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Introduction to perceiver movements

Why doesn't the word "listeners" quite cover it? Read about the role of perceivers and multimodal experience in empirical musicology.
An 8-track tape recorder placed on the floor.
© Alexander Refsum Jensenius, University of Oslo

In the previous videos in the terminology track we have looked at different types of music-related body movement in performers. This week we will look more at the perceivers, that is, people experiencing music.

Before we get started with the video, it may be useful to recall that we use the term perceiver to focus on the multimodal approach to the experience of music. While we often talk about “listening” to music in our daily life, this usually implies a truly multimodal experience. Few people really mean that they only listen to the sound of the music, even though this is of course also possible. But as we have looked at earlier, listening to the sound is only one part of the experience. The visual element is also crucial, and other senses too even the taste music. Yes, everyone that has played a wind instrument will know that music can taste something. Ask your clarinet playing friend!

But what types of movements can be found in perceivers? Generally, we may find all the same type of movements in perceivers as in performers, including sound-producing. A main difference, though, is that perceivers are usually not the main focal point in a musical context. That is the role of the performers. Still, we have found that studying the body movements of perceivers can be very interesting. After all, a person’s behaviour may reveal a lot about his or hers cognitive state and experiences.

© Alexander Refsum Jensenius, University of Oslo
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