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  • Sound as Affect? Encorporation and Movement in Vocal Performance

    Patrick Eisenlohr

    Chapter from the book: Eisenlohr, P. 2018. Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World.


    Chapter 6 addresses how vocal sound in Mauritian Muslim devotional practices generates social effects, uniting those perceiving it in a shared quest to encounter the presence of the prophet Muhammad. It is shown that vocal sound’s social force lies in the incitement of shared sensations through solidary encorporation. Such solidary encorporation affects those perceiving it through suggestions of movement that sonic atmospheres contain. Like the previous chapter, this chapter features detailed acoustic analysis of audio clips of na‘t recitals in order to underline the argument. The second part of the chapter is a detailed critique of approaches that understand the sonic as affect. The chapter argues that an identification of the sonic with affect ignores the meaningfulness of sonic movement that inheres in its material forms. The chapter makes an argument for a layered account of sound and signification in which more diffusely meaningful sonic suggestions of movement are further qualified by the discursive dimensions of the poetry.

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    Eisenlohr, P. 2018. Sound as Affect? Encorporation and Movement in Vocal Performance. In: Eisenlohr, P, Sounding Islam. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.53.f

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    Published on June 8, 2018