Spectral music and Schaefferian methodology.

Dack, John (2008) Spectral music and Schaefferian methodology. In: Spectral World Musics: proceedings of the Istanbul Spectral Music Conference. Reigle, Robert and Whitehead, Paul, eds. Pan Yayincilik, Istanbul, pp. 75-92. ISBN 9789944396271

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Abstract

This chapter was commissioned as a result of a paper presented at the Istanbul International Spectral Music Conference, 2003. In addition to the text, the chapter concludes with a three page transcribed conversation between Dack and Paul Whitehead concerning topics discussed at the aforementioned conference (pp. 92-94). In this chapter Dack located Schaefferian thought within analytical approaches of spectral music. The analysis of the languages of spectral music highlights problems common to much contemporary music. A vocabulary is required which facilitates the identification and description of features normally regarded as peripheral to the creation of musical structure. Along with the promotion of ‘timbre’ as a principal articulator of formal process, there is an increased awareness of the expressive potential of, for example, attack, vibrato and movement in pitch-space. The vocabulary of spectral music includes all of these aspects of sound. Pierre Schaeffer formulated a system which can be used in an analysis and explanation of the processes of spectral music. Schaeffer’s Programme de la Recherche Musicale (PROGREMU) was developed to help composers identify, describe and organise sound material. Various features of the five parts of PROGREMU are discussed with music examples from both electroacoustic and instrumental works in order to demonstrate how they can be applied to analyses of contemporary music in general and spectral music in particular. For example, typology provides an exhaustive classification system of sound types ranging from the traditional “note” to complex sounds of long duration. This chapter continues Dack’s research into analytical procedures in contemporary music. Conference presentations at the ‘International Conference on Music Analysis’, Dublin, 2005, the ‘Royal Music Association Conference’, Aberdeen, 2008 and ‘Die Klangwelt der akusmatischen Musik’, Cologne, 2008 also explored the relationship between electroacoustic methods and their instrumental counterparts regarding issues in music analysis.

Item Type:Book Section
Research Areas:School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
ID Code:1016
Deposited On:10 Feb 2009 12:14
Last Modified:13 May 2014 15:16

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