Dr Ruth Herbert's work focuses on the subjective experience (phenomenology) of music in daily life, and the transformations of consciousness that may occur in conjunction with listening to and making music. Her extensive research interests also embrace music and wellbeing, music education, evolutionary psychology, ethology and performance psychology. Publications include book chapters and articles in both peer reviewed journals and specialist magazines. She currently works for the Open University and was formerly Head of Performance at Dartington College of Performing Arts. She has performed widely as a classical pianist and as a member of a diverse range of ensembles, notably recording soundtracks for two classic silent films.
'This book deals with the evanescent and often-elusive topic of musical experience. It sets that topic in context of solid empirical research and reconsiders taken-for-granted distinctions between so-called normal and pathological forms of consciousness, showing us some of the ways that consciousness is musically framed. Everyday Music Listening proves that Music Studies can reach areas and problems inaccessible to other disciplinary modes of investigation. It will be required reading for music scholars, philosophers and clinical psychologists.' Tia DeNora, Exeter University, UK 'Everyday Music Listening is an important contribution to a growing body of work that aims to be descriptive - rather than prescriptive - in relation to listening in general, and everyday listening in particular. Anyone interested in this field, as well as phenomenological music psychology, should make it a priority to read this book.' Anahid Kassabian, University of Liverpool, UK 'A fascinating book ripe for further discussion.' Music Teacher 'To my mind, the greatest strengths of 'Everyday Music Listening' are its rich resource of phenomenological material, and its fearless asking of the big questions concerning conscious experience... I look forward to the adoption and development of Herbert's ideas within the field of involuntary musical imagery research, but also more broadly by scholars of music psychology, philosophy and sociology.' British Journal of Music Education 'This book opens up new horizons in the broader field of music and health: it provides a framework for understanding music listening by bringing together research and theory from a wide range of fields. I recommend it to everyone who is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the subjective experience of music listening in everyday life, as well as the transformations of consciousness that may occur in conjunction with listening to (and making) music. This book can be a useful resource to academics and practitioners, including music therapists, music teachers, community musicians, ethnomusicologists, music psychologists and music sociologists'. Approaches: Music Therapy and Special Music Education 'This book is a detailed ethnography of particular though widespread music listening practices informed by a very large literature within the field of music psychology. Herbert's book is rigorous and provocative, making us rethink what may be going on in some of the musical listening moments of a substantial portion of the world's musical listeners'. Ethnomusicology Forum