Background in music analysis: Traditionally, when we
think about a composer’s sketches, the chances are that we are
thinking in terms of the working out of detail, rather than the
evolution of an overall concept. Since music is a “time art,” it follows
that questions of a form cannot be entirely detached from
considerations of time. One could say that composers tend to regard
time either as a place gradually and partially intuitively filled, or they
can look for a specific strategy to occupy it. It seems that the one
thing that sheds light on Stockhausen’s compositional thinking is his
frequent use of “form schemas,” that is often a single-page
representation of the entire structure of a piece.
Background in music technology: Sonic Visualiser is a program
used to study a musical recording. It is an open source application for
viewing, analyzing, and annotating music audio files. It contains a
number of visualisation tools, which are designed with useful default
parameters for musical analysis. Additionally, the Vamp plugin
format of SV supports to provide analysis such as for example
Aims: The aim of paper is to show how SV may be used to obtain
a better understanding of the specific musical work, and how the
compositional strategy does impact on musical structures and musical
surfaces. It is known that “traditional” music analytic methods don’t
allow indicating interrelationships between musical surface (which is
perceived) and underlying musical/acoustical structure.
Main Contribution: Stockhausen had dealt with the most diverse
musical problems by the most varied methods. A characteristic which
he had never ceased to be placed at the center of his thought and
works, it was the quest for a new balance founded upon an acute
connection between speculation and intuition. In the case with
Mikrophonie I (1964) for tam-tam and 6 players Stockhausen makes
a distinction between the “connection scheme,” which indicates the
ground rules underlying all versions, and the form scheme, which is
associated with a particular version. The preface to the published
score includes both the connection scheme, and a single instance of a
“form scheme,” which is what one can hear on the CD recording. In
the current study, the insight into the compositional strategy chosen
by Stockhausen was been compared with auditory image, that is, with
the perceived musical surface. Stockhausen’s musical work is
analyzed both in terms of melodic/voice and timbre evolution.
Implications: The current study shows how musical structures
have determined of musical surface. The general assumption is this,
that while listening to music we can extract basic kinds of musical
information from musical surfaces. It is shown that interactive
strategies of musical structure analysis can offer a very fruitful way
of looking directly into certain structural features of music.
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