Music and Dissociation : Experiences Without Valence? 'Observing' Self and 'Absent' Self
Herbert, R. (2013). Music and Dissociation : Experiences Without Valence? 'Observing' Self and 'Absent' Self. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion (ICME3), Jyväskylä, Finland, 11th - 15th June 2013. Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.). University of Jyväskylä, Department of Music.
Empirical studies of music listening in everyday life frequently frame individuals' experience of music primarily in terms of emotion and mood. Yet emotions - at least as represented by categorical and dimensional models of emotion - do not account for the totality of subjective experience. This is particularly apparent in the case of a range of so-called 'alternate' or 'altered' states of consciousness including 'flow', aesthetic and spiritual expe-riences. Some researchers have responded by highlighting the process of absorption (effortless attention) within significant experiences of music. To date however, the role of dissociation (detachment), the counter-part of absorption, has received little research attention outside ethnomusicological accounts of ritualistic trance. This paper explores the importance of dissociation to everyday musical experiences, drawing on find-ings from the author's past and ongoing empirical studies of psychological processes of everyday involvement with music in 'real-world' UK contexts. Free phenomenological reports from unstructured diaries compiled by participants aged 9-85 indicate dissociation from self, surroundings or activity in conjunction with music is a common occurrence in everyday life, particularly for teenagers. Significantly, a number of experiences appear to possess neither positive nor negative valence, instead functioning to offer a relief from aspects of self (emo-tion and thought). Dissociation and Absorption are accepted characteristics of trance in hypnotherapeutic literature. Results from the data discussed here suggest that moves away from a perceived baseline state of consciousness in conjunction with hearing music in daily life are a common phenomenon and that such experi-ences may facilitate freedom from emotion. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä, Department of Music
ConferenceThe 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion, Jyväskylä, Finland, June 11-15, 2013
Is part of publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion (ICME3), Jyväskylä, Finland, 11th - 15th June 2013. Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.). ISBN 978-951-39-5250-1
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- ICME 2013