Music as Atmosphere: Collective Feelings and Affective Sounds, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Music as Atmosphere

Collective Feelings and Affective Sounds, 1st Edition

Edited by Friedlind Riedel, Juha Torvinen


310 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-11-27
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This book explores the atmospheric dimensions of music and sound. With multidisciplinary insights from music studies, sound studies, philosophy and media studies, chapters investigate music and sound as shared environmental feelings.

This book probes into cutting edge conceptual issues at the forefront of contemporary discussions on atmosphere, atmospherology and affect. It also extends the spatial and relational focus towards fundamentally temporal questions of performance, process, timbre, resonance and personhood. The capacity of atmospheric relations to imbue a situation with an ambient feeling and to modulate social collectives is highlighted, as well as auditory experience as a means of connecting with feelings. In addition to original research, the volume features a first translation of an important text by German phenomenologist Hermann Schmitz, and a debate on affect and atmosphere between the philosophers Jan Slaby and Brian Massumi.

This novel contribution to the field of music research provides a strong theoretical framework, as well as vibrant case studies, which will be invaluable reading for scholars and students of music, sound, aesthetics, media, anthropology and contemporary philosophy.

Table of Contents

Atmospheric relations: theorising music and sound as atmosphere Friedlind Riedel 1 Musical meaning in between: ineffability, atmosphere and asubjectivity in musical experience Tere Vadén and Juha Torvinen 2 Intensity, atmospheres and music Hermann Schmitz 3 Timbre, taste and epistemic tasks: a cross-cultural perspective on atmosphere and vagueness Ruard Absaroka 4 Atmosphere and Northern music: ecomusicologicalphenomenological analysis of Kalevi Aho’s Eight Seasons Juha Torvinen 5 The "right" kind of ḥāl: feeling and foregrounding atmospheric identity in an Algerian music ritual Tamara Turner 6 Sonic atmospheres in an American jail Andrew Mcgraw 7 The substance of the situation: an anthropology of sensibility Holger Schulze 8 Bodies in motion: music, dance and atmospheres in Palauan ruk Birgit Abels 9 Acoustemologies of rebetiko love songs Dafni Tragaki 10 The tune of the magic flute: on atmospheres and history Erik Wallrup 11 Between things and souls: sacred atmospheres and immersive listening in late eighteenth-century sentimentalism Anne Holzmüller 12 Transformations in mediations of lived sonic experience: a sensobiographic approach Milla Tiainen, Inkeri Aula and Helmi Järviluoma 13 A pedagogy of the event: an introduction Christoph Carsten 14 Affect and atmosphere – two sides of the same coin? Friedlind Riedel 15 Atmospheres – Schmitz, Massumi and beyond Jan Slaby 16 Dim, massive and important: atmosphere in process Brian Massumi

About the Editors

Friedlind Riedel is a doctoral researcher at the Kompetenzzentrum Medienanthropologie at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Her interests include music and performing arts in Myanmar, cultural histories of listening and philosophies of music.

Juha Torvinen is Senior Lecturer at the Musicology department of the University of Helsinki. He holds the title of Docent of musicology in Universities of Helsinki and Turku. Torvinen’s research interests include philosophy of music, ecomusicology and contemporary Finnish popular and art music.

About the Series

Ambiances, Atmospheres and Sensory Experiences of Spaces

Ambiances, Atmospheres and Sensory Experiences of Spaces

Research on ambiances and atmospheres has grown significantly in recent years in a range of disciplines, including Francophone architecture and urban studies, German research related to philosophy and aesthetics, and a growing range of Anglophone research on affective atmospheres within human geography and sociology.

This series offers a forum for research that engages with questions around ambiances and atmospheres in exploring their significances in understanding social life. Each book in the series advances some combination of theoretical understandings, practical knowledges and methodological approaches. More specifically, a range of key questions which contributions to the series seek to address includes:

  • In what ways do ambiances and atmospheres play a part in the unfolding of social life in a variety of settings?

  • What kinds of ethical, aesthetic, and political possibilities might be opened up and cultivated through a focus on atmospheres/ambiances?

  • How do actors such as planners, architects, managers, commercial interests and public authorities actively engage with ambiances and atmospheres or seek to shape them? How might these ambiances and atmospheres be reshaped towards critical ends?

  • What original forms of representations can be found today to (re)present the sensory, the atmospheric, the experiential?  What sort of writing, modes of expression, or vocabulary is required? What research methodologies and practices might we employ in engaging with ambiances and atmospheres?

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography