Lecture: Music, Dance, and the Construction of the Habitus


The Music Department invites you to a lecture on Monday 11/28 by Lawrence Zbikowski, at 4:40 PM in Eliot 314.

Lawrence Zbikowski’s principal research interests involve applying recent work in cognitive science (especially that done by cognitive linguists and cognitive psychologists) to various problems confronted by music scholars, with a particular focus on music theory and analysis. This lecture explores some of the ways that music and dance—both together and apart—set up the “structuring structures” that Pierre Bourdieu called the habitus. The focus will be on social dance as it was practiced in France’s ancien régime and in early nineteenth-century Vienna. Zbikowski will be particularly interested in ways musical materials are organized to facilitate dancing, and how the steps of the dance interact with patterns set up by the music. As he argues, it is through relationships like these that music and dance provide a structure for social interactions—that is, how they construct the habitus.

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