Sonic art and the nature of sonic events

Roden, David (2010). Sonic art and the nature of sonic events. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 1(1) pp. 141–156.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-009-0002-7

Abstract

Musicians and theorists such as the radiophonic pioneer Pierre Schaeffer, view the products of new audio technologies as devices whereby the experience of sound can be displaced from its causal origins and achieve new musical or poetic resonances. Accordingly, the listening experience associated with sonic art within this perspective is ‘acousmatic’; the process of sound generation playing no role in the description or understanding of the experience as such. In this paper I shall articulate and defend a position according to which an adequate phenomenology of auditory experience must refer to mechanisms of sound generation. This position is shown to follow from a phenomenology of sounds as located events and a physicalist account of auditory properties as features of the temporal development of such events.

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