Tools for Understanding Electroacoustic Music

Gatt, Michael
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De Montfort University
Peer reviewed
There is an arguable lack of activity and interest in the analysis of electroacoustic music when compared to its composition and performance. The absence of a strong and active analytical community is very concerning, as it should be a fundamental part of any larger musical community that wishes for works to be performed and discussed in later years. The problems that face electroacoustic music analysis are that there is no consensus or single analytical tool/methodology that dictates how such an activity should be undertaken. Rather than attempting to appropriate existing tools meant for traditional musics or create a new universal one this thesis will argue that a new culture should be adopted that promotes different opinions on the subject of electroacoustic music analysis, as opposed to defining a consensus as to how it should be conducted. To achieve this the thesis will: evaluate and critique what constitutes and defines electroacoustic music analysis; provide a general and flexible procedure to conduct an analysis of an electroacoustic work; develop a set of criteria and terms to cross-examine the current analytical tools for electroacoustic music in order to define the gaps in the field and to identify pertinent elements within electroacoustic works; analyse a number of electroacoustic works to test and implement the ideas raised within this thesis; and finally the concept of an analytical community (in which such a culture could exist) is outlined and implemented with the creation of the OREMA (Online Repository for Electroacoustic Music Analysis) project. This universal approach will cover both epistemological and ontological levels of electroacoustic music analysis. All of the concepts raised above are interlinked and follow the main hypothesis of this thesis: • There is no one single analysis that can fully investigate a work; • Analyses are a perspective on a work, ultimately formed through the subjective perception of the analyst; • These perspectives should be shared with other practitioners to help develop a better understanding of the art form. This PhD study was part of the New Multimedia Tools for Electroacoustic Music Analysis project (2010-2013) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). Other outcomes of that project included the various analysis symposiums held at De Montfort University in Leicester and the electroacoustic analysis software EAnalysis created by Pierre Couprie.
electroacoustic music, acousmatic music, sonic installations, sound installations, music analysis, electroacoustic music analysis, online communities, open access, music archives
Research Institute