The Aesthetics of Music and Sound -

Cross-Disciplinary Interplay between the Humanities, Technology and Musical Practice:

Site of the SDU-IKV Research Program: The Performances of Everyday Living


Ongoing Research Project:

Dissonance and Moment


- This page serves to present and document the research project Dissonance and Moment, Principal Investigator Mogens Davidsen, PhD, Associate Professor of Literature, Institute for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark.


 Project Update 16-09-2014:


We presented Mogens Davidsen's ongoing research project Dissonance and Moment as part of a feature on Mogens' work here on earlier this year (see below). Here is a more detailed look at some of the external work Mogens has been doing - and has in progress - since the formation of our research group The Performances of Everyday Living and in relation to it:






Ubestemthedens akkorder: tværæstetiske sonderinger i moderniteten. GlobeEdit - ISBN: 978-3-639-74266-4, 2014.




1. ”Tilfældighedens paradigme – vitalisme og kvantemekanik i modernismens kunst og litteratur” in Nordica 2013.

2.  “”It’s hard to be down when you’re up!” Om det sataniskes sted I litteratur og virkelighed” in Litteratur på Stedet (Festskrift for Anne-Marie Mai, 2013)

3.  ”Vollsmose i hverdagshøjde” (together with Helle Lykke Nielsen) HERE on the website for The Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark.

4.   Article in press, forthcoming December 2014: ”Modalitet og stil hos Henrik Pontoppidan," Nordica 2014.




"Termodynamik, kunst og kvantemekanik." At  H.C. Ørsted Institute, Copenhagen, October 9, 2014. See HERE.  


"Første verdenskrig og tysk ekspressionisme."  At Øregaard Museum, Copenhagen, September 18, 2014 as part of The Golden Days Festival. See HERE.


""Om vitalisme," Teknisk Gymnasium, Odense, September 3, 2014. 


Mogens also gives talks sponsored by Folkeuniversitet/The Danish University Extension. More information regarding these talks will soon appear here.



 From "News" 02-06-2014:


NEWS: JUNE 2 - JUNE 16, 2014



 A visit to the archives (HERE) for


The Aesthetics of Music and Sound  -

Cross-Disciplinary Interplay between the Humanities, Technology and Musical Practice


reveals that construction of the homepage began five years ago today on June 2, 2009. 


So, a little celebration is in order!


As of January 1, 2014 it is also the site of the SDU-IKV Research Program The Performances of Everyday Living.





Now and in the weeks to come we continue our series of features on the people and projects within the research program The Performances of Everyday Living. In this NEWS update, we highlight the work of Mogens Davidsen:


Dissonance and Moment

My research is cross-aesthetic with a point of departure in literature. I am primarily interested in the relation between art and reality from a point of view which assumes that certain artistic expressions tell us something about aspects of reality not normally appreciated by us in our everyday awareness. This calls for the further assumption that our everyday consciousness is “literary” of nature, oriented towards causal explanations and aiming at a final “closure” of the experienced reality, understood as a narrative or as tonal or chromatic harmony, depending on the art form. My focus is thus on dissonance, unresolved expressions and fragmentation in music, literature and pictorial art.

My idea of art as an objective correlation of reality, sharing qualitative properties with the world as such, has brought me to regard quantum physics as a related objectification to that of art, formalizing indeterminacy, indepictability and paradox.

In late summer and autumn 2014, I will present the framework of my research (at different levels)

  • in connection with the Hans Christian Andersen Festival in Odense ("Hans Christian Andersen and the Image")
  • at Øregaard Museum ("German Expressionism and WWI"), and
  • at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, Copenhagen ("Entropy in Art and Reality").

(Editor's note: Watch for dates and times here on


 Watch for the upcoming interview with Vitus Vestergaard (see HERE) in



 Thursday, June 5, is a holiday in Denmark that for many entails a five-day weekend this year, since June 9 is also a holiday. Watch for more updates here as of June 16.





 Project-related seminars with Mogens Davidsen:



Thursday, March 20, 2014, 3:15-5 p.m. in U73


Natural Movement and Proprioception: Some Possible Implications for Practicing Musicians


Mogens Davidsen, PhD, Associate Professor of Literature, Institute for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark.


Abstract: The area of musical performance is a fascinating area for closer study that naturally blurs the boundaries between detached academic reflection and practical physical engagement.  In today’s lecture I will examine and discuss theoretical and practical aspects of proprioception. As a researcher within the humanities, specifically areas dealing with aesthetics, I am examining the manner in which serious attention to proprioception appears to provide mediating conceptual and practical tools for achieving increased understanding of a variety of issues connected with aesthetic appreciation and practice. Issues within musical aesthetics and faced by the practicing musician will be addressed in the course of the lecture.


