The Aural and the Quotidian: Everyday Experience in Listening and Practice

Keenan, Jeremy. 2011. The Aural and the Quotidian: Everyday Experience in Listening and Practice. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The research herein comprises an examination of the following question: in what ways do
our experiences of the everyday inhere in our experiences of the aural as aesthetic and
meaningful? It is not concerned with forging a definition of everyday sound as a category
of sonic effects, but instead an analysis of the ways that the everyday, aural and
otherwise, is interpenetrating with our perceptual capacities and the cultural practices
encompassing aural aesthetic production and experience.

This thesis extends extant discourses surrounding the notion that the experience of sound
as meaningful and aesthetic is connected to our general experience as embodied beings in
the material world. The following analysis encompasses aspects of auditory perception,
music aesthetics, and sound art production from the perspective of the body, as it is the
locus of the listening subject situated within the domain of everyday experience. This
includes an investigation of sound transduction technologies, as the devices that enable
aural aesthetic practice are central to its analysis in the context of the everyday. Listening
attitudes are transformed through cultural practice, structuring the relationship between
the domain of the everyday, the embodied listening subject, sound recordings as cultural
artefacts, and the attendant process of transduction.

Discourses that attribute non-material, disembodied understandings to aesthetic
experience are examined and challenged. From this, a fundamentally material, embodied
approach to auditory experience is proposed, and with it a consideration of the ways that
sound art and acousmatic music engage with the process of human understanding and the
constitution of meaning in sound. Self-reflexive methodologies in aural aesthetic practice
are exemplified, with the aim of promoting an expanded conception of aural context that
includes the technological, cultural, and phenomenal aspects of its production.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


music, electrocacoustic, everyday, quotidian, embodiment, sound perception, acousmatic, SuperCollider, MaxMSP, Csound, Arduino, physical computing, schafer, chion, schaeffer, musique concrete, feedback, sound art, scruton, phenomenology, sound, merleau-ponty

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research


13 December 2011

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

30 Jan 2012 18:16

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 08:26


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