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Public defence: Intimacy without closeness?

Master Emil Kraugerud at the Department of musicology will defend his dissertation Come Closer: Acousmatic Intimacy in Popular Music Sound for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD).

Bildet kan inneholde: briller, panne, briller, hake, visjon omsorg.

When intimacy is mentioned in music reviews, daily speech, and research on music—when a voice or other sound is described as “intimate,” for example—it might at first be understood as synonymous to perceived proximity. Yet it implies much more, including several engaging aspects of close interpersonal relations or interactions. Kraugerud’s dissertation examines this experience of intimacy when one listens to music recordings, and the role of record production in triggering such an experience.

This specific type of intimacy—acousmatic intimacy—differs from the intimacy that one experiences in everyday interpersonal encounters, precisely by not referring to actual physical closeness, or close and/or exclusive interpersonal relations. However, music recordings can still afford experiences of both physical and emotional closeness, which are often triggered by what musicians, record producers, recording engineers and mixers do in the production process. Kraugerud conceptualizes this acousmatic form of intimacy through a combination of literary reviews, sound analyses, and interviews with recordists. As such, the dissertation provides qualitative insight into some of the ways in which listeners connect to music, and, more specifically, into the role of recordists in influencing listeners’ interpretation of musical meaning. The concept of acousmatic intimacy may eventually serve as a useful hermeneutic analytical framework for analyzing recorded music, and for understanding listening processes and production strategies.


The trial lecturewill be broadcast live online on February 25, 2:00 pm.


The defence will be broadcast live online on February 25, 3:00 pm.


Read the dissertation.

Trial lecture

Prescribed topic: What are the ramifications of acousmatic intimacy for theories of popular music - cultural, social, psychological and/or economic

Evaluation committee

Professor Nicola Dibben, University of Sheffield (first oppoenent)

Professor Serge Lacasse, Université Laval (second opponent)

Professor Stan Hawkins, University of Oslo (administrator)

Chair of the defence

Head of department Zafer Özgen


Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen, University of Oslo

Eirik Askerøi, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences




Published Feb. 15, 2021 8:48 AM - Last modified Feb. 24, 2021 8:55 AM