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The Philosophy of RhythmAesthetics, Music, Poetics$
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Peter Cheyne, Andy Hamilton, and Max Paddison

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199347773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199347773.001.0001

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Husserl’s Model of Time-Consciousness, and the Phenomenology of Rhythm

Husserl’s Model of Time-Consciousness, and the Phenomenology of Rhythm

(p.291) 18 Husserl’s Model of Time-Consciousness, and the Phenomenology of Rhythm
The Philosophy of Rhythm

Salomé Jacob

Oxford University Press

Chapter 18 examines the implications of Husserl’s model of temporal consciousness on the experience of musical rhythm. Any current moment of an experience, according to Husserl, includes three phases: retention (“holding-on” of the just-past), primal-impression (now-point), and protention (anticipation of what-is-just-about-to-come). Husserl’s analysis of time-consciousness is, the author argues, particularly useful in a study of rhythm, although this analysis does not do justice to the full complexity of the phenomenology of rhythm. First, Husserl’s framework, when applied to rhythm, suggests that listeners retain the just-past sounds and anticipate the sounds-to-come in the light of what has been heard. Short-term memory and short-term anticipation should thus be studied in close interaction. Second, Husserl’s model helps to frame a rich embodied phenomenology of rhythm. In bodily interaction with rhythm, one’s experience encompasses the perception of musical rhythm but also a bodily awareness of one’s own movements, where both aspects share the same temporal structure.

Keywords:   rhythm, time-consciousness, phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, retention, protention

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