- South Indian music
- Music, movement, gesture, and the body
- Aesthetics and affect in social context
- Notions of improvisation and composition
|2012–2016||Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Durham, UK with a thesis on gesture in South Indian art music|
|2011–2012||MA in Ethnomusicology (with Distinction) at Goldsmiths, University of London|
|Since 2018||Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Music Department|
|2016–2017||Postdoctoral fellow at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen|
|2013–2017||Part-time teacher at the University of Durham, UK|
|2008–2011||Fieldwork and practical music studies in South India|
Hamilton, A., & Pearson, L. (Eds.), (2020). The Aesthetics of Imperfection in Music and the Arts: Spontaneity, Flaws and the Unfinished. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN: 9781350106055
Journal Articles and Book Sections
Pearson, L. (forthcoming). Inscriptions, Gesture, and the Self: Notation in Karnatak Music. In E. Payne & F. Schuiling (Eds.), Material Cultures of Music Notation: New Perspectives on Musical Inscription. Abingdon: Routledge.
Pearson, L. (2021). “Improvisation” in Play: A View through South Indian Music Practices. In A. Bertinetto & M. Ruta (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Improvisation in the Arts (pp. 446-461). Abingdon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003179443-35
Pearson, L. (2020). A Socially Situated Approach to Aesthetics: Games and Challenges in Karnatak Music. In A. Hamilton & L. Pearson (Eds.), The Aesthetics of Imperfection in Music and the Arts: Spontaneity, Flaws and the Unfinished (pp. 61-72). London: Bloomsbury Academic. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350106086.0016
Jacoby, N., Margulis, EH, Clayton, M., Hannon, E., Honing, H., Iversen, J., Klein, TR, More, SA, Pearson, L., Peretz, I., Perlman, M ., Polak, R., Ravignani, A., Savage, PE, Steingo, G., Stevens, CJ, Trainor, L., Trehub, S., Veal, M., & Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2020) , Cross-cultural work in music cognition. Music Perception, 37 (3), 185-195. https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2020.37.3.185
Pearson, L. (2018). Cultural Heritage, Sustainability and Innovation in South Indian Art Music. In B. Norton and N. Matsumoto (Eds.), Music as Heritage: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives . Aldershot: Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315393865-12
Pearson, L. (2016). Coarticulation and Gesture: An Analysis of Melodic Movement in South Indian Raga Performance. Music Analysis , 35 (3), 280-313. https://doi.org/10.1111/musa.12071
Pearson, L. (2013). Gesture and the Sonic Event in Karnatak Music. Empirical Musicology Review , 8 (1), 2-14. https://doi.org/10.18061/emr.v8i1.3918
Pearson, L. (2016). Gesture in Karnatak Music: Pedagogy and Musical Structure in South India. (PhD), University of Durham. http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/11782/
Conference Papers (selected)
Pearson, L. (2019, Sept. 26-28). An aesthetics of movement in Karnatak music: Conceptualizing music through the body . Paper presented at the Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM19), Graz, Austria.
Pearson, L. (2019, Sept. 3-9). Gestural interaction in South Indian vocal lessons: Forging common ground through the body . Paper presented at the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) 2019, Durham, UK.
Pearson, L. (2019 July 11-17). Gesture in Karnatak music: Technologies, data, and analysis . Paper presented at the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) world conference, Bangkok, Thailand.
Pearson, L. (2019, May 31-June 2). Oscillations, finger stresses, and slides: Gestural affordances and the Karnatak style . Paper presented at the Tenth International Conference on Music and Sonic Art (MuSA), Karlsruhe, Germany.
Pearson, L. (2018, June 26-29). Gesture, segmentation, and meaning in South Indian raga performance . Paper presented at the Analytical Approaches to World Music (AAWM) conference, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Pearson, L. (2018, April 20-22). Notation, gesture, and identity in South Indian art music . Paper presented at Material Cultures of Music Notation: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Pearson, L. (2018, April 12-15). Cultural activism in South India: Protesting social inequality within and through Karnatak music. Paper presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) Annual Conference, Newcastle, UK.
Pearson, L. (2017, July 13-14). Gesture as thought in South Indian raga performance . Paper presented at the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group (RMA MPSG) conference, London.
Pearson, L. (2017 April 3-5). Gesture in Karnatak vocal lessons: Cross-domain mapping and gestural indexing . Paper presented at the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPER) conference, Hull, UK.
Pearson, L. (2015, Aug 17-22). Hand gestures in South Indian vocal lessons: The exploitation of cross-domain mapping as a pedagogic tool . Paper presented at the European Society for the Cognitive Science of Music (ESCOM) conference, Manchester, UK.
Pearson, L. (2014 Nov. 13-16).Gesture in Karnatak music pedagogy: Typologies, ethical constraints, and cross-modal interaction . Paper presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) annual conference, Pittsburgh, USA.
Pearson, L. (2014, Sept. 9-12). Deviation from standard melodic formulas by an expert performer: An analysis of Karnatak raga alapana . Paper presented at Perspectives on Musical Improvisation II (POMI II), Oxford, UK.
Pearson, L. (2014, July 1-4). A kinetic approach to music analysis: Coarticulation in South Indian raga performance . Paper presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology - Analytical Approaches to World Music conference (BFE-AAWM), London, UK.
Awards & Grants
|2017||Aubrey Hickman Award given by SEMPRE (Society for Education, Music and|
|2015||Martin Hatch Award given by the Society for Asian Music|
|2014||iARC (Institute of Advanced Research Computing) Digital Humanities Durham Postgraduate Research Award|
|2014||Durham University Arts and Humanities Faculty Postgraduate Research Award|
|2014||ERASMUS Mobility Award to conduct motion analysis at the University of Oslo|
|2013||SEMPRE (Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research) Gerry Farrell Travel Award for fieldwork in India|
|2012–2015||Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Studentship Award|
- Musical motion: the experience and aesthetics of movement in South Indian raga performance
The interconnection between music and movement can be observed in everyday life: for example, in the tendency for people to move along with music, and to use motion-related words when talking about music. In response, musicologists and ...