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.

Author: Gugul Kelar
Country: Burundi
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Career
Published (Last): 17 September 2004
Pages: 480
PDF File Size: 17.10 Mb
ePub File Size: 6.85 Mb
ISBN: 686-6-67418-735-4
Downloads: 37186
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazragrel

We hear the first bi-directional phrase, as the node, which has been comprised of fairly comprehensible harmonic spectra although changing within specromorphology due to shifting resonant frequencynow begins to diverge as two distinct phenomena can be heard. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. The degree to which the specfromorphology is correct then becomes about how true the analysis is of the piece itself — less room is open for subjectivity.

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 ]. 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.

We hear this repeated, so far in a linear fashion, the simplest motion. I find this very pleasing.

Spectromorphology – Wikipedia

This continuum is subdivided into three principal elements:. You are here Home. Motion explains a similar concept to morphology, but extends to the overall movement of complex sound through time. The term Spectromorphology is an amalgamation of the terms Spectra and Morphology.



Smalley states that these functions can be applied to micro and macro levels of musical structure to describe notes, objects gestures and textures Smalley Organised Sound, 2 2pp. A descriptive spectromorphological analysis of sound is sometimes used in the analysis of electroacoustic spsctromorphologyespecially acousmatic music.

Texture motion is used to describe the variations in the Motion and Growth process. The framework within the morphological aspects of Spectromorphology can be summarised by the Onsets, Continuants and Terminations functions, the Motion and Growth processes, Texture motion and Behaviour. He defines three groups that should be regarded as motions: Therefore, Spectromorphology can be considered a glossary of terms, within defined frameworks, that can be used to describe how one experiences specific electroacoustic musics.

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.

I have found Spectromorphology to be an incredibly useful technique in analysis. Retrieved from ” https: If we were to go into further detail, we could also argue morphologically that the object begins as separated attack impulses, tracing a smooth line through the iterative form towards granulation, wmalley dissipating. Spectral density is used to describe how sounds emanate from one another.

To spectromorphologgy 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. Simply put, the Note to Noise continuum is how one describes the spectral content of a sound.


Initially these two terms were separated with a hyphen in the publication, but this has subsequently been removed from the publication. Smalley, working in electronic environments, must have been aware of this term, but his brilliance was in translating this structure into musical analytical language.

Smalley states that Sprectromorphology is “intended to account for types of electroacoustic music” Smalley On the fifth distinct note heard, the piece begins to change. The piece then abandons the low harmonic spectra in favour of high harmonics. Smalley uses four terms to describe this relationship: Instead it suggests viewpoints and tools for “speculating and imagining”, but these cannot be organised into a single analytical or compositional action Smalley Smalley also designates different morphological archetypes:.

It is not an smalpey or compositional system. It does not relate to the spatialisation specrtomorphology sounds within a fixed-media piece. These types of spectral density, depending on their relation to the distant-close continuum, will either block or allow other sounds from being heard. Smalley defines three different spectral typologies that exist in what he calls the noise-note continuum. The sub-groups of motion which he identifies as archetypes are: These seven characteristics are: