Bodily Expression in Electronic Music: Perspectives on Reclaiming Performativity (Hardback) book cover

Bodily Expression in Electronic Music

Perspectives on Reclaiming Performativity

Edited by Deniz Peters, Gerhard Eckel, Andreas Dorschel

© 2012 – Routledge

230 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

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In this book, scholars and artists explore the relation between electronic music and bodily expression from perspectives including aesthetics, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, dance and interactive performance arts, sociology, computer music and sonic arts, and music theory, transgressing disciplinary boundaries and established beliefs. The historic decoupling of action and sound generation might be seen to have distorted or even effaced the expressive body, with the retention of performance qualities via recoupling not equally retaining bodily expressivity. When, where, and what is the body expressed in electronic music then? The authors of this book reveal composers’, performers’, improvisers’ and listeners’ bodies, as well as the works’ and technologies’ figurative bodies as a rich source of expressive articulation. Bringing together humanities’ scholarship and musical arts contingent upon new media, the contributors offer inspiring thought and critical reflection for all those seriously engaged with the aesthetics of electronic music, interactive performance, and the body’s role in aesthetic experience and expression. Performativity is not only seen as being reclaimed in live electronic music, interactive arts, and installations; it is also exposed as embodied in the music and the listeners themselves.


"This book provides a wealth of ways of conceiving of bodily issues informing practice-based research. I appreciate the focus on and problematizing of the body, which I feel is largely missing from music literature. I also appreciate the emphasis on the sensory experience of music, rather than the technologies used…All in all, this is a worthwhile volume that should be of inspiration and use to practitioners and theorists for some time to come." --Annelie Nederberg, Journal of Music, Technology and Education

Table of Contents

Part 1: Bodily… 1. Touch: Apparent, Real, and Absent: On Bodily Expression in Electronic Music Deniz Peters 2. How Things Fall Apart: Alteration of Body in Music and Dance Sondra Fraleigh 3. What Would Disembodied Music Even Be? Alva Noë 4. Embodying the Sonic Invisible: Sketching a Corporeal Ontology of Musical Interaction Susan Kozel 5. Seeing Sound, Hearing Movement: Multimodal Expression and Haptic Illusions in the Virtual Sonic Environment Jaana Parviainen Part 2: …Expression in… 6. Ich und Du: On the Relation Between Body Image and Sound Structure in Contemporary Music Isabel Mundry 7. Isabel Mundry’s Ich und Du and the Elusiveness of Musical Meaning: Variations on Music, Body, Structure, Perception Christian Utz 8. Two Kinds of Physicality in Electronic and Traditional Music Kendall L. Walton 9. Objective Music: Traditions of Soundmaking without Human Expression Federico Celestini and Andreas Dorschel Part 3: …Electronic Music 10. Embodied Generative Music Gerhard Eckel 11. Live Electronic Music or Living Electronic Music? Simon Emmerson 12. Relational Ontologies and Social Forms in Digital Music Georgina Born 13. JND: An Artistic Experiment in Bodily Experience as Research Chris Salter

About the Editors

Deniz Peters is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Aesthetics of Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria.

Gerhard Eckel is Professor of Computer Music and Multimedia and the former head of the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) at the University of Music and Perfoming Arts Graz, Austria.

Andreas Dorschel is Professor of Philosophy and head of the Institute of Music Aesthetics at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Music

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering music performance, theory, and culture alongside topics such as gender, race, ecology, film, religion, politics, and science, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Electronic
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / General
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Phenomenology