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Music and ConsciousnessPhilosophical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives$
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David Clarke and Eric Clarke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553792.001.0001

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Practical consciousness and social relation in MusEcological perspective

Practical consciousness and social relation in MusEcological perspective

(p.309) Chapter 18 Practical consciousness and social relation in MusEcological perspective
Music and Consciousness

Tia DeNora

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role in music in consciousness formation understood pragmatically. This pragmatic perspective focuses on consciousness as a form of creative work. It suggests that, in common with all creative work, it is a ‘systematic function’: it emerges from collaborative social and material-cultural settings. To develop this theme and set it in its proper context, the chapter defines terms and develops a particular understanding of consciousness as taking shape through reference to things outside of individual minds. It then turns to the main topic — music as an instrument of consciousness and, as such, as part of the care of self and its connection both to sociability and, more critically, governmentality. This is explored through examples of embodied consciousness (physical orientation to environment) and musically mediated verbal awareness. The topic of musical consciousness in a mental health context is presented, specifically to consider musical consciousness as a medium for social relation, regulation, and self-presentation. Throughout, it is argued that consciousness consists of dispositional orientations for forms of action (individual and collective) and identity in the world.

Keywords:   music, consciousness formation, creative work, mental health, musical consciousness, social relation, regulation, self-representation

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