International Scientific Conference: Moscow Conservatory in its past, present and future location:Moscow date:20 - 24 September 2016
This paper argues for a dynamic-vectorial approach to musical sense-making. Rather than conceiving of music as a kind of artefact, it stresses the importance of the moment-to-moment history of the epistemic interactions with the music as it sounds. Starting from its definition as a temporal and sounding art, it elaborates on the deictic concept of pointing to the sounding music as a heuristic guide for musical sense-making. As such it stresses the role of focal attention as a means for singling out those elements that are denoted as being meaningful. Three aspects are considered: the delimitation of the elements (which elements?), the mutual relations of these elements (the structure of the music) and the mental operations of the listener (narrative comprehension). Taken together, they provide the operational means to study the perceptual organisation of the musical flow in an attempt to bring together the concepts of analysis and experience. Rather than conceiving of them as being opposed to each other, they are brought in relation to the operational concepts of perspective and resolution, revolving around the discrete/continuous dichotomy, the in time/outside of time dichotomy and the deictic vs. symbolics field of knowledge. To the extent that all these aspects can be organised in a kind of overall mental apprehension, it is possible to explore the possibilities of cognitive maps as organisational tools for musical sense-making, both as the result of sensory experience and cognitive structuring by the listener.