The Tangible in Music: The Tactile Learning of a Musical Instrument, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Tangible in Music

The Tactile Learning of a Musical Instrument, 1st Edition

By Marko Aho


166 pages

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Paperback: 9781138505018
pub: 2017-07-18
Hardback: 9781472439574
pub: 2016-06-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315527017
pub: 2016-05-26
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In the age of digital music it seems striking that so many of us still want to produce music concretely with our bodies, through the movement of our limbs, lungs and fingers, in contact with those materials and objects which are capable of producing sounds. The huge sales figures of musical instruments in the global market, and the amount of time and effort people of all ages invest in mastering the tools of music, make it clear that playing musical instruments is an important phenomenon in human life. By combining the findings made in music psychology and performative ethnomusicology, Marko Aho shows how playing a musical instrument, and the pleasure musicians get from it, emerges from an intimate dialogue between the personally felt body and the sounding instrument. An introduction to the general aspects of the tactile resources of musical instruments, musical style and the musician is followed by an analysis of the learning process of the regional kantele style of the Perho river valley in Finnish Central Ostrobothnia.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Examples

Audio Examples


1 Introduction

2 Exploring the Musical Instrument

3 Playing in Style

4 Communicating Expression

5 The Cultured Musical Style, Musical Instrument, and Musician



About the Author

Marko Aho is an ethnomusicologist and has written extensively on musical instruments and music making. He teaches courses on organology and related areas, and holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Tampere. He is also pursuing a degree in instrument building, and lives in Sastamala, Finland.

About the Series

SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music

The theme for the series is the psychology of music, broadly defined. Topics include (i) musical development at different ages, (ii) exceptional musical development in the context of special educational needs, (iii) musical cognition and context, (iv) culture, mind and music, (v) micro to macro perspectives on the impact of music on the individual (from neurological studies through to social psychology), (vi) the development of advanced performance skills and (vii) affective perspectives on musical learning. The series presents the implications of research findings for a wide readership, including user-groups (music teachers, policy makers, parents) as well as the international academic and research communities. This expansive embrace, in terms of both subject matter and intended audience (drawing on basic and applied research from across the globe), is the distinguishing feature of the series, and it serves SEMPRE’s distinctive mission, which is to promote and ensure coherent and symbiotic links between education, music and psychology research.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology