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Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain$
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Joseph P. Huston, Marcos Nadal, Francisco Mora, Luigi F. Agnati, and Camilo José Cela Conde

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670000

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.001.0001

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Tempos of Eternity: Music, Volition, and Playing with Time

Tempos of Eternity: Music, Volition, and Playing with Time

(p.500) Chapter 25 Tempos of Eternity: Music, Volition, and Playing with Time
Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain

Barbara G. Goodrich

Oxford University Press

How is it that some works of music, the most temporal of all art forms, can elicit an experience of timelessness? This chapter explores three such pieces, by Messiaen, Lauridsen, and Chico Marx, respectively. The effects of these works can be explained only if subjective time is more complex than usually thought; it may include not only sensation but also a purposive stance, particularly involving the anticipation that is crucial to music. Drawing from Schopenhauer, Huron, Merleau-Ponty, and recent neurophysiological data, this chapter introduces an account of how music can profoundly alter our experience of time’s passage. One implication is that time perception may originate not from a single “counter” or oscillation, but from the interaction of at least two kinds of rhythmic biological processes, perhaps one associated with motility or volition, and one associated with perception. Such an approach may also clarify the remarkably enduring gifts of Clive Wearing.

Keywords:   philosophy, music, neuroscience, volition, anticipation, time, Merleau-Ponty, Schopenhauer, Lauridsen, Messiaen

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