First session of the RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group Online Series 2021
Listening & Technique
Wed, 16 June 2021
18:00 – 19:30 CEST
Scholars in music, philosophy, and sound studies often consider listening to be a technique—one that is shaped by both the individual capacities of listeners as well as entrained social norms.
Starting from that premise, this paper will attempt to pose some foundational questions about the specific kind of technique that listening might be, and the ways that we might theorize it.
In particular, I will explore two themes: 1) What is the best framework for theorizing listening technique? I will suggest that the framework of “body techniques,” introduced by Marcel Mauss and taken up widely in the humanities, might be inadequate for conceptualizing the specificity of listening as a technique. 2) How similar or different are techniques and technologies? Rather than lump techniques and technologies under the broad heading of techné, I will sketch a more granular model of the relationship between listening techniques and audio technologies, one that sits at the intersection of cultural entrainment and media archaeology.