How Should We Study Musical Absorption? The Phenomenological Interview

  • Simon Høffding
Part of the New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science book series (NDPCS)


Even if I am an amateur musician, I don’t have first personal access to the kinds of experiences to which brilliant musicians refer. This is problematic for my aim of constructing a phenomenology of musical absorption. But it also points to a limitation to traditional phenomenology, which, if restricted to a first-person perspective, cannot access the plethora of beautiful, strange, and extraordinary experiences to be found in the human species. So, is it impossible for phenomenology in general, and for me as a researcher of the musical mind in particular, to find a method to include the experiences of others’ into my work? This chapter sketches a solution to this question by describing the “what”, “why”, and “how” of a phenomenological interview. I also introduce the protagonists of this book, namely, “the Danish String Quartet”.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Høffding
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway

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