The Soul in Sound: the Nature of Musical Consciousness - 2. Musical Perception and Agency


Agency plays a much larger role in the phenomenology of music than has been previously appreciated. Once we characterize this role correctly, it allows us to introduce the notion of the world expressed world that is perceived in a piece of music. This notion has intrinsic connections with the notion of musical acquaintance introduced in Lecture 1, and with the first person point of view. The notion of the expressed world perceived can be applied to various musicological issues, such as the proper characterization of a musical style such as expressionism. The perception of agency is also involved in the explanation of such phenomena as the importance of visually perceiving the performer(s) of a piece of music, and of the importance and value to us of live performance.