Michel Imberty, the psychology of music beyond the cognitive sciences

April 10 through Wed 11 April 2018,
10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
salle Stravinsky




Free entry, limited seats available

Though the works of Michel Imberty are known in the field of music cognition (Entendre la musique, 1979, Les écritures du temps, 1981), they adhere only partially and in specific ways to the then dominant paradigms of behaviorism and structuralism. In these books as in the many articles that followed, two major interdisciplinary themes emerged, as well as an epistemic position that is closer to that of anthropology or ethnomusicology, a position that could in fact be described as phenomenological. These two themes are temporality and/or musical time on the one hand - the older of the two - and the nature and origin of human musicality on the other hand, whose central concept was developped in a parallel fashion in the 2005 book, La musique creuse le temps. Indeed, it is also is this book that Imberty's phenomenological position is fleshed out, because reflecting on musical time posits problems not only for cognition in the classical sense, but also for the study of musical meaning which was the focus of the two previous books. Meaning begs the question of intentionality and one cannot work on music - or on any human endeavour - without seeking to understand both the behavior (that of the composer, the performer-interpreter, the listerner), and the meaning those behaviors  have for the intentional agents involved. Furthermore, insights may not be gained without reflecting on the meaning of all actions for the researcher himself, the meaning he gives to his study compared to that which the study participants themselves perceive.

By interrogating music through a wide field of research, ranging from psychoanalytic theories to the understanding of time in a "proto-narrative" way such as contemporary biology reveals its traces in cerebral functioning, Michel Imberty opened a considerable space to the interpretation of musical facts, and his writings query both the musicologist and the music analyst, as well as the psychologist or the  philosopher who is interested in the way human beings give meaning to temporality. In a special issue entitled "Michel Imberty, the psychology of music beyond the cognitive sciences", the filigrane magazine proposes to welcome the contributions of researchers who have been at one point or another in their journey, marked by this thought which radically renewed the way of understanding the musical fact.

Proposals (in French or English) should be sent before 18 November 2017 to
They will include: a) an abstract (6000 characters); b) a short bio-bibliography.

If their proposal is accepted, the authors undertake to send the complete article before June 30, 2018.


Mondher Ayari, Jean-Marc Chouvel

Comité scientifique

Mondher Ayari, Mario Baroni, Jean-Marc Chouvel, Jérôme Cler, Rossana Dalmonte, François Delalande, Irène Deliège, Nicolas Donin, Maya Gratier, Xavier Hascher, Jean-Luc Leroy, François Madurell, Steve McAdams, Jean-Pierre Mialaret, Laetitia Petit

Symposium organised with the support of : IReMus : Institut de recherche en musicologie (CNRS – Sorbonne Université), l'Ircam-STMS (équipe Perception et Design sonores), le groupe de recherches expérimentales sur l’acte musical (Labex GREAM – université de Strasbourg) et le Centre de recherche en psychologie et musicologie systématique (Psychomuse – université de Nanterre).