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Praxial Music EducationReflections and Dialogues$
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David J Elliott

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385076.001.0001

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Music and Knowledge in Bodily Experience

Music and Knowledge in Bodily Experience

(p.112) 6 Music and Knowledge in Bodily Experience
Praxial Music Education

David J. Elliott

Oxford University Press

Educational behaviorists once claimed that since it is impossible to know what happens in a student's mind, teachers should only be concerned with what students do “overtly” — that is, how they behave — their responses to educational acts. This chapter argues that the development of musicianship happens in action, through action, and within action. However, the human body plays a crucial but (unfortunately) a taken-for-granted and opaque role in the development of agency. In this chapter, the musical mind and body is considered within a naturalist framework of holistic duality, but without dualism. In this duality, a human organism is a functional whole; the mind and body are inseparable, though there are different aspects to this singleness. The feeling, sensing, and experiencing body is engaged with musical sounds and their consequences in many ways, whether we are aware of it or not. The chapter contends that the body is not only an instrument through which musical thinking takes place, but also can be taken as a conscious and explicit object of transformation.

Keywords:   knowledge, musicianship, action, mind, body, duality, musical thinking, transformation

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