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Event Series: Collegium Musicologicum

Why Do We Move to Music? (Why Do We Music to Move?)

Guest lecture by Mariusz Kozak (Columbia University)


Thu., June 25, 2020 6:00pm





The guest lecture series of the musicology department will take place online this semester via Zoom. All are invited to attend. Please register for the "Collegium musicologicum" Moodle and you will then receive a password for the upcoming Zoom lectures. Zoom sessions open at 17:45 and guest lectures begin at 18:00.


The world over, music is accompanied by movement. Human movement is obviously necessary to produce sounds, but listeners also engage in bodily activity in response to those sounds, whether in the form of dance or more subtle gestures, like tapping their feet. However, the question of why this would be the case - a question so simple as to seem naïve - largely remains unanswered. In this talk I will offer one possible explanation based on a perspective drawn from embodied cognition, and also consider its reverse: perhaps it is not so much that we move to music, but that we participate in musical activities in order to structure our movements in a particular way.

Mariusz Kozak is Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University, where his research centers on the relationship between music, cognition, and the body. Three broad questions inform his work: How does the body contribute to the construction of meaning in music? What is the cognitive basis of musical experience? And how do bodies interact with each other when performing or listening to music? Kozak bridges experimental approaches from embodied cognition with phenomenology and music analysis, in particular using motion-capture technology to study the movements of performers and listeners. His articles have appeared in Music Theory Spectrum and Music Theory Online, among others. He is the author of Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music (Oxford University Press), in which he examines how listeners' understanding and experience of musical time are shaped by bodily actions and gestures.

Further information

Organizer: Mariusz Kozak
Speakers: Sydney Hutchinson
Director: Mats Küssner

Further information on the event's website


Sydney Hutchinson
Phone: 030 20932917


Am Kupfergraben 5.Institutsgebäude
Room: Online