Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Arts in Society

Music Matters - LUIS MANUEL GARCIA-MISPIRETA (University of Birmingham): 'Music, affect and sociability on the dancefloor'

When:Tu 20-02-2024 17:00 - 18:30
Where:Heymanszaal, Academy building
click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Music Matters (ICOG) and IASPM present 'Thickening Something: Convergent Music, Affect, and Sociability on the Dancefloor,' a guest lecture by Dr Luis Manuel Garcia Mispireta, University of Birmingham.


How is it that “the one rush of hearts”—that swirl of feelings and music and sweaty bodies on a crowded dancefloor—can thicken into something that feels like communion and community? In this talk, I turn to the nexus of sound, feeling, and togetherness to investigate how collective listening and dancing can give rise to a sense of inchoate sociality— that is, something like a “we” coalescing under the surface of shared musical experience. While the idea that “music brings people together” is a common trope that is especially pervasive in electronic dance music scenes (EDM), accounts vary as to how music exerts such socially binding force. In club cultures, partygoers often use the term “vibe” to describe how they understand music to work in these contexts, bringing dancers into a sort of *synchronicity of feeling*. By understanding “vibe” as a subcultural conceptualization of affect, I explore how music-driven emotional convergence intersects with scholarship on musical entrainment, emotional contagion, ritual practices, and resonance.

About the speaker

Luis Manuel Garcia-Mispireta is an Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK), with previous appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin, DE) and the University of Groningen (NL). His research focuses on urban electronic dance music scenes, with a particular focus on affect, intimacy, stranger-sociability, embodiment, sexuality, creative industries and musical migration. He is currently conducting research on “grassroots” activism and queer nightlife collectives in Berlin; he has also a new monograph out, entitled Together Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor (Duke University Press, 2023).