Enactive Music Cognition: Background and Research Themes

Constructivist Foundations 8 (3):351-357 (2013)
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Context: The past few years have presented us with a growing amount of theoretical research (yet that is often based on neuroscientific developments) in the field of enactive music cognition. Problem: Current cognitivist and embodied approaches to music cognition suffer, in our opinion, from a too firm commitment to the explanatory role of mental representations in musical experience. This particular problem can be solved by adopting an enactive approach to music cognition. Method: We present and compare cognitivist, embodied and enactive approaches to music cognition and review the current research in enactive music cognition. Results: We find that, in general, the enactive approaches to human musicality are capable of explaining the basic relationship between a musical subject and a musical object according to a pre-conceptual and pre-linguistic form of understanding related to bodily motor expertise. This explanation does not rely on on sophisticated forms of representation. Implications: Proponents of enactive music cognition should, in our opinion, focus on providing a consistent explanation of the most basic level of musical understanding. Constructivist content: We hope to invite the constructivist community to engage with the discussions on the intersection between music and enactivism



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Jakub Ryszard Matyja
Huddersfield University

Citations of this work

Extended emotions.Joel Krueger & Thomas Szanto - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):863-878.
Music as Affective Scaffolding.Joel Krueger - forthcoming - In David Clarke, Ruth Herbert & Eric Clarke (eds.), Music and Consciousness II. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Extended Mind: State of the Question.Shaun Gallagher - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):421-447.

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