Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik
IDEA lectures with Eric F. Clarke
Music, empathy, and virtual worlds
Eric Clarke is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford. He received BA and MA degrees in music from the University of Sussex, and a PhD in psychology from the University of Exeter. He has published on topics including the psychology of performance, the perception and production of rhythm, the semiotics of music, the relationship between language and music, and music and ecological theory. For ten years he was a member of the improvising string quartet The Lapis String Quartet.
There is increasing interest in music and empathy (for a review see Clarke, DeNora and Vuoskoski 2015; see also the whole issue  of Empirical Musicology Review devoted to the topic), and with the ways in which music can draw listeners and active participants into forms of engagement with one another. But the concept of empathy (or in its 1873 formulation by Robert Vischer ‘Einfühlung’) originally arose in the context of visual aesthetics, to account for the ways in which observers can be drawn into the world of a work of art. In this paper, and framed within the ecological approach to music perception that I have developed elsewhere, I explore the ways in which a broad notion of empathy might provide a fruitful way to understand how it is that listeners engage with the virtual worlds that music affords.
Please note, that the presentation will be held in English.
The IDEA Lectures (Interdisciplinary Debates on the Empirical Aesthetics of Music) aim at bringing together internationally well-known researchers who discuss questions that relate to the production and reception of music from various perspectives.
Musicologists from all branches of their discipline take part as do musicians, psychologists, cognitive scientists, sociologists, philosophers and ethnologists.
External guests are welcome. Please call for registration 069 8300 479-201.