Bicknell, Why Music Moves Us, Chapters 5 & 6
- What are the reductive strategies, as Bicknell terms them, that are used to explain strong emotional responses to music?
- Why does Bicknell find these explanations inadequate?
- What did Descartes mean when he said that music stimulates our “animal spirits”?
- What is the role of cognition in musical experience?
- What does it mean to “hear backwards”?
- Why, according to Bicknell, is it significant that music is fundamentally a social experience?
- Do you agree that there is no “private” musical experience? Why or why not?
- What are the implications of Bicknell’s claim that “systems of musical meaning are conventional” (90)?
- How does Bicknell defend her characterization of music as social from the objection that music is an escape from the social?
- How does music contribute to social bonding?
- What are the effects of music on the brain and why does Bicknell find these effects significant?
- Can encounters with music be intimate?
- How our relationships with music similar to friendships with people?
- How does music facilitate intimacy with ourselves?