Cognitive Modelling in Ethnomusicology: Challenges, Caveats and its Relevance for Computer Music

Marc Leman

University of Ghent
Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music
Blandijnberg 2 B-9000 GHENT Belgium


A distinction is made between cognitivism and materialism, and between constructivism and ecologism and it is argued that a materialistic and ecological approach may provide an original step towards a characterization of the cultural environment in which music is embedded. The argumentation is based on the notions of causative model and auditory images. The conclusion is that a profound immersion in a culture may allow one to map out the conceptualizations of music at a semantic level, while the modelling approach may allow one to map out the mental representations and cognitive dynamics at the level of auditory images.