Listening in the wild: cognitive ecology of music listening
Music listening permeates everyday life. As a practice, it provides the listener with unique opportunities for a multitude of affective and cognitive experiences. In this thesis, I explore music listening as a cognitive ecological process. Rather than a matter of only perception or internal experience, music listening is distributed across mind, body, and both the physical and social environment. I begin by stepping through embodied and extended accounts of cognition to develop the foundation of an ecological approach to music listening. I then discuss the way in which music listening is an acquired and developed skill, contingent upon a complex array of socio-cultural and cognitive processes. In chapters 3 and 4 I briefly explore topics of interest for ongoing research. Chapter 3 explores how the listening ecology model is further shaped by live performance environments. Chapter 4 discusses the role of lyrics in music listening. In particular, what changes in the listener’s experience when the piece of music has lyrical content? By integrating a wide range of views from cognitive science, psychology, philosophy of mind and musicology, I hope to provide a theoretical foundation for future empirical and ethnographic research.