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Moved by Nothing: Listening to Musical Silence

Moved by Nothing: Listening to Musical Silence This article explores the functions of silence in common-practice music, with an emphasis on the characteristics of perceived silence as distinct from notated and acoustic silence. Context is shown to guide listening in complex ways that enable the same acoustic silence, embedded in different musical surroundings, to encourage widely divergent perceptions. Five functions of silence are explored: silence as boundary, silence as interruption, silence as a revealer of the inner ear, silence as a promoter of meta-listening, and silence as a communicator. The article's account of silence emphasizes the active, participatory nature of music listening and addresses the implications for thought about music cognition and experience. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Moved by Nothing: Listening to Musical Silence

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 51 (2) – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Duke University Press
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-2009-003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the functions of silence in common-practice music, with an emphasis on the characteristics of perceived silence as distinct from notated and acoustic silence. Context is shown to guide listening in complex ways that enable the same acoustic silence, embedded in different musical surroundings, to encourage widely divergent perceptions. Five functions of silence are explored: silence as boundary, silence as interruption, silence as a revealer of the inner ear, silence as a promoter of meta-listening, and silence as a communicator. The article's account of silence emphasizes the active, participatory nature of music listening and addresses the implications for thought about music cognition and experience.

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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