Simply put, the proprioceptive system enables the brain and the motor muscles to communicate. If the system doesn’t function properly, then the brain will not automatically know what the muscles in the body are “doing”, and damage to the motor apparatus and other injuries are often the result.


Many athletes with injuries and long-lasting joint and muscle damage have found relief and even a cure as a result of focusing on dysfunctions in the proprioceptive system. To the extent that musicians are athletes in their field, it is therefore relevant to ask whether or not possible proprioceptive dysfunctions related to the performance of music will lead to a broader understanding of the challenges to natural movement that the performance of music presents. 


In a larger perspective, proprioceptive dysfunction may be seen as the result of the (lack of) physical challenges faced by modern humans.  Increased awareness of the implications of the numerous virtually immobile "activities" in which we are increasingly engaged from childhood on can be vital when addressing lifestyle diseases in a welfare society. 


In this lecture, in addition to presenting theoretical background,  I will also draw upon personal experience of proprioceptive treatment as this is practiced locally (at the Aktiv Form Center here in Odense). In conclusion, I will reflect on the ways I have found that the theory and practice that ground proprioceptive therapy provide a framework for a  humanistic and holistic approach to the study of the relations between human and environment, an approach that directly addresses many of the physical problems and aesthetic challenges of modern life in a constructive manner. Suggestions for further research will be presented and examined. 


Audience participation via Skype is also welcome.


Poster available as pdf-file HERE.

Facebook event HERE.     




Thursday, September 19, 2013, 3:15-5 p.m. in U73


Beat, Bebop and Pop


Mogens Davidsen, PhD, Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark.


Abstract: The presentation will attempt a transdisciplinary account of the similarities between Beat-literature (Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in particular), Bebop-jazz (as played by Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker), Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art (in the works of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhole and Roy Lichtenstein). I regard each of these art forms as a sort of reality correlation, attempting to include a character of the world, otherwise excluded by the human mind as “disturbing” or “irrelevant”. In a further perspective these provocative articulations could be seen as a formal revolt against American conformity and rational-mindedness in the mid-twentieth century, hence making the artistic form compatible with the rebellious content of the literature, music and pictorial art of the time.


Phenomena such as “cliché”, “improvisation”, “chord changes”, “banality” and “riff” will play a key role in characterizing the relationship between the respective artistic expressions, and the philosophy of Henri Bergson will serve as theoretical background of my survey.


Poster for the seminar available HERE.


Audience participation via Skype is also welcome.




Thursday, April 11, 2013, 3:15-5 p.m. in U73


The Correlative Properties of the Unresolved Discord


Mogens Davidsen, PhD, Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark.


Abstract: Taking as a point of departure an analysis of the short story “Dance Macabre” from 1901 by the Danish writer Johannes V. Jensen (Nobel Prize in 1944), this presentation will suggest an understanding of disharmonic structure in modernistic art, music and literature.

My thesis is, that instead of regarding the break-up of a harmonic paradigm in modernistic articulation as a metaphorical representation of alienation or spleen in the creative subject, these structures (dissonance, fragmentation and ‘incorrect’ syntax) could be understood as providing correlations to a reality the nature of which was described within modern physics at the beginning of the 20th century. Hence, the presentation will look into the implications of understanding modernistic articulation in terms of quantum mechanics as formulated by Niels Bohr in his famous model of the atom from 1913.

Furthermore, the lecture will present Henri Bergson’s ideas of the incapacity of the human everyday mind – being pragmatic in nature - to grasp the real nature of reality, and only in special situations capable of experiencing reality as different from the narrative structure the human mind applies to it. These special situations – among others – could well be in the confrontation with art.

Poster for the seminar available HERE.


Audience participation via Skype is also welcome.








Cross-Disciplinary Interplay between the

Humanities, Technology and Musical Practice












Department for the
Study of Culture




Research Director for 

The Performances of

Everyday Living

Coordinator for

The Aesthetics of

Music and Sound


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Cynthia M. Grund





PLEASE NOTE: During the month of March 2015 and possibly extending into April/May 2015, heavy construction will be taking place on this website behind the scenes as it "migrates" to new editing software. Please be patient with us during this period if occasionally some pages take on a strange appearance, or if updating seems to be a bit erratic. All efforts will be made to maintain the integrity of the page with the schedule for the seminar series Topics in the Aesthetics of Music and Sound: Mostly Metal here, but it will nevertheless be a good idea also to keep an eye on our Facebook group here and the regularly occurring announcements of events on it during this period. Thank you for your patience!

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