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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The present chapter focuses on music in performance arts. It reviews the growing body of research on the complex integrative processes associated with the appreciation of film and other electronic multimedia, opera, musical theater, and dance. It argues that simultaneously presented visual, auditory, and kinesthetic information by these media present an enormous challenge for a mind charged with the dual tasks of making sense of the world and providing enjoyment. The concept of the “working narrative” is proposed as the audience’s conscious experience of a performance. This working narrative changes moment to moment as a result of the dynamic matching of outputs of “bottom-up” sensory analyses with “top-down” expectations based on remembered experience. Cross-modal structural congruencies, such as audiovisual rhythmic similarities, also play a role. The chapter ends with brief reference to the importance of considering music perception in the performance-arts context from a developmental lifespan perspective.

Keywords: multimedia, audiovisual, working narrative, film, opera, musical theater, dance, lifespan, cross-modal, kinesthetic

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