reciprocity being a topic of great research interest is emphasized also by Geeves and Sutton (2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The question motivating the work presented here, starting from a view of music as embodied and situated activity, is how can we account for the complexity of interactive music performance situations. These are situations in which human performers interact with responsive technologies, such as sensor-driven technology or sound synthesis affected by analysis of the performed sound signal. This requires investigating in detail the underlying mechanisms, but also providing a more holistic approach that does not lose track of the complex whole constituted by the interactions and relationships of composers, performers, audience, technologies, etc. The concept of affordances has frequently been invoked in musical research, which has seen a “bodily turn” in recent years, similar to the development of the embodied cognition approach in the cognitive sciences. We therefore begin by broadly delineating its usage in the cognitive sciences in general, and in music research in particular. We argue that what is still missing in the discourse on musical affordances is an encompassing theoretical framework incorporating the sociocultural dimensions that are fundamental to the situatedness and embodiment of interactive music performance and composition. We further argue that the cultural affordances framework, proposed by Rietveld and Kiverstein (2014) and recently articulated further by Ramstead et al. (2016) in this journal, although not previously applied to music, constitutes a promising starting point. It captures and elucidates this complex web of relationships in terms of shared landscapes and individual fields of affordances. We illustrate this with examples foremost from the first author's artistic work as composer and performer of interactive music. This sheds new light on musical composition as a process of construction—and embodied mental simulation—of situations, guiding the performers' and audience's attention in shifting fields of affordances. More generally, we believe that the theoretical perspectives and concrete examples discussed in this paper help to elucidate how situations—and with them affordances—are dynamically constructed through the interactions of various mechanisms as people engage in embodied and situated activity.
... For example, whereas a hungry person may perceive a long, narrow piece of wood as affording the opportunity to spear a fish or make a fishing rod, a sparrow might perceive a long, narrow piece of wood as a place to sit. Windsor and de Bezenac (2012) provide examples: ...
... A blind person's cane (an affordance in itself) allows that person to navigate her places and spaces by means of perceiving, enacting, and interacting with her environment. (p.38) Windsor and de Bezenac (2012) argue that the enactive approach to affordances is significant because it insists on the importance of interrelationships in perception and action. In doing so, this approach reveals the richness of environmental features that allow humans and animals to act constructively. ...
... The active context they share and value is shaped partly by the affordances of their voices, instruments, and bodies, and partly by the actions of other music makers (Windsor & de Bezenac, 2012, p. 111). Citing Gibson (1979), Windsor & de Bezenac (2012) emphasize that "the richest and most elaborate affordances of the environment are provided by … other people" (p. 110); they "afford, above all, a rich and complex set of interactions … and communicating," which comprise "the whole realm of social significance" (Gibson, p. 128, cited in Windsor & de Bezenac, 2012). ...
Chapter
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This chapter argues that explanations of why and how music making and listening contribute to many kinds of identity formation—including musical, personal, social, cultural, gendered, and ethical identity development—should begin with a concept of personhood. In other words, selfhood and personal identity are not identical with personhood, but primary dimensions of it. Part one presents an embodied-enactive concept of personhood. Part two provides philosophical arguments that support our concept of personhood and explain the roles of empathy, ethical idealization, and moral communities in the co-construction of personhood, musical identities, and musical experiences. Part three knits parts one and two together by offering reasons why music making, listening, and musical praxes can serve as ‘affordances’ for lifelong experiences of identity formation and ‘full human flourishing’, or eudaimonia.
... It is in accord with the more over-arching bodily turn of musicology and related fields since the beginning of the twenty-first century (Pelinski, 2005). There is in fact a growing body of support for music as embodied and situated activity Performing and interacting with musical instruments, for example, is widely recognized as an embodied phenomenon (e.g., Leman, 2007;Windsor and De Bézenac, 2012). Furthermore, Clarke (2005), among others, has discussed the role of embodiment in the experience of music, particularly listening, and there also is support for an activation of the human mirror neuron system when experiencing music (Molnar-Szakacs and Overy, 2006). ...
... Furthermore, Clarke (2005), among others, has discussed the role of embodiment in the experience of music, particularly listening, and there also is support for an activation of the human mirror neuron system when experiencing music (Molnar-Szakacs and Overy, 2006). The concept of affordance has been used in music by a number of authors in recent years (e.g., Windsor, 1995Windsor, , 2000Clarke, 2005;Leman, 2007;Krueger, 2011Krueger, , 2014Menin and Schiavio, 2012;Windsor and De Bézenac, 2012;Einarsson, in press). It offers unique ways of describing the reciprocal relationship between performer/composer and musical structures, but also, as we will see, toward the performance situation as a whole, in all its complexity. ...
... It offers unique ways of describing the reciprocal relationship between performer/composer and musical structures, but also, as we will see, toward the performance situation as a whole, in all its complexity. Windsor and De Bézenac (2012), for example, have argued that "the concept of affordances helps to conceptualize the mutual relationships that exist between listeners and sounding objects and events, between performers and their instruments, and between musicians in a manner quite foreign to more cognitive structural approaches to music psychology" (2012, p. 103). This reciprocity being a topic of great research interest is emphasized also by Geeves and Sutton (2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The question motivating the work presented here, starting from a view of music as embodied and situated activity, is how can we account for the complexity of interactive music performance situations. These are situations in which human performers interact with responsive technologies, such as sensor-driven technology or sound synthesis affected by analysis of the performed sound signal. This requires investigating in detail the underlying mechanisms, but also providing a more holistic approach that does not lose track of the complex whole constituted by the interactions and relationships of composers, performers, audience, technologies, etc. The concept of affordances has frequently been invoked in musical research, which has seen a ‘bodily turn’ in recent years, similar to the development of the embodied cognition approach in the cognitive sciences. We therefore begin by broadly delineating its usage in the cognitive sciences in general, and in music research in particular. We argue that what is still missing in the discourse on musical affordances is an encompassing theoretical framework incorporating the sociocultural dimensions that are fundamental to the situatedness and embodiment of interactive music performance and composition. We further argue that the cultural affordances framework, proposed by Rietveld and Kiverstein (2014) and recently articulated further by Ramstead and colleagues (2016) in this journal, although not previously applied to music, constitutes a promising starting point. It captures and elucidates this complex web of relationships in terms of shared landscapes and individual fields of affordances. We illustrate this with examples foremost from the first author’s artistic work as composer and performer of interactive music. This sheds new light on musical composition as a process of construction – and embodied mental simulation – of situations, guiding the performers’ and audience’s attention in shifting fields of affordances. More generally, we believe that the theoretical perspectives and concrete examples discussed in this paper help to elucidate how situations – and with them affordances – are dynamically constructed through the interactions of various mechanisms as people engage in embodied and situated activity.
... Central to all such study has been the relation between user and tool, a relation which is indeed very true of musical performance since, as summarised by Nicolas Cook, "the materials with which musicians work talk back to them" (2018,131). The interaction between musician and instrument has been successfully addressed in works that apply ecological psychology as a theoretical basis (Clarke 2005;Emmerson [2007] 2016; Tullberg 2018; Windsor and de Bézenac 2012). Such works argue that cognition does not originate in the passive reception of stimuli but rather in action. ...
... The extent to which the concept of affordances is useful in the analysis of human perception and interaction with complex cultural objects-such as musical instruments-has been debated, and an additional concept, effectivities, has been developed to better understand the ways in which, for instance, a musician's specific abilities can be developed to discover novel affordances in an instrument. 1 Windsor and de Bézenac (2012) argue that "the development or application of novel effectivities can, thereby, promote the emergence of action possibilities that could not have been foreseen by the instrument's original designers and primary users" (110). Again, an instrument affords different musical possibilities to every performer, even to the degree that some instruments may be said to be constituted only when they interact with a performer, as in the interdependency of brass and wind instruments with the bodily characteristics of a player. ...
Book
Our contemporary, globalised society demands new forms of listening. But what are these new forms? In Listening to the Other, Stefan Östersjö challenges conventional understandings of the ways musicians listen. He develops a transmodal understanding of listening that is situated in the body—a body that is extended by its mediation through musical instruments and other technologies. Listening habits can turn these tools—and even the body itself—into resistant objects or musical Others. Supported by extensive multimedia documentation and drawing on examples from the author’s own artistic projects spanning electronics, intercultural collaboration, and ecological sound art, this volume enables musicians to learn how to approach musical Others through alternative modes of listening and allows readers to discover artistic methods for intercultural collaboration and ecological sound art practices. This book is closely linked to a series of cutting-edge artistic works, including a triple concerto recorded with the Seattle Symphony and several video works with ecological sound art. It represents the analytical outcomes of artistic research projects carried out in Sweden, the UK, and Belgium between 2009 and 2015.
