With Bernd Brabec de Mori*
From ritual practices among Indigenous people to clinical music therapy in post-industrial contexts, the investigation into the effects and impacts of sound and music on wellbeing constitutes a burgeoning area of scholarly inquiry. Studies in music psychology and clinical music therapy isolate specific musical techniques and sounds in laboratory and clinical contexts, while ethnomusicological and anthropological investigations contextualise sound and music, seeing them as integral parts of specific societies and their respective worldviews and constructions of meaning. However, the specific relationship between the practical applications of sound and music and the metaphysical experiences and manifestations associated with corresponding health practices, has hitherto received little attention, especially in contemporary Central European contexts of music therapy and sound healing.
Based on a series of interviews and participant observation among musical health practitioners, I will present some preliminary findings on their ontological constructions of musical efficacy: which entities do exist in the musical universe, how are these conceived and interacted with, and how can they be talked about in a modern European language. These preliminary findings will be put into relation with work in the ontology of sound and listening, as well as with Indigenous cosmological constructions of musical efficacy. Thus, a contextualization of modern Central European concepts among concepts from different parts of the world can be envisioned and will be discussed.
* Bernd Brabec de Mori received his PhD in musicology from the University of Vienna. He has been working for five years in the field among Indigenous People in the Peruvian lowland rainforests. After returning to Europe in 2006, he has been teaching and researching, among other institutions, at the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, at the department for social and cultural anthropology at Philipps-University Marburg, at the centre for systematic musicology of Karl-Franzens-University Graz. Currently he holds a tenure track position at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He published a couple of books, among them Die Lieder der Richtigen Menschen [Songs of the Real People] (2015), Sudamérica y sus mundos audibles [South America and its auditory worlds] (2015), and Auditive Wissenskulturen [Auditory knowledge cultures] (2018), as well as research articles in the areas of Indigenous vocal music, medical ethnomusicology, sound perception, and auditory knowledge.
Le séminaire du CREM (Centre de recherche en ethnomusicologie) a lieu deux lundis par mois, de 10h à 12h. Les chercheurs (doctorants compris) membres du CREM ou invités de passage y présentent leurs travaux en cours. Les présentations durent 50 minutes, et sont suivies d’une pause café et d’une heure de discussion.
Occasionnellement, le séminaire prend la forme d’un atelier rassemblant plusieurs chercheurs autour d’un thème commun. Il dure alors un après-midi ou bien une journée complète.
La participation au séminaire est ouverte à tous. Il fait par ailleurs partie du cursus des Master d’ethnomusicologie des universités Paris Nanterre et Paris 8 Saint-Denis.