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This introduction introduces the theoretical framework for Negotiated Moments and provides a summary of each chapter within the context of the thematic framework for the section in which it appears. The sections are Listening and the Ethics of Improvisation, Technology and Embodiment, Sensibility and Subjectivity, Gender and Trauma, and Representation and Identity. Drawing on theories of performativity (Judith Butler) and phenomenology (Harris Berger), improvisation is examined as a complex site of negotiation, whereby sound and music are heard as both the discursive signs and the embodied experiences of those negotiations. The transformational potential of improvisation is contrasted with improvisational encounters in which sound overpowers and brutalizes subjects, marks the imposition of forced change, serves to consolidate hierarchies, or disperses bodies altogether. The chapter ends with a discussion of the erotics of embodied musical improvisation: the sensuality of improvising bodies responding to other improvising bodies, to listeners, and to embodied histories.

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