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Articulos / Articles

`Personal, local, universal - where are we?`
Por/By: Simon Emmerson
Background In my paper for EMS08 (Paris), ‘Pulse, metre, rhythm in electroacoustic music' (Emmerson 2008), I aimed to raise questions as to whether perceptions of rhythmic working somehow distracted attention - took up valuable ‘bandwidth' - away from a purely spectromorphological, instant by instant, perception of the sound objects in the sonic flow. In this paper I wish to focus on three of the composers I cited, all from Latin America, and all of whom used pulse and rhythm as a primary organising principle. In that paper I grouped them together too easily; here I wish to show both similarities and differences in their approaches to rhythm and to add some detail to their apparent critique of ‘European modernism', as they saw it. All were PhD students at City University in London in the 1980s where I had the privilege to supervise their work: Alejandro Viñao (Argentina), Javier Alvarez (Mexico), Julio d'Escriván (Venezuela). I argue in fact that their work represented a ‘double critique': both against ‘post-serial' approaches (‘parameterisation' of music, especially electroacoustic), but also developing a ‘strange critical distance' from the more puritan strains of the acousmatic tradition, then relatively new in the UK. ... leer/read

'...OUT OF AND FOR MACHINES...': TIME-SPACE AND TIME-FORM IN GEORGE ANTHEIL'S BALET MÉCANIQUE
Por/By: Paul Jackson
George Antheil, the eponymous ‘Bad Boy of Music', wrote of his ultra-modernist Ballet mécanique (1923-4) that it represented a unique experiment in time-form, time-space and the fourth dimension of music. Antheil's inexorable essay in noise was appropriately realised through instruments of his present  - mechanically operated pianos, percussion instruments, airplane propellers, electric bells and sirens- enabling a level of complexity of temporal organisation hitherto unknown. Antheil's ideas gained enthusiastic support from the American modernist poet Ezra Pound who, in Antheil and the Treatise on Harmonyment in time. In the process, Pound reasserts the notion of the primacy of a predominantly temporally informed mode of perception: music as a phenomenon existing in time-space, and articulating time-form. ... leer/read

MUSICAL SCENE ANALYSIS. APPLYING THE LAWS OF STRAEM SEGREGATION TO MUSIC
Por/By: Alberto Novello/ Juan Sebatián Lach
"To establish the basis for a theory of music, one would want to explain why certain conceivable constructs are utilized and others not. [...] Where, then, do the constructs and relationships described by music theory reside? [...] One commonly speaks of musical structure for which there is no direct correlate in the score or in the sound waves produced in performance. One speaks of music as segmented into units of all sizes, of patterns of strong and weak beats, of thematic relationships, of pitches as ornamental or structurally important, of tension and repose, and so forth. Insofar as one wishes to ascribe some sort of 'reality' to these kinds of structure, one must ultimately treat them as mental products imposed on or inferred from the physical signal. In our view, the central task of music theory should be to explicate this mentally produced organization." (Lehrdal & Jackendoff, 1983, pp. 2-3) ... leer/read

BEAT
Por/By: Bob Gluck
The task of a musician is to create work that reflects a person or group's unique vision. Making music in a commodity-driven society means doing so in the face of an expectation that music fit into narrow boxes defined by genre, style, period, media, and aesthetics. In academia, 'classical' music departments and conferences want to hear 'classical' music; jazz clubs owners generally want to hear music that uses acoustical instruments and reflects an idiom from the early 1960s. Electroacoustic music developed its own rigid rules regarding conventional musical elements such as beat and melody. This makes some sense since it arose as an extension of the late 19th and early 20th century responses to European standard practice. During that period, as the hierarchical nature of European thought and society weakened, so did relations governing musical structure. Melody and rhythm, each previously interlocked with harmony, began to become independent features. The new music needed new organizational rules, and thus arose serialism and a studied avoidance of the currency of Romanticism, melody, harmony, and a beat that integrated the two. ... leer/read

USING SELF -ORGANISING MAPS AS A SYNTHESIS AND COMPOSITION TOOL
Por/By: Jan Trützschler von Falkenstein
Self-Organising Maps (SOMs) have been used for many data visualisation and data retrieval applications. SOMs are neural networks, which are usually used for analysing multidimensional data, finding similarities within them and visualising them in a two- or three- dimensional space. Through a repetitive learning process a SOM adapts to the data, with which it is fed, and puts similar data sets topologically closer to each other. In this article I would like to describe my practical experiences with SOMs as a tool for music creation. I have applied SOMs to parameters of sound synthesis, to rhythmical patterns, to paths through SOMs and to combinations of the three in several music pieces. ... leer/read