Dissertation Index



Author: Solomon, Jason W.

Title: Spatialization in Music: The Analysis and Interpretation of Spatial Gestures

Institution: University of Georgia

Begun: August 2004

Completed: May 2007

Abstract:

With so much attention given to pitch space in contemporary analytic discourse, theorists have largely ignored the important relationships unfolding within the physical space of musical performance. I propose an analytic methodology for identifying, classifying, and interpreting “spatial gestures.” A spatial gesture emerges from the consecutive activity of multiple performers within an ensemble. Various gestures are differentiated by the specific orderings, in time, of sonic events occurring at separate points in ensemble space. Employing integer notation derived from contour theory, gestures may be assigned SG-labels. These labels assist in identifying structural relations between different gestures and in assigning a gesture to one of several “gestural categories.” The classification of spatial gestures is based on theories of form perception taken from Gestalt psychology. As a unified whole comprising ordered parts (gestalt structure), a spatial gesture is directed motion through an ensemble that often serves a motivic function: a gesture may be developed and transformed, and the profusion of related gestures imparts spatial coherence to a work of music. Furthermore, the specific directionality and kinetic shape of a spatial gesture is rich in interpretive potential. Image-schema theory and the theory of conceptual metaphor are evoked to construct a hermeneutic account of spatio-gestural activity.

Many composers—particularly those active in the twentieth century—deliberately spatialize their musical works. However, irrespective of a composer’s intentionality (documented or surmised), spatial gestures are often readily perceived during performance, and a spatial analysis can unveil the gestures’ full capacity for structural unification and the conveyance of meaning. Gestural motions and shapes vary depending upon the performing ensemble’s onstage configuration. Since ensemble seating plans are variable and often inconsistent, spatial analysis holds significance for performance practice: the manner in which an ensemble elects to arrange itself (if left unspecified by the composer) becomes a matter of interpretation. Ensemble members may organize themselves in an effort to enhance the perceptual salience of spatial gestures and enliven the spatial construct of a musical performance.


Keywords: spatialization, spatial gesture, spatial analysis, musical space, gestalt, motion, metaphor, semiotics, Op. 131, electronic music

TOC:

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER

1 AN OVERVIEW OF SPATIALIZATION PRACTICES AND AESTHETICS

1.1 From Psalmody to Concertato Motets
1.2 Spatial Practices in the Classical and Romantic Periods
1.3 Spatialization in the Twentieth Century
1.4 Electronic Music

2 SOUNDS IN SPACE: WHAT SOUNDS ARE, WHAT SOUNDS DO, AND
HOW WE HEAR THEM

2.1 Sounds
2.2 Sounds in the Environment
2.3 Auditory Localization
2.4 Ensemble Space
2.5 Auditory Streams

3 THE IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF SPATIAL GESTURES:
AN ANALYTIC METHODOLOGY

3.1 Gestalt Theory: A Summary
3.2 Spatial Gestures
3.3 Migratory and Accumulative Gestures
3.4 Gestural Categories
3.5 Compound Spatial Gestures
3.6 Ensemble Spaces: General Observations

4 RELATING MULTIPLE SPATIAL GESTURES AND EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE SPACES

4.1 Alterations of Spatial Gestures
4.2 Polystreaming: Relations Among Concurrent Spatial Gestures
4.3 Gestures in Multi-Dimensional Ensemble Spaces
4.4 Spatial Gestures in Electronic Music

5 INTERPRETING THE SPACE: A HERMENEUTIC APPROACH

5.1 Symbols in Space: The Semiotics of Spatialization
5.2 Categorization
5.3 Image Schemata
5.4 Metaphor
5.5 The Interaction of Spatial Gestures with Other Musical Events

6 A SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF BEETHOVEN’S STRING QUARTET NO. 14
IN C# MINOR, OP. 131

6.1 Movement 1
6.2 Movement 2
6.3 Movement 3
6.4 Movement 4
6.5 Movement 5
6.6 Movement 6
6.7 Movement 7
6.8 Overview: The “Big Picture”

7 IMPLICATIONS, APPLICATIONS, AND CONCLUSIONS

7.1 Spatial Analysis and Performance Practice
7.2 Spatialization in Transcription
7.3 Recommendations for Extension in the Field of Spatial Analysis
7.4 Conclusions

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX: INDEX OF SPATIAL GESTURES

A.1 The Trio: Spatial Gestures in Three-Point Ensemble Space
A.2 The Quartet: Spatial Gestures in Four-Point Ensemble Space
A.3 The Quintet: Spatial Gestures in Five-Point Ensemble Space

GLOSSARY


Contact:

3449-J N Druid Hills Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033
jsolo@uga.edu
706-254-6053

http://dbs.galib.uga.edu/cgi-bin/ultimate.cgi?dbs=getd&userid=galileo&action=search&_cc=1

Date Listed: 05/03/2007


     Return to dissertations