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October 2017

Music and Meaning | Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

October 19, 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM
The Italian Academy at Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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The extraordinary power of music to communicate complex emotions and thoughts has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries. This symposium presents new perspectives on this question from the intersection of the humanities and cognitive science. Music taps into cognitive mechanisms that govern our daily interactions with the world, such as expectations and violations of these expectations, to evoke powerful emotions of tension, anticipation, laughter or frisson, and appears to have much in common with language. How does philosophical, historical, and cultural analysis complement these cognitive approaches to explain the social and ethical functions of music? How do these modes of inquiry bear on each other to explain what makes music mean?

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