SAMPLE – Situated Aspects of Musical Practice in a Longitudinal Examination

In the last years, research on joint music performance has adopted a situated perspective and challenged traditional cognitivist approaches. The importance of pre-reflective, dynamic, and enacted processes in relation to higher-order processes involving mental representations has been emphasized. Against this background and based on a newly developed systematic framework, this project investigates situated aspects of musical experiencing in the course of joint music performance in a longitudinal field study.
This study is based on the assumption that different accounts concerning the underlying processes of joint music performance are not oppositional, but rather build the extremities of a continuum. On this basis, possible influencing factors on musical experiencing during joint music performance are investigated in their temporal development.
To this end, a yearlong field study with a newly composed ensemble for contemporary music is conducted. Following a multimethod approach, ethnographical observation and interviews are complemented by self-reports via questionnaires and audio-visual data. For analysis, qualitative content analysis is complemented by phenomenological analysis to address pre-reflective levels of musical experience. This analysis is contextualized with ethnographic data and supplemented by motion energy analysis of video data.
The study transfers situated ontological claims to an empirical perspective on situated aspects of musical practice to explore philosophical claims in vivo. Ultimately, this work illustrates a process of mutual enrichment between abstract theoretical considerations on musical experience and the observation of musical experiencing in concrete musical practice.