... The mentioned transdisciplinary platform is meant to unveil the complexities of an improvisational moment, drawing on theories including (amongst others) psychoanalysis , phenomenology , poetics , critical theory (Benjamin 1968, Adorno and, psychology , Windsor 2000, Windsor and de Bézenac 2012, new jazz studies , Schuiling 2019, along with Butler's use of the term performativity (1997,2011). With the help of these thinkers (and many more), I argue improvisational performativity as identity-formation based on the act of playing music through improvisational approaches. ...
... Coming from a combination of psychology and performance, Windsor and de Bézenac (2012) use affordances to describe how improvisers choose what to play, where an affordance "is a property of an event or object'" which "represents potential for action" (2012,103). Exemplified by Jarrett's idea of social-acoustic Belonging, affordances are formed by context, in which decision processes become site-specific. ...
... Music also causes actions and interactions with the surrounding environment on the behavioral side. Musical listening in this sense may not be clearly distinguishable from everyday listening, and is indeed rooted in the latter [19]. In order to encompass the perceptual impact and all these behaviors, the concept of music users has recently been proposed in music research [13] [20]. ...
... An affordance is an attribute of an event or object, relative to an organism, which represents its potential for action [22] [23]. Musical affordance [19] specifies the different sorts of things we can do with music. In interaction design it usually refers to properties of visual and interactive elements, but can be applied to auditory elements as well. ...
Conference Paper
A growing number of organizations are moving towards more open and collaborative workplaces. In these offices workers share a common open space, often with flexible seating based on activities, so called activity-based offices. Most problems in these workplaces are related to sound. Thus, the question of how to design suitable acoustic environments, supporting both collaborative and individual work, has emerged. Noise-reduction approaches do not suffice. In this study we explored the possibility of adding context-sensitive, activity-based sound environments to enhance the office workplace. For this purpose, we developed the “sound bubble,” a prototype for individual work, sonically immersing the listener and generating a sensation of an encapsulating sonic environment. A total of 43 test subjects participated in an experience-based test using the sound bubble prototype while conducting self-selected, ordinary work tasks in their office landscape. Their behaviors during the test were observed and documented. All participants took a post-experience questionnaire about experiences working in the sound bubble, and two subjects were interviewed. The responses show that the sound bubble can enhance auditory work conditions for individual work that demands concentration.
... An alternative that does not rely on the transmission approach to information sharing is the ecological perspective. In addition, the ecological perspective has gained popularity among musicologists because it treats meaning in an entirely different way (Clarke, 2001(Clarke, , 2005Windsor, 2012). ...
... The concept of affordances moves the meaning of the object into the environment and outside of the head of the perceiver. The perceiver becomes attuned to the meaning of an object such as music through experience and of the affordances that music provides (Godøy, 2010;Windsor & & De Bezenac, 2012). For example, the music may provide the listener with affordances such as dancing, worship, interpersonal coordination, persuasion, emotional catharsis, and marching (Clarke, 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Performers’ ancillary body movements, which are generally thought to support sound-production, appear to be related to musical structure and musical expression. Uncovering systematic relationships has, however, been difficult. Researchers have used the framework of embodied gestures, adapted from language research, to categorize and analyze performer’s movements. I have taken a different approach, conceptualizing ancillary movements as continuous actions in space-time within a dynamical systems framework. The framework predicts that the movements of the performer will be complexly, but systematically, related to the musical movement and that listeners will be able to hear both the metaphorical motion implied by the musical structure and the real movements of the performer. In three experiments, I adapted a set of statistical, time-series, and dynamical systems tools to music performance research to examine these predictions. In Experiment 1, I used force plate measurements to examine the postural sway of two trombonists playing two solo pieces with different musical structures in different expressive styles (normal, expressive, non-expressive). In Experiment 2, I recorded the postural sway of listeners as they listened to the performances recorded in Experiment 1 while “conducting” them. In Experiment 3, I asked the same two performers to mirror the expression of their own and the other musician’s performances while their postural sway was recorded. Experiment 1 showed that performers changed their patterns of movement to reflect musical boundaries (places of change in musical structure), but did so differently depending the larger musical context, showing a complex, but systematic relationship between the musical structure, expression, and movement. Further, Experiment 1 showed that ancillary movements are not ancillary, but an intimate part of the creative process which produces musical performance. Experiment 2 and 3 showed that listeners and performers, when asked to mirror the expression of the recorded performance, mirrored both the real movements of performers as well as the metaphorical motion implied by the musical structure. This dissertation provides a new framework for the study of musical performance that treats the body as an important factor in the both the creation and experience of listening to music.
... Krueger [12] argues that musical affordances stipulates things we can do with music, for example connect cognitive processes with musical patterns. Windsor and de Bézenac [23] argue that affordances construct the social and material context of a particular music and also define the characteristics of that music. Music provides, and is, information which specifies that context. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of extended reality, the term immersion is commonly used as a property denoting to which extent a technology can deliver an illusion of reality while occluding the users' sensory access to the physical environment. In this paper we discuss an alternative interpretation of immersion, used in the My Sound Space project. The project is a research endeavor aiming to develop a sound environment system that enables a personalized sound space suitable for individual work places. The medium, which in our case is sound, is transparent and thus becomes an entangled part of the surrounding environment. This type of immersion is only partly occluding the users sensory access to physical reality. The purpose of using the sound space is not to become immersed by the sounds, rather to use the sounds to direct cognitive attention to get immersed in another cognitive activity.
... For now, we can simply note that even when we are supposedly 'passively' listening, we are still interactively engaged with the music at multiple levels of our embodiment: our motor system is involved in processing musical rhythms (Chen et al. 2008;Grahn and Brett 2007); we make spontaneous facial expressions when listening to expressive music, including non-vocal music (Chan et al. 2013;Lundqvist et al. 2009;Witvliet and Vrana 1996); and we spontaneously entrain our movements, gestures, and facial expressions (from subtle head bobs and toe taps to fullblown ecstatic dancing) with musical elements like rhythm and melody, and in so doing become intimately 'coupled' with the music and the things that are happening in it (Iyer 2002;Janata et al. 2012;Witek et al. 2014 In this way, then, the musical worlds we inhabit elicit and directly modulate a cascade of emotion-specific processes at neurophysiological, behavioural, and experiential levels. The important point here is this: via iterative cycles of motor entrainment and synchronization unfolding in response to musical features, musical worlds pull emotions out of us and regulate their dynamics in real time as they unfold over short-and long-term listening episodes (Elvers 2016; Janata et al. 2012;Windsor and de Bézenac 2012). Music thus functions as environmental scaffolding, that is, as part of our extended (beyond-the-head) emotion-regulatory system. ...
Chapter
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For 4E cognitive science, minds are embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended. Proponents observe that we regularly ‘offload’ our thinking onto body and world: we use gestures and calculators to augment mathematical reasoning, and smartphones and search engines as memory aids. This chapter argues that music is a ‘beyond-the-head’ resource that affords offloading. Via this offloading, music scaffolds access to new forms of thought, experience, and behaviour. The chapter focuses on music’s capacity to scaffold emotional consciousness, including the self-regulative processes constitutive of emotional consciousness. In developing this idea, the chapter considers the ‘material’ and ‘worldmaking’ character of music, applying these considerations to two case studies: music as a tool for religious worship, and music as a weapon for torture.
... The affordant 3 nature of the materiality of both collections -their fragility, rarity and lack of institutional recognition -has contributed to their assignation to the margins of history. Although adjunct to larger testimonial projects, it is doubtful that their compilers intended for these objects to function as adjunct to other work. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on two collections of immediate post-Holocaust Yiddish songs: Mima’amakim: folkslider fun lagers un getos in poyln, compiled by Yehuda Eismann in Bucharest in April/May 1945, a copy of which recently appeared in a private collection in Sydney, Australia and song session recordings made by Dr. David Boder in displaced persons (DP) camps in 1946, archived in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Library of Congress. Mima’amakim is a tiny pamphlet containing twelve compositions that would become part of the continuing repertoire of Holocaust songs, alongside eight compositions that disappeared from all other written accounts. Boder's preserved song sessions with Yiddish speakers occurred at displaced persons homes in France, Switzerland and Italy. Both items accompany some of the earliest recorded testimony of Holocaust survivors. The song-spools and the song book are extraordinarily fragile objects, containing material that opens conversations on the place of music inside and outside testimony. Their place at the margin of our understanding of musical experience in the Holocaust prompts the question: how does the affordance of material objects inform our understanding of the construction of repertories, determining exclusion and inclusion of one song over another?
... When individuals can readily assimilate perceptual input, they may incorporate their experience into existing structural knowledge of music, reducing the motivation to consider nonstructural aspects of the stimulus. Conversely, when the stimulus features of music are not easily assimilated or expected, then a process may be triggered whereby nonstructural aspects of music are consulted (see also, Windsor & de Bézenac, 2012). Accommodation is the mechanism by which violations of expectation lead to learning. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research has investigated psychological processes in an attempt to explain how and why people appreciate music. Three programs of research have shed light on these processes. The first focuses on the appreciation of musical structure. The second investigates self-oriented responses to music, including music-evoked autobiographical memories, the reinforcement of a sense of self, and benefits to individual health and wellbeing. The third seeks to explain how music listeners become sensitive to the causal and contextual sources of music making, including the biomechanics of performance, knowledge of musicians and their intentions, and the cultural and historical context of music making. To date, these programs of research have been carried out with little interaction, and the third program has been omitted from most psychological enquiries into music appreciation. In this paper, we review evidence for these three forms of appreciation. The evidence reviewed acknowledges the enormous diversity in antecedents and causes of music appreciation across contexts, individuals, cultures, and historical periods. We identify the inputs and outputs of appreciation, propose processes that influence the forms that appreciation can take, and make predictions for future research. Evidence for source sensitivity is emphasized because the topic has been largely unacknowledged in previous discussions. This evidence implicates a set of unexplored processes that bring to mind causal and contextual details associated with music, and that shape our appreciation of music in important ways. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... In ecological accounts of music perception, which typically draw on Gibson (1966) and Bregman (1994), musical qualities such as emphasis, rhythm, dynamics, and change in timbre and speed are often viewed as contributing to the experience of 'musical movement': the sense of motion experienced while performing, listening, and dancing to music (examples include Clarke 2001; Schlenker 2017; Windsor & de Bezenac 2012). In such accounts, movement is considered an important dimension of musical meaning. ...
... Performance as research is able to draw from a wide variety of theoretical frameworks such as reflective and/or autoethnographic approaches (Chang, 2008;Schön, 1983), interpretative phenomenological analysis (J. A. Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009), and sensory ethnography (Pink, 2009) and to deploy current directions from Gibsonian ecological psychology such as affordance theory (Clarke, 2005;Gibson, 1968Gibson, , 1979Greeno, 1994;Windsor, 2011;Windsor & de Bezenac, 2012). Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of possibilities, they share a grounding in various aspects of the links between embodiment and cognition and may provide the performer as researcher with some theoretical perspectives that serve to do justice to her experience as an embodied agent and the cognitive complexities of musical thought in action. ...
Article
Full-text available
Artistic research has in recent years concerned itself with the nature of practice and how this may be framed as research. These debates may have blinded us to a more fundamental concern: territorial claims to the research space made by other forces. Competition for access to material and human resources, funds, space, and infrastructural support, among others, drive debates about the academic status of performance within higher education. The main objective of this article is to demonstrate how the ideological imbalances underpinning the concepts of artistic knowledge and research in Higher Education have contributed to this territorialization. In a milieu of overmanagement, these imbalances often go unquestioned largely because of the university’s ever-decreasing role in interrogating the agenda set by others who stand to benefit from it.
... Johnson would hardly deny this conclusion, although its consequences have largely been ignored by philosophers or cognitive scientists, let alone musicologists (a few exceptions are Lopez Cano 2006, Krueger 2011, Windsor & de Bézenac 2012; however my solution differs substantially from theirs, as I will show below). ...
Chapter
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This chapter deals with the control of imagination. Three thematically distinct aspects of sonic imagination are investigated-archive, context, and identification-together with two modes of connection with the environment-metaphorical projection and affect attunement. It is argued that much of the available work on sonic imagination, music perception, and embodied cognitive science suffers from a one-person perspective, unable to explain either the difference between environmental sound and culture-specific music, or the dominant role of feelings in our musical experiences. In its stead an approach is suggested that assigns central importance to affect attunement in our encounters with sound and music. Through a case study, different types of sonic control are exemplified, showing that control of sonic imagination may be both negative and positive for the listener.
... e.g. Krueger 2014a; Reybrouck 2012; Windsor and de Bézenac 2012). According to this perspective, 'sensitively listening to music is an enactive process, mediated by sensorimotor contingencies that shape the character and content of our experience of the musical piece' (Krueger 2009: 104). ...
Chapter
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Informed by a review of recent attempts in cognitive science to overcome head-bound conceptions of the mind, this chapter investigates the contribution of ‘situated’ approaches to understanding music and consciousness, focusing on musical experience. It develops a systematic framework for discriminating between situated approaches, and based on this framework and an analysis of specific scenarios discusses the ways in which musical experience may be conceptualized as ‘situated’, elucidating the implications and explanatory potential of different approaches. Finally, there is a consideration of the framework’s value as a research tool for the analysis of situated aspects of musical practices. The aim is to advance an understanding of music and consciousness by contributing to conceptual clarity and by enriching the relationship between theoretical considerations and observation of musical practice.
... As we saw above, there 13 This has connections with research that shows how neural activity associated with musical engagement may be understood in terms of oscillatory dynamics that do not simply represent, but actively 'resonate' with the body and the sonic environment (e.g., the forms of "dynamic attending" that allow for social phenomena such as rhythmic entrainment; see Large & Jones, 1999;McGrath & Kelly, 1986). This could open further possibilities for studying (social) music cognition as an embodied and ecological phenomenon -i.e., by examining how patterns of coordinated (oscillatory) activity and associated neural structures emerge, stabilize, and transform through the dynamical interactivity of the various dimensions of the (musical) brain-body-world system. is evidence that simply listening to music alone, without overtly moving or performing it, can produce related empathy effects -listening to music without overt movements still recruits regions of the motor cortex (Molnar-Szakacs & Overy, 2006;Overy & Molnar-Szakacs, 2009), and involves a significant degree of motor resonance and entrainment (Grahn & Brett, 2007;Windsor & de Bézenac, 2012). Emerging evidence also suggests that solitary and "passive" listening can evoke empathy, specifically in the form of implicit affiliation towards members of a specific cultural group. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter considers empathy in the context of human musicality. We first offer a brief overview of relevant research and discuss some problematic theoretical issues. Following this, we introduce two contrasting perspectives that appear to offer a way forward – Simulation Theory (ST) and Interaction Theory (IT), respectively. Building on the resulting insights, we then outline a provisional framework for musical empathy based in a relational “4E” approach to cognition – one that sees mental life as primarily embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended. Here we introduce two core concepts that are helpful for understanding musical empathy from this more embodied and ecological perspective, “musical scaffolding” and “empathic space.”
... As one proceeds in the act of composing, novel musical possibilities can be revealed, leading to unexpected outcomes and modification of existing schemas. Among the many variables that could shift the initial creative trajectory, the connection between composers and their instruments has inspired important contributions that look at how instruments can offer a variety of affordances that are both gestural and sonic, giving rise to a structured unity in perception and action (see De Souza, 2017;Windsor & de Bézenac, 2012). The relationship between composers and musical instruments was not described by all our participants in the same way, but takes on manifold forms. ...
Article
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In a qualitative study, we explored the range of reflections and experiences involved in the composition of score-based music by administering a 15-item, open-ended, questionnaire to seven professional composers from Europe and North America. Adopting a grounded theory approach, we organized six different codes emerging from our data into two higher-order categories (the act of composing and establishing relationships). Our content analysis, inspired by the theoretical resources of 4E cognitive science, points to three overlapping characteristics of creative cognition in music composition: it is largely exploratory, it is grounded in bodily experience, and it emerges from the recursive dialogue of agents and their environment. More generally, such preliminary findings suggest that musical creativity may be advantageously understood as a process of constant adaptation-one in which composers enact their musical styles and identities by exploring novel interactivities hidden in their contingent and historical milieux.
... Hum... Our goal was that each participant could create her own images and, ideas... The concept of affordance is embedded within the ecological approach to perception (Gibson, 1979;Reybrouck, 2012;Windsor & Bézenac, 2012) and points to the idea that meanings are created from the interaction between subjects and their environment. In musical terms this approach prioritizes "relational qualities in music perception and action, highlighting the active nature of musical participation and interpretation: Those aspects of musical behavior that result from interactions between musicians, instruments, environments and listeners" (Windsor & Bézenac, 2012, p.103). ...
Article
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This paper tells the story of INsono, an interactive sound installation and workshop created by a group of musicians for the 6th edition of the Big Bang in Lisbon, Portugal. To tell this story I will present my findings throughout a narrative that evolves through the analysis and interpretations of interviews with the musicians and the curator of the Big Bang Lisbon, field notes taken during the creation and the presentation of INsono, and group interviews with children about their lived experiences during the workshop. Describing the process that led to the creation of the final sound installation, I will explore, on one side, what were the main concerns and ideas of the musicians and the curator of the festival in what regards concepts such as education, childhood, music, and art, and, on the other, the perspectives of children that participated in the workshop on their experiences of INsono. This will, hopefully, lead us to a discussion where we might rethink the potentialities of experimental music in both formal and non-formal contexts of learning; moreover, it might lead us also to look at the dynamics, strategies and tools that are used in non-formal contexts as a source of inspiration to reflect on pedagogical approaches in the classroom that might enrich the musical and artistic experiences of children
... Thinking of music as material culture thus highlights how music is something that can be manipulated in all sorts of user-specific ways-crucially, with a modulatory impact on our emotional experience. Our musical manipulations loop back onto us and shape our future manipulations and responsive behavior (Windsor & de Bézenac, 2012). ...
Article
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Until recently, philosophers and psychologists conceived of emotions as brain- and body-bound affairs. But researchers have started to challenge this internalist and individualist orthodoxy. A rapidly growing body of work suggests that some emotions incorporate external resources and thus extend beyond the neurophysiological confines of organisms; some even argue that emotions can be socially extended and shared by multiple agents. Call this the extended emotions thesis (ExE). In this article, we consider different ways of understanding ExE in philosophy, psychology, and the cognitive sciences. First, we outline the background of the debate and discuss different argumentative strategies for ExE. In particular, we distinguish ExE from cognate but more moderate claims about the embodied and situated nature of cognition and emotion (Section 1). We then dwell upon two dimensions of ExE: emotions extended by material culture and by the social factors (Section 2). We conclude by defending ExE against some objections (Section 3) and point to desiderata for future research (Section 4). © 2016 The Author(s) Philosophy Compass
... The concept of affordance, initially introduced in the context of visual perception is clearly relevant to music perception (Clarke, 2005). Although most uses of the concept are related to the study of musical listening, it is also relevant for music-making (Davidson & Good, 2002;Windsor & De Bézenac, 2012), especially in the context of musical improvisation (Borgo 2005(Borgo , 2007Love, 2017). As Windsor and De Bézenac nicely put it: "The behaviours of interacting musicians are simultaneously motivated and constrained by the collectively produced actions and resulting sounds: ...
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Understanding how musicians can coordinate their musical actions when they improvise together remains an important theoretical and empirical challenge. In this paper, we suggest a broad theoretical framework, compatible with up-to-date research on joint action, which can account for coordination in collective improvisation, especially in the hard case of so-called collective free improvisation. This framework addresses the limits of an account of coordination in collective improvisation that relies only on low-level, emergent coordination mechanisms, and shows how these mechanisms can be combined with planned coordination mechanisms to explain how improvisers deal with some of the main coordination problems that typically arise in collectively improvised performances. As such, our framework allows for the formulation of new hypotheses that pave the way for further empirical investigations on collective improvisation and sheds light on collectively improvised behavior at large.
... Not surprisingly, these authors invoke the recruitment of the mirror neurons network as the neural implementation of such experiences with music. Furthermore, they employ the concept of "sense of agency" (differently from the standard use) to stress the sense of human interaction lying at the core of musical experience, "a sense of the presence of another person, their actions and their affective states" (ibidem, p. 494, see also Clarke, 2005;Livingstone and Thompson, 2009;Windsor and de Bézenac, 2012). ...
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Life and social sciences often focus on the social nature of music (and language alike). In biology, for example, the three main evolutionary hypotheses about music (i.e., sexual selection, parent-infant bond, and group cohesion) stress its intrinsically social character (Honing et al., 2015). Neurobiology thereby has investigated the neuronal and hormonal underpinnings of musicality for more than two decades (Chanda and Levitin, 2013; Salimpoor et al., 2015; Mehr et al., 2019). In line with these approaches, the present paper aims to suggest that the proper way to capture the social interactive nature of music (and, before it, musicality), is to conceive of it as an embodied language, rooted in culturally adapted brain structures (Clarke et al., 2015; D’Ausilio et al., 2015). This proposal heeds Ian Cross’ call for an investigation of music as an “interactive communicative process” rather than “a manifestation of patterns in sound” (Cross, 2014), with an emphasis on its embodied and predictive (coding) aspects (Clark, 2016; Leman, 2016; Koelsch et al., 2019). In the present paper our goal is: (i) to propose a framework of music as embodied language based on a review of the major concepts that define joint musical action, with a particular emphasis on embodied music cognition and predictive processing, along with some relevant neural underpinnings; (ii) to summarize three experiments conducted in our laboratories (and recently published), which provide evidence for, and can be interpreted according to, the new conceptual framework. In doing so, we draw on both cognitive musicology and neuroscience to outline a comprehensive framework of musical interaction, exploring several aspects of making music in dyads, from a very basic proto-musical action, like tapping, to more sophisticated contexts, like playing a jazz standard and singing a hocket melody. Our framework combines embodied and predictive features, revolving around the concept of joint agency (Pacherie, 2012; Keller et al., 2016; Bolt and Loehr, 2017). If social interaction is the “default mode” by which human brains communicate with their environment (Hari et al., 2015), music and musicality conceived of as an embodied language may arguably provide a route toward its navigation.
... Zbikoswki (2002), Moore (2014), Windsor and de Bézenac (2012), DeNora (2000), Clarke (1999), Dibben (2003) and Zagorski-Thomas (2014) all draw on work in the psychology of perception and theories of embodiment and cognitive metaphor to ground semiotic analysis in conceptual structures which are in turn rooted in basic-level sensorimotor experience. ...
Thesis
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iii Abstract Although recent work in record production studies has advanced scholarly understandings of the contribution of sound recording to musical and social meaning, folk revival scholarship in Britain has yet to benefit from these insights. The revival’s recording practice took in a range of approaches and contexts including radio documentary, commercial studio productions and amateur field recordings. This thesis considers how these practices were mediated by revivalist beliefs and values, how recording was represented in revivalist discourse, and how its semiotic resources were incorporated into multimodal discourses about music, technology and traditional culture. Chapters 1 and 2 consider the role of recording in revivalist constructions of traditional culture and working class communities, contrasting the documentary realism of Topic’s single-mic field recordings with the consciously avant-garde style of the BBC’s Radio Ballads. The remaining three chapters explore how the sound of recorded folk was shaped by a mutually constitutive dialogue with popular music, with recordings constructing traditional performance as an authentic social practice in opposition to an Americanised studio sound equated with commercial/technological mediation. As the discourse of progressive rock elevated recording to an art practice associated with the global counterculture, however, opportunities arose for the incorporation of rock studio techniques in the interpretation of traditional song in the hybrid genre of folk-rock. Changes in studio practice and technical experiments with the semiotics of recorded sound experiments form the subject of the final two chapters. Ethnographic, historical and semiotic approaches are combined with techniques from critical discourse analysis and conceptual metaphor theory to explore sound recording as a means of defining, expressing, and elaborating the revival as a socio-cultural movement. Recording, I will argue, offered a semiotic resource for interpreting traditional texts and repertoires, and for reimagining social space and the relationship of performance. As such, it constituted a highly significant dimension of the revival’s cultural-political practice.
... character and development of various embodied processes responsible for emotion, action, and experience. By stimulating and directly modulating these particular neural and physiological responses, music functions as a real-time emotion regulator: it coaxes emotions out of us and actively shapes their dynamics as they unfold in real-time (see, e.g., Janata et al 2012; Witek et al 2014; Windsor and de Bézenac 2012). So, when we play music or enter into a pre-established, musically-structured soundworld—such as we find in a church, mosque, or temple—by temporarily inhabiting this soundworld we let music take over some of the emotion-specific bioregulatory work. ...
... O design da obra focou em três tipologias de affordances (Gibson, 1966): ambientais, visuais e sonoro-musicais (Windsor, Bézenac, 2012). Assim como a percepção ecológica (Gibson, 1950;Gibson 1959;Gibson 1961) engloba uma gama de conhecimentos e saberes, o processo criativo aqui apresentado transita entre áreas do fazer artístico. ...
... In his account, Leman draws upon both upon the concepts of affordances and embodied representations (for a critical review see Schiavio and Menin, 2013). There are currently many theories and critiques of the latter (see, for instance, Masataka, 2010;Tanaka et al., 2011;Menin and Schiavio, 2012;Reybrouck, 2012;Windsor and de Bézenac, 2012). It would be interesting to see how the application of extended cognition to music cognition affects our understanding of the concept of musical affordances. ...
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In his paper, Luke Kersten (2014) argues that since music cognition is part of a locationally wide computational system, it can be considered as an extended process. Overall I sympathize with Kersten’s (2014) view. However, in the present paper I underline those issues that need to be, in my opinion, developed in a more detailed and cautious way. Extended music perception is the idea that “it ain’t all in the head”, but rather involves the exploitation of non-neural body and musical environment. In order to push the debate further, I suggest situating Kersten’s views within a broader context of recent research, thus strengthening the theoretical importance of his proposal.
Article
This paper builds on writings in psychology and philosophy to offer an “ecological” description of jazz improvisation. The description is grounded in the analogy of navigation through a complex environment, an environment that comprises the harmonic and metrical scheme on which the improvisation is based coupled with broader stylistic norms. The improvising soloist perceives this environment in terms of its “affordances,” that is, the possibilities for action that it offers (Gibson, 1979). While navigating the improvisational environment, the soloist also seeks opportunities for artistic display—motivic development, conspicuous risk-taking, and so on. Errors in improvisation reflect the soloist’s misperception of the environment’s affordances. Learning to improvise is a matter of refining perception through repeated experiences of improvisational success and failure. To bring the description to life, I offer evidence from an exploratory study of improvisational errors. The ecological description leads to new interpretations of the referent (the conceptual frame for a solo), improvisational learning and memory, and temporal coordination between soloist and ensemble. It counterbalances the prevailing computational view of improvisation, oriented around input, processing, and output.
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The Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) embraces both motion picture and television approaches; yet it cannot be called one or the other in its entirety. This ‘both and neither’ nature has forced scholars such as Kenneth Harrow to ask: ‘how are we to read their films?’ and, by virtue of this article, their film music. I argue that the capacity to do so subsists in a thorough understanding of the industry’s organisation and long-held divergent creative process. My ethnographic study reveals that Nollywood’s structure of film music production differs significantly from some other known cinema traditions of the world. One such striking observation is that Nollywood film music projects and production (recording, editing, spotting, etc.) are entirely carried out without the involvement of film directors. And this unique process and structure strongly influences its film music approaches and aesthetics. This paper, thus, presents and examines those differences with a view to offering insights on how Nollywood film music might be understood.
Article
Discussions of extended cognition have increasingly engaged with the empirical and methodological practices of cognitive science and psychology. One topic that has received increased attention from those interested in the extended mind is music cognition. A number of authors have argued that music not only shapes emotional and cognitive processes, but also that it extends those processes beyond the bodily envelope. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the case for extended music cognition. Two accounts are examined in detail: Joel Krueger’s “musically extended emotional mind” and Tom Cochrane’s “expression and extended cognition.” Each account is evaluated using three “anti-extension” arguments. I argue that Krueger and Cochrane’s accounts offer important steps toward extended music cognition, but that each account remains underdeveloped in various ways. To supplement existing approaches, I propose a complementary extended computational approach to music cognition (ECMC). The claim is that music cognition forms part of an extended system in virtue of involving computational processes that range across environmental and in-the-head elements. The paper concludes by showing how the ECMC deals with each of the three anti-extension challenges and responds to objections.
Thesis
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Almost since the birth of electronic music, composers have been fascinated by the prospect of integrating the human voice with its expressiveness and complexity into electronic musical works. This thesis addresses how performing with responsive technologies in mixed works, i.e. works that combine an acoustic sound source with a digital one, is experienced by participating singers, adopting an approach of seamlessness, of zero – or invisible – interface, between singer and computer technology. It demonstrates how the practice of composing and the practice of singing both are embodied activities, where the many-layered situation in all its complexity is of great importance for a deepened understanding. The overall perspective put forward in this thesis is that of music as a sounding body to resonate with, where the resonance, a process of embodying, of feeling and emotion, guides the decision-making. The core of the investigation is the lived experiences through the process of composing and performing three musical works. One result emerging from this process is the suggested method of calibration, according to which a bodily rooted attention forms a kind of joint attention towards the work in the making. Experiences from these three musical works arrive in the formulation of an over-arching framework entailing a view of musical composition as a process of construction – and embodied mental simulation – of situations, whose dynamics unfold to engage musicians and audience through shifting fields of affordances, based on a shared landscape of affordances.
Thesis
In my music I try to control the chaos inside and outside me. I try to write in the freest way and to realize it in the most consequential manner. Hence, I try to find a balance between the material and its implicit existential possibilities, focusing on the clarity of its elements and the variety of its possible complex temporal evolutions. In this sense, my pieces could be reduced, in most cases, to a set of contrasting original elements that are embedded in the thematic character of the structure of the material. However the theme is at the same time the starting and the fnal point of the composition, a journey in the discovery of the poetical and formal proprieties of the musical idea. The theme is the frst and the last element. I reduce the musical material to a limited number of elements that are developed following a limited number of more abstract categories that allow a control of musical complexity. Tis double bond through an opposition with the material reveals my abstract compositional categories. Tis makes the process of composition a process of dialectic personal awareness of my subjective limits refected through the manipulation of the musical material. In this sense, my music results from an intimate and subjective confrontation with the realization of the musical idea. For this reason the notion of the thematic idea is central. It resumes the pure temporal character of the musical idea and refers to the semantic element of linear profles that I craft in my compositions. Te following analysis highlights the dialectics between the material and the abstract categories that derive from it. In the conclusion I explain my compositional position from the perspective offered by this analysis.
Thesis
As increasingly confirmed within the paradigm of embodied music cognition, the body shapes the way listeners perceive and make sense of music. Accordingly, this Ph.D research project aims to understand the role of body movement on children’s musical sense-making through two empirical studies setup in an educational ecological setting of primary school. In both studies, the children’s graphical representations of the music and their verbal explanations of the drawings were used to probe children’s musical sense-making. The first study investigated how and in what way a verbal vs. bodily interaction with the music influences the children musical sense-making. Results offer relevant insights into the role of body movement to enhance the identification of more musical features and their temporal organization. Based on the findings of the first study, a second study was carried out to investigate the influence of different qualities (discrete vs. continuous movements) of bodily interactions with music on children’ music meaning formation. Findings of the second study show that based on the quality of movement interaction the children changed the categories of visual representations, arousal, and number of voices of the music described. At a meta- perspective level, the adoption of a multimodal approach (e.g., bodily, visual, and verbal) emerged to be an effective mean to enhance a deeper music understanding. In addition, body movement appears to be a viable way to foster a creative listening through creative navigation of the musical affordance landscape.
Chapter
Mit Blick auf unseren alltäglichen Umgang mit Musik und ihre massenmediale Omnipräsenz, trotz derer sie die Zuschreibung eines Kunstcharakters nicht zwangsläufig einbüßen muss, erscheint die pauschale Rede von der Autonomie der Kunst – beziehungsweise der Musik – doch zumindest als diskussionswürdig. Auch innerhalb kunsttheoretischer Überlegungen steht die Autonomiethese zur Disposition. Die Kritik richtet sich dabei gegen unterschiedliche, wenn auch aufeinander bezogene Aspekte, die mit dieser Vorstellung verknüpft sind.
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This article explores linkages between sensory experiences of food and music in light of recent research from gastrophysics, 4E cognition (i.e. embodied, embedded, extended and enactive) and ecological perception theory. Drawing on these research disciplines, this article outlines a model for multisensory artistic practice, and a taxonomy of cross-domain creative strategies, based on the identification of sensory affordances between the domains of food and music. Food objects are shown to ‘afford’ cross-domain interrelationships with sound stimuli based on our capacity to sense their material characteristics, and to make sense of them through prior experience and contextual association. We propose that multisensory artistic works can themselves afford extended forms of sensory awareness by synthesizing and mediating stimuli across the selected domains, in order to form novel, or unexpected sensory linkages. These ideas are explored with reference to an ongoing artistic research project entitled ‘Unusual ingredients’, creating new music to complement and enhance the characteristics of selected food.
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Through an analysis of contemporary shō performance practice, this article explores the relationship between instrumental gesture and modal theory in contemporary gagaku. I demonstrate that the idiosyncratic arrangement of the pipes on the shō is closely related to the pitch structure and tonal function of the aitake pitch clusters. My analysis synthesizes two approaches. First, I adopt David Lewin’s (1987) transformational attitude to conceptualize the aitake not as static musical objects but as processes of motion enacted by the te-utsuri —standardized fingering movements for shifting between two aitake . Second, I treat the aitake as sonic byproducts of a performer's instrumental gestures to examine how the aitake are related to one another kinesthetically, and whether these relationships correlate with the pitch structures of the aitake . I argue that relatedness between aitake is determined by the parsimony of te-utsuri . The most parsimonious movements can be enacted between four aitake : bō , kotsu, ichi and otsu. These aitake are identical to the clusters that accompany the fundamental tones of five of the six modes: Ichikotsu-chō , Hyōjō , Taishiki-chō , O shiki-chō and Banshiki-chō . These findings demonstrate that the pipes of the shō, while seemingly arranged in no discernable order, prioritize parsimonious te-utsuri between each of the aitake accompanying the fundamental modal degrees. An analysis of the pitch structure of aitake through the lens of te-utsuri reveals a striking correlation between gestural parsimony and tonal function.
Book
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Musical Sense-Making: Enaction, Experience, and Computation broadens the scope of musical sense-making from a disembodied cognitivist approach to an experiential approach. Revolving around the definition of music as a temporal and sounding art, it argues for an interactional and experiential approach that brings together the richness of sensory experience and principles of cognitive economy. Starting from the major distinction between in-time and outside-of-time processing of the sounds, this volume provides a conceptual and operational framework for dealing with sounds in a real-time listening situation , relying heavily on the theoretical groundings of ecology, cybernetics, and systems theory, and stressing the role of epistemic interactions with the sounds. These interactions are considered from different perspectives, bringing together insights from previous theoretical groundings and more recent empirical research. The author's findings are framed within the context of the broader field of enactive and embodied cognition, recent action and perception studies, and the emerging field of neurophenomenology and dynamical systems theory. This volume will particularly appeal to scholars and researchers interested in the intersection between music, philosophy, and/or psychology.
Article
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.
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If all knowing comes from semiosis, more concepts should be added to the semiotic toolbox. However, semiotic concepts must be defined via other semiotic concepts. We observe an opportunity to advance the state-of-the-art in semiotics by defining concepts of cognitive processes and phenomena via semiotic terms. In particular, we focus on concepts of relevance for theory of knowledge, such as learning, knowing, affordance, scaffolding, resources, competence, memory , and a few others. For these, we provide preliminary definitions from a semiotic perspective, which also explicates their interrelatedness. Redefining these terms this way helps to avoid both physicalism and psychologism, showcasing the epistemological dimensions of environmental situatedness through the semiotic understanding of organisms' fittedness with their environments. Following our review and presentation of each concept, we briefly discuss the significance of our embedded redefinitions in contributing to a semiotic theory of knowing that has relevance to both the humanities and the life sciences, while not forgetting their relevance to education and psychology, but also social semiotic and multimodality studies.
Chapter
In Soziologie und Zeitgeschichte wird die Zeit der 1960er bis 1980er Jahre als eine Phase rapider gesellschaftlicher Umbrüche angesehen, in denen sich die Konturen der heutigen Gesellschaft geformt haben, die aber – nicht zuletzt spürbar angesichts der Fünfzigjahrfeiern des emblematischen › 68 ‹ – zugleich in die historische Überlieferung einrücken. Bereits seit den 1970er Jahren ist der Charakter dieser Phase als historischer Einschnitt, als Abschnitt tiefgreifender gesellschaftlicher Transformationen sowie als Beginn einer neuen, › postmodernen ‹ Epoche vielfach und vielfältig beobachtet, erforscht und kontrovers diskutiert worden. In der Soziologie werden diese Umbrüche, je nach Perspektive, entweder mit Akzent auf ökonomische Strukturveränderungen als Übergänge zu einer postindustriellen Gesellschaft gedeutet oder aus der Warte einer auf standardisierten Massenumfragen beruhenden Sozialpsychologie auf einen » Wertewandel « zurückgeführt, der zu einer Dominanz » postmaterialistischer « Werte führe, oder es wird ein die Sozialmilieus grundlegend umgestaltender Individualisierungs- und Pluralisierungsschub konstatiert, der daraus resultiere, dass große Teile der Bevölkerungen in den westlichen Industrieländern über wachsende Chancen auf Wohlstand, Freizeit und Bildung verfügten.
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David Bowie’s transformational engagement with stardom was complexly entwined with his long and creative relationship with hauntology. While referring us back in time, Bowie’s songs and videos simultaneously haunt us about a lost future. Bowie engaged with hauntology initially by mimicking the sonic, visual and bodily gestures of many star performers. This developed into synthesised mimicry, which involved fusing the traits of several stars in order to create a coherent star persona. During the last decade of his life, Bowie perplexed his audience by calling up his own ‘ghost stars’, reconfiguring celebrity and expressing a persistent sense of ‘future nostalgia’. In his last enigmatic gasp before exiting Earth, Bowie invited his audience to undertake a celebratory autopsy of his star status. His parting gifts were prescient hauntings of the future, poignantly stitched together with nods of tributary reference to artists he had borrowed from. Drawing on the concept of hauntology, this article examines a selection of musical and audiovisual outputs across five decades of Bowie’s career, demonstrating how he stretched the possibilities of hauntology as a conceptual tool and an artistic strategy, and prepared the cultural bed for audience members and cultural participants to engage with hauntological media.
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Why is music so important to most of us? How does music help us both in our everyday lives, and in the more specialist context of music therapy? This book suggests a new way of approaching these topical questions, drawing from Ansdell's long experience as a music therapist, and from the latest thinking on music in everyday life. Vibrant and moving examples from music therapy situations are twinned with the stories of 'ordinary' people who describe how music helps them within their everyday lives. Together this complementary material leads Ansdell to present a new interdisciplinary framework showing how musical experiences can help all of us build and negotiate identities; make intimate non-verbal relationships; belong together in community, and find moments of transcendence and meaning. How Music Helps is not just a book about music therapy. It has the more ambitious aim to promote (from a music therapist's perspective) a better understanding of 'music and change' in our personal and social life. Ansdell's theoretical synthesis links the tradition of Nordoff-Robbins music therapy and its recent developments in Community Music Therapy to contemporary music sociology and music studies. This book will be relevant to practitioners, academics and researchers looking for a broad-based theoretical perspective to guide further study and policy in music, well-being and health.
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In many ways, the structure of music resembles that of language, including the acoustic cues used to communicate emotion. In speech, sadness is imparted through a combination of low fundamental frequency, dark timbre, and a slow rate of articulation. As the acoustic properties of the xylophone are not conducive to mimicking these cues, it seems to follow that composers would avoid attempts to write “sad” music for it. We investigated this idea by comparing the repertoire of the xylophone with that of the marimba – a similar instrument whose acoustic structure permits a greater variety of timbres, pitch heights, and tone durations. An analysis of repertoire drawn from the Percussive Arts Society database of recital programs reveals that 60% of the tonal marimba examples surveyed were written in minor (nominally “sad”) keys. In contrast, a parallel analysis of xylophone literature found minor keys used in only 6% of the examples surveyed. Further investigation revealed that the only examples of minor-key xylophone compositions included in this survey are in fact typically performed on the marimba. The avoidance of minor-key works on xylophone by both composers and performers is consistent with the idea that instruments restricted to producing tones with short durations, bright timbres, and high pitch heights are unable to mimic the speech cues used to convey sadness and/or depression.
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Multivariate analyses of dynamic correlations between continuous acoustic properties (intensity and spectral flatness) and real-time listener perceptions of change and expressed affect (arousal and valence) in music are developed, by an extensive application of autoregressive Time Series Analysis (TSA). TSA offers a large suite of techniques for modeling autocorrelated time series, such as constitute both music’s acoustic properties and its perceptual impacts. A logical analysis sequence from autoregressive integrated moving average regression with exogenous variables (ARIMAX), to vector autoregression (VAR) is established. Information criteria discriminate amongst models, and Granger Causality indicates whether a correlation might be a causal one. A 3 min electroacoustic extract from Wishart’s Red Bird is studied. It contains digitally generated and transformed sounds, and animate sounds, and our approach also permits an analysis of their impulse action on the temporal evolution and the variance in the perceptual time series. Intensity influences perceptions of change and expressed arousal substantially. Spectral flatness influences valence, while animate sounds influence the valence response and its variance. This TSA approach is applicable to a wide range of questions concerning acoustic- perceptual relationships in music.
