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Buddha in a Teacup
Becoming Jane Jacobs
Teaching and Its Predicaments
American Carnage
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The Long Gilded Age
A Promise at Sobibór
Mississippi in Africa
Divided Highways

Music and Embodied CognitionMusic and Embodied Cognition

Listening, Moving, Feeling, and Thinking

Arnie Cox

Narrated by Marcus Freeman

Available from Audible

Book published by Indiana University Press

Taking a cognitive approach to musical meaning, Arnie Cox explores embodied experiences of hearing music as those that move us both consciously and unconsciously. In this pioneering study that draws on neuroscience and music theory, phenomenology and cognitive science, Cox advances his theory of the "mimetic hypothesis," the notion that a large part of our experience and understanding of music involves an embodied imitation in the listener of bodily motions and exertions that are involved in producing music. Through an often unconscious imitation of action and sound, we feel the music as it moves and grows. With applications to tonal and post-tonal Western classical music, to Western vernacular music, and to non-Western music, Cox’s work stands to expand the range of phenomena that can be explained by the role of sensory, motor, and affective aspects of human experience and cognition.

Arnie Cox is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Aural Skills at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. His writings and teaching focus on the relationship between embodiment, affect, metaphor, and musical experience. He has published essays on music and gesture, the role of embodiment in music analysis, and the nature of musical subjectivities.


“This is an impressive and invaluable book, and one I am sure scholars from numerous fields will be citing for years to come.”

Music Theory Spectrum

“Highly recommended.”


“This book puts forth a beautiful account of what it's like to listen to music.”

—Elizabeth Margulis, author of On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks