Instrumental bodies

Sarah Buckler (Robert Gordon University)
Trish Winter (University of Sunderland)
Palatine - PCL053
Start time:
5 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

To achieve a certain amount of expertise as a musician embodied knowledge needs to be developed generating an intimate and indivisible connection between the musician, the instrument and musical expression. This lab invites musicians and non-musicians to explore the nature of this relationship.

Long abstract:

This lab will examine the role that musical instruments play in developing body techniques (Mauss, 1979) and knowledge of the body (Merleau-Ponty, 2002, see also Moores, 2014) to build 'music worlds' (Crossley, 2015), exploring the role of agency and the constraints of musical instruments. We will investigate, through a series of practical activities, the relationship between embodiment and mood, the impact this has on musicking (Small, 1998) and the extent to which we are able to 'tune in' to one another (Schutz, 1976) in ways mediated by musical instruments. We will explore these relationships in practical, hands-on ways, thinking around questions such as • Does the musical instrument constrain expression? • What is the relationship between the particular body posture and movement required by the instrument and mood? • Does the tuning of the instrument impact on mood? • What impact does the character of the instrument have - e.g. tuning, size, range, how it's played - bowed, blown, hit, etc. It is not anticipated that the lab will result in a musical performance, however there will be small 'musical vignettes' around the conference site as lab participants explore these questions. The lab will be suitable for people who already play an instrument (at any level) and also those who don't. Some simple instruments will be provided and musicians are encouraged to bring their own along. A room large enough to move around and play will be needed.