The Worlds behind the Sounds: A Situated and Embodied Approach to Music and Filmic Virtuality

Auteur Florim DUPUIS
Directeur /trice Prof. Ulrich Mosch
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Prof. Guillemette Bolens, Prof. Markus Neuwirth
Résumé de la thèse Previous scholarship has paid little attention to the cognitive processes involved in film music perception and how these can be understood in terms of ecology – a perception-action cycle connecting us humans and our environment. The present thesis proposes to fill this gap by focusing on one particular question: how do we perceptually engage with the filmic virtuality that music contributes to generate? Drawing upon music psychology, cognitive psychology and media studies, my project will analyse how our quality of embodied agents and our situatedness in the environment impact our processing and experience of film music. Besides, my thesis will also demonstrate that audio-visual media have their own musical ecologies since our perceptual awareness of film's technological apparatus alters how we understand musical information. To allow the analytical application of these ideas, I will propose a conceptual model of film music perception which articulates how we comprehend various musical parameters (i.e. pitch, timbre, intensity, duration, spatiality and possibly texture) in a cinematic context. This model will be elaborated from two series of case studies, which focus on specific cognitive processes and their contextualisation in the temporal unfolding of film, respectively. The resulting analytical tools will offer research perspectives on the question of immersion, on music's role in the video game interface, and on the impact of music's virtuality on our engagement with our environment, where audio-visual media are ubiquitous.
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