Movement in Musical Space

“We can see a face in a painting without believing that there is actually a face. Likewise, imagination is central to the experience of metaphorical content. We experience movement in music and yet we do not believe that there is anything in the music that actually moves.” (Jacob, 2019)

Imagination never sleeps

Culpeper wrote a chapter about ‘Galen’s method of Physic’ and ‘medicines appropriated to the brain’. Here, he differentiates between judgement, memory and imagination. While judgement and memory can be awake or asleep, imagination is always awake. (Culpeper, 1653)

Imagining music in the movement of a sheep

Travelling through technical space in my vehicle, I normally turn on the radio and listen to music. Over time, I conditioned myself to expect music when driving. One day I did not turn on the radio. As I travelled passively through the empty corridor of our local technical space (the road), a sheep was grazing peacefully on a field. It noticed me passing, and looked up in surprise. The few moments from ‘peacefully grazing’ to ‘looking up in surprise’ were accompanied in my head by something like:          


This happens when you expect to hear music while looking at a sheep absent-mindedly. My judgement was asleep, and my imagination was free to associate movement and music. 


Culpeper, N. (1653). Culpeper's complete Herbal. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd.

Jacob, S. (2019). Acousmatic Experience and Musical Movement: A Pluralistic Conception. Durham E-Thesis.