Thursday, March 9, 2017

Assumption "A": Rhythmical Performance Suggests Continuity and Discontinuity





It is assumed here that a rhythmical performance will suggest continuity and discontinuity at one and the same time; a non-rhythmical performance will suppress either the continuous or the discontinuous aspect of the compositional structure. How can we know whether a delivery instance displays at this point continuity or discontinuity or both? 


We might say that we know that a delivery instance (delivery = notational gender) is continuous or discontinuous or both by listening, just as we see that the book is read by looking, or as we tell that the tea is sweet by tasting it. 


By listening to two delivery instances of this verse instance, we may prefer one to the other according to whether it does or does not suggest continuity and discontinuity at the same time. We can also establish the aural correlates that make these suggestions. 


The present approach assumes that continuity and discontinuity can be suggested at one and the same time by using conflicting musical cues, thus committing "organized violence" against performance processing. This cannot be done by merely looking at the notational output, only by listening to the sound output. 


As composers, we must provide ample empirical evidence that flesh-and-blood performers do, indeed, attempt precisely these solutions. We are also compelled to provide precise empirical evidence that those vocal devices do have, indeed, the predicted effect (though this requires further, and more rigorous, experimentation ).




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