Embodied Music Cognition

July 20, 2013 in New Research, News, Uncategorized by Orestis Palermos

This week (Monday 22nd  and Tuesday 23rd July), there will be a workshop on Embodied Music Cognition at Room G.07, Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB

The purpose of this conference is to stake out the possibilities of a distinct research field for embodied music cognition. Over the past few decades, developments in cognitive science – especially the 4E paradigms of understanding cognition as an embodied, enactive, extended, and embedded process – have slowly but surely reshaped our understanding of the relationship between the brain, body, and world. While these movements have developed concurrently with experimental and theoretical work on “embodied” human activities, such as various forms of artistic practices and sensorimotor tasks, they must also be understood in a broader context. For instance, important historical and contemporary roots of embodiment research include philosophical traditions such as phenomenology and pragmatism, psychological traditions such as psychoanalysis and ecological psychology, and a move away from “music in itself” towards the conditions in which we listen to music in musicological studies. Particular questions of note for this conference shall include, though not be limited to:

  1. Exploring the current state of cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience relating to music and music cognition, as well as critically examining contemporary questions and problems elicited by such research. Following Pearce and Rohrmeier’s (2012) recent overview of music cognition, questions in this regard include “Why should music be of interest to cognitive scientists?” “What role does it play in human cognition?” and “Can [the study of music] generate real insights into the functioning of the mind?”
  2. What are ways we could distinguish embodied music cognition from dis-embodied music cognition (cf. Matyja (2011) “Music-Animated Body”)?
  3. What theoretical works and models can help us grapple with other elements of embodied music cognition? For instance, what does it mean to say we can “listen” to music with our bodies, through dance or other forms of movement? In what ways do our bodies shape musical affordances? What is the relationship between music and entrainment? How do our bodies impact the way we shape our musical technology, and how does musical technology change our relationship with our bodies? If music has a syntax and semantics, what is its relation to embodied accounts of semantics?

Plenary Speakers:

Conference programme

Monday, July 22

  • 10:00 – 10:30 – Registration and Opening Remarks
  • 10:30 – 12:00 – Keynote Lecture 1
    Nikki Moran (University of Edinburgh): “The social implications of embodied music cognition research”
  • 12:30 – 13:30 – Lunch & Poster Session
  • 13:30 – 15:00 – Paper Session I
    • 13:30 – 14:00 – Cora S. Palfy (Northwestern University):
      “Startling subjectivity: The role of rhythm and meter in a listener’s perception of musical agency”
    • 14:00 – 14:30 – Ronald Hünneman and David Lamain (University of Groningen):
      “Taking Notes: How media shape our perception and conception of music”
    • 14:30 – 15:00 – Ian Straehley (Goldsmith’s University):
      “The influence of musical experience and mode on perception of melodic emotion”
  • 15:00 – 15:30 – Coffee/Tea
  • 15:30 – 17:00 – Keynote Lecture 2
    Marc Leman (University of Ghent): “The power of music – fundamentals of encoding and decoding artistic expression”
  • 17:00 – 18:00 – Drinks @ Bow Bar
  • 18:30 – Dinner @ Kismot Restaurant

Tuesday, July 23

  • 10:00 – 11:30 – Keynote Lecture 3
    Tom Cochrane (University of Sheffield): “The intentional structure of emotions and its implications for embodied music cognition”
  • 11:30 – 12:00 – Coffee/Tea
  • 12:00 – 12:30 – Paper Session II
    • 12:00 – 12:30 – Luke Kersten, Michael Dawson and Joshua Hathaway (University of Alberta):
      “Simple Networks, Complex Music: An Investigation into “Embodied” Representations”
    • 12:30 – 13:00 – Maria Kon (University of Sydney):
      “Projection and the Experience of Auditory Succession”
    • 13:00 – 13:30 – Harry Whalley (University of Edinburgh):
      “Clasp Together: Composing for mind and machine”
  • 13:30 – 14:30 – Lunch
  • 14:30 – 15:30 – Workshop
  • 15:30 – 15:45 – Coffee/Tea
  • 15:45 – 17:15 – Keynote Lecture 4
    Rebecca Schaefer (University of Edinburgh): “Mental representations in musical processing and their role in action-perception loops”
  • 17:15 – 17:30 – Concluding Remarks