Body, music and electronics

Pierre Schaeffer and phenomenology of music

Michal Lipták

pp. 45-74

The article presents a phenomenological investigation of body and music, with particular emphasis on electronic music. The investigation builds on theoretical framework developed in phenomenological investigations in art by Edmund Husserl, Mikel Dufrenne and Roman Ingarden. It is guided beyond these analyses by investigations of particular musical examples in avant-garde acoustic and electronic music. In the former case it tackles music from which body is being consciously erased. In the latter case, the erasure occurs instantly. This negative approach elucidates the function of body in music. In case of electronic music, the article focuses on writings and music of pioneer of musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer. Central argument is that electronic music always has been and still is defined by absence of body, here phenomenologically considered as Leib. As a consequence of the phenomenological elucidation, it is ultimately shown that erasure of body has been one of the avant-garde music's crucial techniques, and that this avant-garde residue remains in electronic music as such, both experimental and mainstream.

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Full citation:

Lipták, M. (2022). Body, music and electronics: Pierre Schaeffer and phenomenology of music. Studia Universitatis Babes Bolyai Philosophia 67 (1), pp. 45-74.

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