Singing, Listening, Proprioceiving: Some Reflections on Vocal Somaesthetics

in Aesthetic Experience and Somaesthetics
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This article explores somaesthetic vocal experience and suggests some starting points for the study of vocal somaesthetics. This area of study will approach the bodily and experiential aspects of vocalizing and listening to vocal sounds. In the previous research of human vocality the focus has usually been on the voice as heard or measured as an acoustic fact. Vocal somaesthetics, instead, will be interested in the bodily sensations of vocalizing and listening. It will be argued that the proprioceptive, inner-body senses are essential in the aesthetic vocal experiences. There have been, however, some reservations whether proprioception could be understood as an aesthetic sense or not. In the proprioceptive experience, the difference between the subject and the object of experience is often compromised. It has also been said that proprioception is only a secondary sense, supplementing the primary senses like sight or hearing. Proprioceptive sensations are also said to be private by their nature, lacking the intersubjective extent. In this article, these arguments will be called into question and examined in the context of singing and listening.

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