The Team

Prof. Dr. Christoph Seibert

ECR Role: Associated Researcher MPIEA

Grüneburgweg 14

60322 Frankfurt am Main

Am Schloss Gottesaue 7

76131 Karlsruhe


Christoph Seibert is professor of music informatics at the Institute for Music Informatics and Musicology at the University of Music Karlsruhe and visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt (where he spent his PostDoc phase). After studies in musicology and sound/video engineering, he pursued a PhD, graduating with a thesis on music and affectivity at the University of Music Karlsruhe in 2014.

As a sound director and music computer engineer he held a scholarship with the International Ensemble Modern Academy and subsequently worked with many different composers and ensembles. His audiovisual works were shown at the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Heidelberger Frühling and the Beyond 3D-Festival in Karlsruhe.

His research draws on diverse perspectives and methods from philosophy, empirical research and music technology to forge a transdisciplinary musicology. His current research agenda includes aesthetic experience, music aesthetics from a situated perspective, concert research and music and artificial intelligence.

Research Statement

Situated aspects of the aesthetic experience of music in a classical concert

The reception of music in classical concerts is framed by restrictive patterns of behavior. During the performance, verbal comments, physical movement and communication between audience members is normally not tolerated. Therefore, at first glance, newer approaches stemming from cognitive sciences and philosophy which conceptualize the experience of music as embodied or distributed (over several individuals) do not seem suitable to describe this experience.

It is the goal of this research, however, to develop empirical tools and approaches which allow for the investigation of situated aspects in the experience of music in different forms of classical concerts. We will focus on the occurrence of coordinated body movements as nonverbal synchrony and on the relationship between audience synchronies and aspects of the subjective experience of music.

The framing of classical concerts

This research investigates the effects of the framing of classical concerts by means of its systematic modification. The term “framing” describes – in dependence on Erving Goffman – the social and institutional situation of the concert at a certain venue with a specific setting and implicit patterns of behavior predicting listening habits, strategies for musical understanding and forms of experience. For the experimental variation of the concerts, the theoretical question if this treatment applies to the framing or to the aesthetic object itself has to be settled first, by differenciating different levels of framing (physical, social, synchronous, diachronous etc). It is our goal to develop a conceptual framework which allows to accurately describe all planned concerts (the so-called standard concert and all its different versions). We will also investigate how audience members and musicians rate the relation between framing and aesthetic object concerning their experience of music.

The classical concert in the context of music-technological development

An investigation of the form of the classical concert will be of interest to music informatics for several reasons. The performance of works with intermedial, intermodal and interactive concepts asks for adequate concert formats. In turn, the use of technologies for augmented or virtual reality, virtual acoustics and interactivity provides new possibilities for immersion and participation in classical concerts. In the course of the creation of our research concert variations, the potential of these technologies shall be examined.