Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Music and ConsciousnessPhilosophical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Clarke and Eric Clarke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553792.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2019

From formalism to experience:

From formalism to experience:

a Jamesian perspective on music, computing, and consciousness

(p.157) Chapter 9 From formalism to experience:
Music and Consciousness

Meurig Beynon

Oxford University Press

In his essay ‘Does consciousness exist?’ William James identifies a commonly held (mis)conception: that consciousness is ‘one element, moment, factor — call it what you like — of an experience of essentially dualistic inner constitution, from which, if you abstract the content, the consciousness will remain revealed to its own eye’. This chapter shows how James's thinking, in association with an alternative foundational approach to computing, provides the basis for a treatment of the theme of music and consciousness that can embrace many varieties of musical experience and interpretation without compromising integrity. The chapter draws on professional background in computer science to highlight parallels between composing or performing music and Empirical Modelling (EM) — a specific way of using computing technology to build artefacts that has been developed under his direction over the past twenty years. The musical illustrations and references discussed are drawn from the German classical and romantic traditions, which are most salient in his own experience as a pianist and accompanist, with a particular interest in chamber music and songs. But while this reflects his area of relative musical competence, it should not necessarily be taken as indicating that the ideas developed apply only to the narrow musical culture of Western score-based tonal music on which the chapter focuses.

Keywords:   William James, consciousness, Empirical Modelling, computing, musical performance, composing, tonal music, German classical music

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .