Oct 2018

Seminar, a Comparison between Musical and Ordinary Auditory Experience

October 17, 2018

The next lecture of ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) Philosophical Seminar will be delivered by
Dr. Elvira Di Bona on October 17th at 6 p.m.
Location: Università di Torino, Palazzo Nuovo, 2° Piano, Aula di Antica, Via Sant’Ottavio 20 – Torino

In this talk, I will compare the experience of musical sounds to the experience of non-musical sounds (ordinary auditory experience) in order to see whether there are similarities between them which go beyond the mere fact that they are both experiences of sounds. Despite the fact that they differ with regard to emotional and cognitive components – which is something I will take for granted in this work – the comparison will unveil that the two experiences share the basic low-level mechanisms which are responsible for the auditory ability of distinguishing a sound (or a stream of sounds) from another sound (or another stream of sounds), at least in light of Bregman’s auditory scene analysis. That happens because primitive grouping, which takes place when we segregate ordinary auditory streams, works in a similar way as when we segregate musical streams, given that the cues and principles of the sequential and the simultaneous integration on which grouping is grounded operate similarly in both contexts. My conclusion is that musical experience and ordinary auditory experience have in common not only the obvious fact that they are constituted by sounds, but also the fact that they take place by virtue of a mechanism which is influenced by the same factors.

ELVIRA DI BONA (Polonsky Academy for the Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) obtained the Ph.D. in Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Milan), and at the Institut Jean Nicod – École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) in 2013. Her dissertation was on auditory perception and the metaphysics of sound. During her Ph.D. course, she spent research periods at the New York University, as a Fulbright Scholar, and at the University of Sydney, as an ARIA (Association for Research between Italy and Australasia) Grantee. She published articles on pitch, the auditory perception of causation, sound and temporality. In 2014, she was awarded a Fellowship from the Italian Academy of Columbia University (NYC), and in 2015 she worked on a project on aesthetic normativity sponsored by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) at the Freie Universität Berlin. She started her work as a Polonsky Fellow at The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in 2016. She is developing a project on the admissible contents of auditory experience, which has been recently funded also by the Fondazione Franco e Marilisa Caligara at the University of Turin, Italy. She completed the “Diploma di Alto Perfezionamento in Solo Violin Performance” at the Accademia Nazionale di Studi Musicali di Santa Cecilia, Rome, in 2008. She performed in concerts of classical and jazz music—in solo performances and in chamber orchestras—in the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Romania, Croatia, and Venezuela.
ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) is a periodic philosophical seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences of the University of Turin and the PhD Program FINO. It is coordinated by Prof. Alessandro Bertinetto.
ART addresses different topics of the contemporary debate in Aesthetics: philosophy of beauty, philosophy of the arts, theory of sensory experience, philosophy of image and imagination, and history of aesthetics.
ART is supported by:
Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sulla Morfologia Francesco Moiso (CIM)
Centro di Ricerca Interdipartimentale di Logica, Linguaggio e Cognizione (LLC)
Centro Studi Arti della Modernità
Laboratorio di Ontologia (Labont)
ART is sponsored by:
Italian Society for Aesthetics (SIE)
European Society for Aesthetics (ESA)