But does the world listen? Some thoughts on rhythmic bonding between humans and the sounding world

Peter Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter considers listening as an active component of the practice of social bonding. It reviews some recent accounts of listening, particularly those developed from an ecological perspective, and shows how listening and utterance work rhythmically in the bonding process. Recent findings from the neuroscience literature, concerning so-called mirroring systems are suggested as further underpinning for this process. Some theoretical ideas from aesthetics, particularly from the writings of Theodor Adorno, are then used to expand the notion of social bonding to include a process of bonding between people and the surrounding physical environment. In keeping with the views of Bruno Latour, Jane Bennett and others concerning the active participation of non-human forces in events, finally it is suggested that we consider the consequences for us of regarding the world as an active participant in a process of rhythmic bonding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusique et ecologies du son. Projets théoriques pour une écoute du monde
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical and practical projects for a listening of the world
EditorsRoberto Barbanti, Carmen Pardo, Kostas Paparrigopoulos, Makis Solomos
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherL'Harmattan, Paris
ISBN (Print)978-2-343-08662-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • ecology
  • post-human
  • Adorno
  • music
  • rhythm


Dive into the research topics of 'But does the world listen? Some thoughts on rhythmic bonding between humans and the sounding world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this