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S ubjectivity and the C onstruction of E motion in the M usic of B jörk

S ubjectivity and the C onstruction of E motion in the M usic of B jörk ABSTRACT A commonly held reception theory for popular song is that it constitutes an expression of emotional experience belonging either to the performer(s), to the listener, or to a virtual third person. Drawing on the belief that music is capable of affording subject positions on behalf of its listeners, the present article argues that organised sound is not only capable of representing or embodying a pre‐existent affective experience, but that it contributes uniquely to the idea of what emotion is and of how it is perceived. In this respect music can be understood as participating in the cultural construction of feeling that has helped to shape the identity of the modern Western subject. Two tracks by Björk are presented as case study illustrations of this thesis: ‘Unison’ (Vespertine 2001) and the music video ‘Jóga’ (Volumen 1999). Thus Björk's music, along with the discursive media surrounding it, is shown to rely upon a distinctive expressive vocabulary aimed at communicating a particular kind of embodied subjectivity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

S ubjectivity and the C onstruction of E motion in the M usic of B jörk

Music Analysis , Volume 25 (1‐2) – Mar 1, 2006

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-2249.2006.00237.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT A commonly held reception theory for popular song is that it constitutes an expression of emotional experience belonging either to the performer(s), to the listener, or to a virtual third person. Drawing on the belief that music is capable of affording subject positions on behalf of its listeners, the present article argues that organised sound is not only capable of representing or embodying a pre‐existent affective experience, but that it contributes uniquely to the idea of what emotion is and of how it is perceived. In this respect music can be understood as participating in the cultural construction of feeling that has helped to shape the identity of the modern Western subject. Two tracks by Björk are presented as case study illustrations of this thesis: ‘Unison’ (Vespertine 2001) and the music video ‘Jóga’ (Volumen 1999). Thus Björk's music, along with the discursive media surrounding it, is shown to rely upon a distinctive expressive vocabulary aimed at communicating a particular kind of embodied subjectivity.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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