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Spatiotemporal gestures in music and dance have been approached using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Applying quantitative methods has offered new perspectives but imposed several constraints such as artificial metric systems, weak links with qualitative information, and incomplete accounts of variability. In this study, we tackle these problems using concepts from topology to analyze gestural relationships in space. The Topological Gesture Analysis (TGA) relies on the projection of musical cues onto gesture trajectories, which generates point clouds in a three-dimensional space. Point clouds can be interpreted as topologies equipped with musical qualities, which gives us an idea about the relationships between gesture, space, and music. Using this method, we investigate the relationships between musical meter, dance style, and expertise in two popular dances (samba and Charleston). The results show how musical meter is encoded in the dancer's space and how relevant information about styles and expertise can be revealed by means of simple topological relationships.
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The goal of the present study is to gain better insight into how dancers establish, through dancing, a spatiotemporal reference frame in synchrony with musical cues. With the aim of achieving this, repetitive dance patterns of samba and Charleston were recorded using a three-dimensional motion capture system. Geometric patterns then were extracted from each joint of the dancer's body. The method uses a body-centered reference frame and decomposes the movement into nonorthogonal periodicities that match periods of the musical meter. Musical cues (such as meter and loudness) as well as action-based cues (such as velocity) can be projected onto the patterns, thus providing spatiotemporal reference frames, or 'basic gestures,' for action-perception couplings. Conceptually speaking, the spatiotemporal reference frames control minimum effort points in action-perception couplings. They reside as memory patterns in the mental and/or motor domains, ready to be dynamically transformed in dance movements. The present study raises a number of hypotheses related to spatial cognition that may serve as guiding principles for future dance/music studies.
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The Role of Anticipatory Auditory Imagery in musical ensemble performance was investigated by examining the relationship between individual differences in auditory imagery and temporal coordination in piano duos. Vividness of imagery for upcoming sounds was assessed in 14 pianists using a task that required the production of rhythmic sequences with or without auditory feedback. Ensemble coordination was assessed by examining temporal relations between body movements (recorded by a motion capture system) and sound onsets (triggered by key strokes on two MIDI pianos) in seven duos playing two contrasting pieces with or without visual contact. Sound synchrony was found to be related to anterior-posterior body sway coordination in a manner that depended upon leader/follower relations between pianists assigned to 'primo' and 'secondo' parts. Furthermore, the quality of coordination, which was not affected markedly by whether pianists were in visual contact, was correlated with individual differences in anticipatory auditory imagery. These findings suggest that auditory imagery facilitates interpersonal coordination by enhancing the operation of internal models that simulate one's own and others' actions during ensemble performance.
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This article is about music cognition and the role the body plays in its acquisition. It argues for a processual approach to dealing with music rather than conceiving of music as an artefact. Leaning heavily on the older philosophical writings of Dewey, it tries to provide an operational approach to the musical experience, with a special focus on the sensory-motor interactions of the music user with the sonic world. As such, it is possible to conceive of the music user as an adaptive device, with natural perceptual and effector tools that can be modified at will. It is argued, further, that musical instruments can be considered as artificial extensions of these natural tools, allowing us to conceive of them in epistemological terms as tools for music knowledge acquisition.
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This paper examines the social and musical co-ordination between members of a student string quartet in rehearsal and performance. Devised as an exploratory observation and interview study, a two-tier analysis of the data is undertaken. The first deals with broadly socio-cultural issues, the second with moment-by-moment social and musical co-ordination. The results indicate that there are many factors that influence the functioning of such an ensemble. These include personal concerns about particular social dynamics within the group, performance anxiety worries, as well as immediate musical demands relating to the co-ordination of content and process. The paper concludes with a discussion of ways in which further studies of social and musical co-ordination might be developed. In particular, emphasis is given to the need for the development of a comprehensive theoretical framework reflecting a more adequate conception of music ontology and encapsulating the mutuality of the multi-tier social and musical factors.
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We investigated influences of auditory feedback, musical role, and note ratio on synchronization in ensemble performance. Pianists performed duets on a piano keyboard; the pianist playing the upper part was designated the leader and the other pianist was the follower. They received full auditory feedback, one-way feedback (leaders heard themselves while followers heard both parts), or self-feedback only. The upper part contained more, fewer, or equal numbers of notes relative to the lower part. Temporal asynchronies increased as auditory feedback decreased: The pianist playing more notes preceded the other pianist, and this tendency increased with reduced feedback. Interonset timing suggested bidirectional adjustments during full feedback despite the leader/follower instruction, and unidirectional adjustment only during reduced feedback. Motion analyses indicated that leaders raised fingers higher and pianists' head movements became more synchronized as auditory feedback was reduced. These findings suggest that visual cues became more important when auditory information was absent. © 2009 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
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This paper addresses the question whether we can conceive of music cognition in ecosemiotic terms. It claims that music knowledge must be generated as a tool for adaptation to the sonic world and calls forth a shift from a structural description of music as an artifact to a process-like approach to dealing with music. As listeners, we are observers who construct and organize our knowledge and bring with us our observational tools. What matters is not merely the sonic world in its objective qualities, but the world as perceived. In order to make these claims operational we can rely on the ecological concept of coping with the sonic world and the cybernetic concepts of artificial and adaptive devices. Listeners, on this view, are able to change their semantic relations with the sonic world through functional adaptations at the level of sensing, acting and coordinating between action and perception. This allows us to understand music in functional terms of what it affords to us and not merely in terms of its acoustic qualities. There are, however, degrees of freedom and constraints which shape the semiotization of the sonic world. As such we must consider the role of event perception and cognitive economy: listeners do not perceive the acoustical environment in terms of phenomenological descriptions but as ecological events.
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A pronounced shift is occurring in fields concerned with contemporary education, psychology, and cognition, such that learning cannot simply be conceived of as transmitting and receiving factual information. When viewed from an ecological perspective, all knowledge is “co‐instituted” in which the learner is participating: it is embodied, situated, and distributed. Yet conventional jazz pedagogy frequently treats musical “knowledge” as individual, abstract, relatively fixed, and unaffected by the activity through which it is acquired and used to the detriment of more experiential, exploratory, and collective approaches to improvisation. Drawing on interviews with celebrated improvisers and pedagogues, this article confronts the conventional wisdom of jazz pedagogy and argues for more responsible and responsive educational practices.
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Drawing on recent ideas that explore new environments and the changing situations ofcomposition and performance, Simon Emmerson provides a significant contribution to the study of contemporary music, bridging history, aesthetics and the ideas behind evolving performancepractices. Whether created in a studio or performed on stage, how does electronic music reflect what is live and living? What is it to perform ‘live’ in the age of the laptop? Many performer-composers draw upon a ‘library’ of materials, some created beforehand in a studio, some coded ‘on the fly’, others ‘plundered’ from the widest possible range of sources. But others refuse to abandon traditionally ‘created andstructured’ electroacoustic work. Lying behind this maelstrom of activity is the perennial relationship to ‘theory’, that is, ideas, principles and practices that somehow lie behind composers’ and performers’ actions. Some composers claim they just ‘respond’to sound and compose ‘with their ears’, while others use models and analogies of previously ‘non-musical’ processes. It is evident that in such new musical practices the human body has a new relationship to the sound. There is a historical dimension to this, for since the earliest electroacoustic experimentsin 1948 the body has been celebrated or sublimated in a strange ‘dance’ of forces in which it has never quite gone away but rarely been overtly present. The relationship ofthe body performing to the spaces around has also undergone a revolution as the sourceof sound production has shifted to the loudspeaker. Emmerson considers these issues in the framework of our increasingly ‘acousmatic’ world in which we cannot see the source of the sounds we hear.
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The main theme of this book is the difference between how people think or talk about music on the one hand, and how it is experienced on the other.
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This stimulating Very Short Introduction to music invites us to really think about music and the values and qualities we ascribe to it. The world teems with different kinds of music-traditional, folk, classical, jazz, rock, pop-and each type of music tends to come with its own way of thinking. Drawing on a wealth of accessible examples ranging from Beethoven to the Spice Girls to Chinese zither music, Nicholas Cook attempts to provide a framework for thinking about all music. By examining the personal, social, and cultural values that music embodies, the book reveals the shortcomings of traditional conceptions of music, and sketches a more inclusive approach emphasizing the role of performers and listeners.
Chapter
Music cognition is here seen as fundamentally cross-modal and as constrained by ecological factors, in particular by accumulated knowledge of sound-production. Patterns of imagined actions and patterns in the behaviour of resonating bodies can be a privileged path to evoking salient images of musical sound, as well as being integral to most images of musical sound in the first place.
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Digital media handles music as encoded physical energy, but humans consider music in terms of beliefs, intentions, interpretations, experiences, evaluations, and significations. In this book, drawing on work in computer science, psychology, brain science, and musicology, Marc Leman proposes an embodied cognition approach to music research that will help bridge this gap. Assuming that the body plays a central role in all musical activities, and basing his approach on a hypothesis about the relationship between musical experience (mind) and sound energy (matter), Leman proposes that the human body is a biologically designed mediator that transfers physical energy to a mental level--engaging experiences, values, and intentions--and, reversing the process, transfers mental representation into material form. He suggests that this idea of the body as mediator offers a promising framework for thinking about music mediation technology. Leman argues that, under certain conditions, the natural mediator (the body) can be extended with artificial technology-based mediators. He explores the necessary conditions and analyzes ways in which they can be studied. Leman outlines his theory of embodied music cognition, introducing a model that describes the relationship between a human subject and its environment, analyzing the coupling of action and perception, and exploring different degrees of the body's engagement with music. He then examines possible applications in two core areas: interaction with music instruments and music search and retrieval in a database or digital library. The embodied music cognition approach, Leman argues, can help us develop tools that integrate artistic expression and contemporary technology.
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This paper examines the development and implementation of general social and specific non-verbal communication between two expert pianists who prepared and gave a recital of piano duo and duet music. All ensemble rehearsals and the final performance were video-taped. Following the performance, the musicians were interviewed in order to document their thoughts on the learning and performance processes. From the video-taped rehearsals and performance, data concerning musical coordination, social interaction, non-verbal gestures and looking behaviour were coded and counted. The results show that these excellent sight-readers used rehearsals to consolidate the timing, phrasing and sense of musical style. Moreover, an emergent set of coordinated, non-verbal gestures and eye-contact developed, with these actions increasing significantly over the rehearsal process at locations in the music identified by the pianists as “important for coordinating performance and communicating musical ideas”. Thus, the two performers acquired a deepening expressive and communicative assurance along with a familiarisation with the musical material. The findings are discussed in relation to their implications for musical performance by highlighting the elements of co-performer interaction that were negotiated and coordinated throughout the rehearsal process.
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Research into the bodily basis of musical meaning has focused on conceptual metaphor and image schemata, but the processes whereby embodied experience becomes relevant to music conceptualization remains largely unexplained. This paper offers an account of music conceptualization that helps explain how embodied experience motivates and constrains the formation of basic musical meaning. The core of the “mimetic hypothesis” holds that 1) we understand sounds in comparison to sounds we have made ourselves, and that 2) this process of comparison involves tacit imitation, or mimetic participation, which in turn draws on the prior embodied experience of sound production. Evidence for the hypothesis comes from developmental and neuropsychological studies, and from speech imagery, motor imagery, and musical imagery studies. The embodied experience activated during mimetic participation motivates and constrains the cross-domain mappings on which so many musical concepts depend. For example, the metaphoric concept of musical verticality cannot be accounted for without acknowledging the role of mimetic participation. If this participation is as fundamental to musical experience as the hypothesis suggests, not only will it allow us to account for music's most fundamental concepts, but it will also help account for the affective features of musical experience and meaning. Furthermore, the proposed view of mimetic participation helps establish a physical grounding for theories of musical gesture, semiotics, music and gender, music and drama, aural skills pedagogy, music and society, music and dance, and music therapy.
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Theories of auditory event perception have highlighted a distinction between “everyday” and “musical” listening. This paper challenges this account of listening in two ways: first, it extends the notion of source specification to the specification of cultural and compositional categories, and second, it argues that listening to music involves listening to what sounds specify just as much as it involves listening to the acoustic characteristics of sounds. It is argued here that the characterisation of ‘musical’ listening as attending to the acoustic character of sound is a reflection of the prevailing reception ideology of the autonomous art work. This paper reports the results of two empirical studies which provide evidence for the perception of music in terms of categories of musical material (.i.e. what sounds specify). In the first study, participants were presented with triads of musical and everyday sounds presented in conflicting pairings and asked to identify the two that were most similar. In the second study listeners were asked to give commentaries on the sounds. These listening studies showed that while listeners pay attention to the acoustic properties of sounds they are also sensitive to what sounds specify (physical source, physical space and proximity, genre, musical function, performance skill, emotional attributes and social context). The results highlight the way in which listeners privilege particular kinds of specifications, and some of the factors involved in these choices are discussed briefly in relation to a performative theory of musical meaning.
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Existing theories of the origins of music and religion fail to account directly and convincingly for their universal emotional power and behavioural costliness. The theory of prenatal origins is based on empirically observable phenomena and involves prenatal classical conditioning, postnatal operant conditioning and the adaptive value of mother-infant bonding. The human fetus can perceive sound and acceleration from gestational week 20. The most salient sounds for the fetus are internal to the mother's body and associated with vocalisation, blood circulation, impacts (footfalls), and digestion. The protomusical sensitivity of infants may be based on prenatal associations between the mother's changing physical and emotional state and concomitant changes in both hormone levels in the placental blood and prenatally audible sound/movement patterns. Protomusical aspects of motherese, play and ritual may have emerged during a multigenerational process of operational conditioning on the basis of prenatally established associations among sound, movement and emotion. The infant's multimodal cognitive representation of its mother (mother schema) begins to develop before birth and may underlie music's personal qualities, religion's supernatural agents, and the link between the two. Prenatal theory can contribute to an explanation of musical universals such as specific features of rhythm and melody and associations between music and body movement, as well as universal commonalities of musical and religious behaviour and experience such as meaning, fulfilment, and altered states of consciousness.
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The dual theories of embodied mind and situated cognition, in which physical/temporal embodiment and physical/social/cultural environment contribute crucially to the structure of mind, are brought to bear on issues in music perception. It is argued that cognitive universals grounded in human bodily experience are tempered by the cultural specificity that constructs the role of the body in musical performance. Special focus is given to microrhythmic techniques in specific forms of African-American music, using audio examples created by the author or sampled from well-known jazz recordings.
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The study of music perception has focused almost exclusively on sound, ignoring the role of seeing the performer's body movements. Whilst anecdotes frequently refer to the importance of the performer's movements, there is scant psychological evidence to support this finding. The closest equivalent work in visual event perception research has shown that covert mental dispositions (for instance, an intention to deceive an observer) are specified in body movements, and therefore provide important information for the observer.. With these findings in mind, this article investigates the information conveyed by the movements of a musical performer when s/he is asked to play-the same piece in three different expressive manners. These performance manners are presented to observers in three modes: vision alone, sound alone and sound and vision together to investigate the relative contributions of the different perceptual modes. The results reveal that not only is vision a useful source of information about manner, but that it actually more clearly specifies manner than the other modes. These findings emphasise the need to consider visual as well as sound information in psychological enquiries into music perception.
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James J Gibson introduced for the first time the word "affordances" in this 1977 paper.
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Abstract. This essay draws on participant observation, ethnographic interviews, phenomenological inquiry, and recent insights from the study of swarm intelligence and complex networks to illuminate the dynamics of collective musical improvisation. Throughout, it argues for a systems understanding of creativity—a view that takes seriously the notion that group creativity is not simply reducible to individual psychological processes—and it explores interconnections between the realm of musical performance, community activities, and pedagogical practices. Lastly, it offers some reflections on the ontology of art and on the role that music plays in human cognition and evolution, concluding that improvising music together allows participants and listeners to explore complex and emergent forms of social order.
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Our most fundamental concepts of musical motion and space, used by laypeople and music theorists alike, are defined by conceptual metaphors that are based on our experience of physical motion. We analyze the 3 most important metaphors of musical motion: the 'MOVING MUSIC' metaphor, the 'MUSICAL LANDSCAPE' metaphor, and the 'MOVING FORCE' metaphor. We show how each metaphor is grounded in a particular basic experience of physical motion and physical forces and how the logic of physical motion shapes the logic of musical motion. We suggest that our conceptualization of, discourse about, and even our experience of musical motion depend on the logic of these 3 metaphors.
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This book reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic neuroscience, the book offers a new psychology that combines ecological and experimental methods to help us better understand the ways in which people and animals make their way through the world. The book provides a comprehensive treatment of ecological psychology and a unique synthesis of the work of Darwin, neural Darwinism, and modern ecologists with James Gibson's approach to perception. The book presents detailed discussions on communication, sociality, cognition, and language-topics often overlooked by ecological psychologists. Other issues covered include ecological approaches to animal behaviour, neural mechanisms, perception, action, and interaction.