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Meaning in Electroacoustic Music and the Everyday Mind

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2010

Gary S. Kendall*
Sonic Arts Research Center, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK


The key question posed here is how listeners experience meaning when listening to electroacoustic music, especially how they experience it as art. This question is addressed by connecting electroacoustic listening with the ways that the mind constructs meaning in everyday life. Initially, the topic of the everyday mind provides a framework for discussing cognitive schemas, mental spaces, the Event schema and auditory gist. Then, specific idioms of electroacoustic music that give rise to artistic meaning are examined. These include the creative binding of circumstances with events and the conceptual blending that creates metaphorical meaning. Finally, the listener’s experience of long-term events is discussed is relation to the location event-structure metaphor.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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