The Role of Embodiment in the Perception of Music

Marc Leman, Pieter-Jan Maes


In this paper, we present recent and on-going research in the field of embodied music cognition, with a focus on studies conducted at IPEM, the research laboratory in systematic musicology at Ghent University, Belgium. Attention is devoted to encoding/decoding principles underlying musical expressiveness, synchronization and entrainment, and action-based effects on music perception. The discussed empirical findings demonstrate that embodiment is only one component in an interconnected network of sensory, motor, affective, and cognitive systems involved in music perception. Currently, these findings drive embodiment theory towards a more dynamical approach in which the interaction between various internal processes and the external environment are of central importance.


musicology; embodied music cognition; action; perception

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Copyright (c) 2015 Marc Leman, Pieter-Jan Maes

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ISSN: 1559-5749