Mari Ystanes Fjeldstad

Exploring knowledge in music through diffractive stories from violin lessons

Thinking with posthuman theories, my research is investigating knowledge in music. What is it to know how to sing or to play an instrument? Knowledge is often understood as divided into separate categories. In the curriculum framework of the schools of music and performing arts in Norway, skills in playing an instrument, knowledge of music theory, and musical experiences as conceptualized as separate domains. The posthuman philosopher Karen Barad (2007) argues for an ethico-epistem-ology where knowledge and being are entangled and where knowledge is a doing done by both human and nonhuman agencies. Based on observations of violin lessons, I write diffractive stories exploring a multitude of intra-acting agencies. Through the reading of these stories and posthuman theories I develop a relational and performative notion of knowledge in music. I argue that the knowing done in violin lessons are done by intra-acting human and non-human agencies and I pay attention to the entanglement of knowing, being, and doing.

Supervisory team: Professor Jayne Osgood and Professor Sidsel Karlsen