Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

The cognitive continuum of electronic music

How do we experience electronic music? How does electronic music operate on perceptual, cognitive and affective levels? What are the common concepts activated in the listener’s mind when listening to electronic music? Why and how are these concepts activated?

Frans de Ruiter

The vastly rewarding experience of electronic music is in fact everywhere. It persists throughout our daily lives. Our immediate environments are rich in events that emit sounds that are extremely complex in nature. The ways we cope with this reality constitute a considerable portion of how we experience electronic music. 

The use of the electronic medium to compose music entails a variety of cognitive idiosyncrasies which are experienced by both the artist and the audience. Structured around this medium on both practical and conceptual levels, this study utilizes a tripartite methodology involving artistic practice, cognitive experimentation and theoretical discourse to investigate these idiosyncrasies. All three components of this methodology operate concurrently to address the research questions. 

Electronic music harnesses the intricacy of listening we take for granted during our everyday routines and reflects it on us. Through the aforementioned tripartite methodology, the cognitive idiosyncrasies of this genre are delineated. 

Conducting this research has significantly expanded the comprehension of the experiential depth of electronic music. It has also affirmed that we have much more to gain from the electronic medium, and that the cognitive continuum is one of its most remarkable offerings."

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