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Spectromorphology is a term that was first coined by Denis Smalley in his chapter Spectro-morphology and Structuring Processes, which can be found in the. Spectromorphology. Language for explaining sound-‐‑shapes. Adapted from: Dennis Smalley, Department of Music, City University, London. Organised Sound . Abstract. Denis Smalley’s concept of Spectromorphology () provides the listener of electroacoustic music with thorough and accessible sets of vocabulary to.

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Spectromorphology | The OREMA project

Reversing, transforming, granulating and stretching among other techniques results in all other morphological objects, and can always be simplified down sjalley the three spectromorpholoby. It is not an analytical or compositional system. He stipulates that there are three morphological archetypes, from which all other forms of morphology can be derived.

It is important to note that although this article will tackle these two terms individually they are inseparable, as one cannot exist without the other. Since then there have been numerous publications relating to this term and a number of extensions by other scholars within the field of electroacoustic smqlley. Smalley defines spectromorphllogy types of spectral density ranging from high to low: The premise eenis beautiful, finding oneself musically exploring the innards of the cello for the first time.

We hear the first bi-directional phrase, as the node, which has been comprised of fairly comprehensible harmonic spectra although changing within itself due to shifting resonant frequencynow begins to diverge as two distinct phenomena can be heard. Smalley says that motion is a subconsciously understood concept in traditional composition, as it is the overall harmonic movement against melody which drives musical structures.

These types of spectral density, depending on their relation to the distant-close continuum, will either block or allow other sounds from being heard. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Smalley, working in electronic environments, must have been aware of this term, but his brilliance was in translating this structure into musical analytical language.

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It is almost impossible to put forward a spectromorpohlogy statement, so long as the terms are understood properly. The piece then abandons the low harmonic spectra in favour of high harmonics. Smalley states that Sprectromorphology is “intended to account for types of electroacoustic music” Smalley The sub-groups of motion which he identifies as archetypes are: The work is in five sections, each toeing the line between acoustic and electroacoustic.


This site uses cookies. The noise-note continuum is interesting, not only because it implies a deeper ability to reflect on auditory information by allowing for the almost infinite reduction of focussed analysis, but that all sound is music, and all music is sound — something which was solidified much earlier in the 20 th century by German and French electroacoustic composers but which Schaeffer failed in my opinion to attack properly.

Therefore, Spectromorphology can be considered a glossary of terms, within defined frameworks, that deis be used to describe how one experiences specific electroacoustic musics. Smalley also adds two types of noise; granular and saturate, to describe the perceptual qualities attributed to certain types of noise. These seven characteristics are: It does not spectromorphilogy to the spatialisation of sounds within a fixed-media piece.

Smalley’s term refers to the descriptive analysis of perceived morphological developments in sound spectra over time, and it implies that the “spectro” cannot spectromorphollgy without the morphology: Returning to morphologyit is interesting to note that the formalisation of the term ADSR envelope attack, decay, sustain, release was suggested around twenty years earlier by Vladimir Ussachevsky in reference to work he was doing with Bob Moog. Texture motion is used to describe the variations in the Motion and Growth process.

He defines three groups that should be regarded as motions: The term Spectromorphology is an amalgamation of the terms Spectra and Morphology.

There exists three types of spectral space: A descriptive spectromorphological analysis of sound is sometimes used in the analysis of electroacoustic musicespecially acousmatic music. Smalley defines three different spectral typologies that exist in what he calls the noise-note continuum.

Spectromorphology – Wikipedia

To formalise further, Smalley insists rightly that the spectra the harmonic information cannot exist without morphology, since something which occupies space must also extend in time — hence spectro-morphology. I have found Spectromorphology to be an incredibly useful technique in analysis. Simply put, the Note to Noise continuum is how one describes the spectral content of a sound. Smalley states that these functions can be applied to micro and macro levels of musical structure to describe notes, objects gestures and textures Smalley The degree to which the analysis is correct then becomes about how true the analysis is of the piece itself — less room is open for subjectivity.


Smalley states that the canopy and root can be regarded as “boundary markers” that “frame spectral space” Smalley This continuum is subdivided into three principal elements:.

Smalley’s notion of spectromorphology builds upon Schaeffer’s theories relating to the use of a classification system for various categories of sound. Within each of these three states exists a number of terms to describe the way in which a sound evolves.

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Smalley also designates different morphological archetypes:. Instead it suggests viewpoints and tools for “speculating and imagining”, but these cannot be organised into a single analytical or compositional action Smalley Views Read Edit View history. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

These tools are intended to be used for “describing and analysing the listening experience” Smalley All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from January For the purposes of this article the focus will be on xmalley article. On the fifth distinct note heard, the piece begins to change.

Denis Smalley defines Spectromorphology as a “collection of tools for describing sound shapes, structures, and relationships, and for thinking about certain semiotic aspects – potentially analysis of a kind” Smalley This page was last edited on 21 Augustat Spectromorphology is the perceived sonic footprint of a sound spectrum as it manifests smakley time.

Organised Sound, 2 2pp. The term was coined by Denis Smalley in and is considered the most adequate English term to designate the field of sound research associated with the French writer, composer, and academic, Pierre Schaeffer [ citation needed ]. He also suggests that others could “supplement his basic listening with their own analogies” where appropriate Smalley Smalley uses four terms to describe this relationship: