Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Lanei Rodemeyer

Committee Member

Fred Evans

Committee Member

Jay Lampert

Committee Member

Alessandro Bertinetto

Committee Member

Sacha Carlson


Phenomenology; Husser; Inner Song; Music Performance; Hermeneutics; Gadamer


This dissertation is the phenomenological description of a musical object of phantasy I call “inner song,” i.e., the music that the musician “sings in his or her head” while practicing his or her instrument. It describes the specific inner song of a single musician playing a melodic instrument, and rehearsing in a solipsistic situation. The description is based on three resources: my personal experience as a cellist; the third person experiences of other musicians I have interviewed on that topic since 2010; and the Husserlian corpus. Each chapter starts with excerpts of interviews focusing on specific aspects the inner song. Within each chapter, each section starts with a short, italicized description of my experience as a cellist. An introduction defines the terms and explains the methodology. The description unfolds in five chapters: first, it describes the double epoché through which the musician switches from the natural attitude into the musician’s attitude, a form of phenomenological attitude; it then describes the presentification of the inner song in phantasy, and the presentation of the actual song in perception; thirdly, it explains the various layers of the embodied ego playing the musical instrument, perceiving the performance, and phantasizing the inner song; finally, the last two chapters describe the process of spatialization and temporalization of the inner song, as well as its unfolding in consciousness through the perception of its realization in performance. The conclusion opens research possibilities focusing on the inner song itself, or on using the inner song to explore consciousness.



MOYSAN-2022-APPENDIX.pdf (6711 kB)
Interview with musicians about the inner song