INTRODUCTION
I have been fascinated for some time by the goose bumps I sometimes
get while listening to music. What exactly is happening when they
occur~
How important is familiarity with the music or lack of famil-
iarity to the experience? Are goose bumps universal? Is the experience
contingent on a cultural
context~
Is there something in our childhood
or infancy that makes the experience possible? Why are goose bumps
so powerfully at the skin - the boundary separating our bodies from
the rest of the
world~
How can classical and popular music, even music
I would call sentimental trash, give me goose bumps?
The chapters of Listening Subjects probe questions like the ones
above. "Music as Sonorous Envelope and Acoustic Mirror" asks, Why
does music often sound so good
,v
hen heard
"all-around"~
"Scatting,
the Acoustic Mirror, and the Real in the Beatles' 'I Want You (She's
So Heavy)'" began with the question, (How) can the white noise at
the end of the song mean
anything~
"Why Notes Always Reach Their
Destination (at Least Once) in Schubert's Winterreise" asks, (How)
can music represent a crisis within
conventionality~
"Music and the
Gaze: Schubert's 'Ihr Bild' and 'Der Doppelganger'" interrogates the
representation of doubles. "Peter Gabriel's 'Intruder; a Cover, and
the Gaze" examines structures within which a male listener can relate
to the song's representation of a violent sexual fantasy. "Oi: Music,
Politics, and Violence" asks, What is the musical, textual, and ideologi-
cal structure of the German postrock Oi Musik? And "Lamentation,
Abjection, and the Music of Diamanda Galas" explores how music can
produce terror and awe, displeasure and pleasure at the same time.
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