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M oving M usic

M oving M usic I ‘What is the relationship between listening to music and grasping music's meaning? How does listening to music relate to the ways we listen to the wider auditory environment? Why do listeners often seem most immediately aware of the complex features of music?’ These are the tantalising questions posed on the dust jacket of Eric Clarke's Ways of Listening . His book is an attempt to answer them, at least in part, by utilising the framework provided by ‘ecological psychology’. One of the defining characteristics of an ecological approach is the emphasis it places on the relationship between the perceiving individual and their (musical) environment; consequently, it tends to focus on the ‘top‐down’ processing of musical stimuli. In contrast to cognitively orientated models, which typically understand or represent musical perception as a uni‐linear progression from basic physical or psycho‐acoustical stimuli through to more abstract and complex determinations of signification, ‘top‐down’ processing refers to the manner in which emerging higher‐level interpretations – and, indeed, prior conditions and environmental circumstances – can impact upon the data‐processing taking place at lower levels. In a perceptual context, this mode of thought forms a psychological counterpart to the classic hermeneutic circle. As Clarke http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

M oving M usic

Music Analysis , Volume 26 (3) – Oct 1, 2007

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-2249.2008.00262.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I ‘What is the relationship between listening to music and grasping music's meaning? How does listening to music relate to the ways we listen to the wider auditory environment? Why do listeners often seem most immediately aware of the complex features of music?’ These are the tantalising questions posed on the dust jacket of Eric Clarke's Ways of Listening . His book is an attempt to answer them, at least in part, by utilising the framework provided by ‘ecological psychology’. One of the defining characteristics of an ecological approach is the emphasis it places on the relationship between the perceiving individual and their (musical) environment; consequently, it tends to focus on the ‘top‐down’ processing of musical stimuli. In contrast to cognitively orientated models, which typically understand or represent musical perception as a uni‐linear progression from basic physical or psycho‐acoustical stimuli through to more abstract and complex determinations of signification, ‘top‐down’ processing refers to the manner in which emerging higher‐level interpretations – and, indeed, prior conditions and environmental circumstances – can impact upon the data‐processing taking place at lower levels. In a perceptual context, this mode of thought forms a psychological counterpart to the classic hermeneutic circle. As Clarke

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Oct 1, 2007

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