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The Visual Representation of Timbre
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Human Centered Technology, Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID. Kungl. Musikhögskolan, Institutionen för komposition, dirigering och musikteori. (Sound and Music Computing)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1239-6746
2022 (English)In: Organised Sound, ISSN 1355-7718, E-ISSN 1469-8153, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 387-400Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This text deals with the difficult task of notating timbre by addressing how it can be classified, synthesised, recognised and related to visual correspondences, and then looking at the relevance of these topics for notational purposes. Timbre is understood as dependent on both spectral and time-dependent features that can be notated in ways that make sense in relation to both perception and acoustics. This is achieved by taking the starting point in Lasse Thoresen’s spectromorphological analysis. Symbols originally developed for perception-based analysis are adapted for use over a hybrid spectrum-staff system to indicate the spectral qualities of timbre. To test the system, it was used to transcribe excerpts of three classic electroacoustic music works. In addition to the benefit of being able to compare the three excerpts transcribed with the same system, there is the advantage that the visual representation is based on spectral measurable qualities in the music. The notation system’s intuitiveness was also explored in listening tests, showing that it was possible to understand spectral notation symbols placed over a staff system, particularly for examples with two sound objects instead of one.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (CUP) , 2022. Vol. 27, no 3, p. 387-400
Keywords [en]
Timbre, notation, electroacoustic music, aural sonology
National Category
Music
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-326846DOI: 10.1017/s1355771822000541ISI: 000898933900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85159407031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-326846DiVA, id: diva2:1756643
Note

QC 20230522

Available from: 2023-05-12 Created: 2023-05-12 Last updated: 2023-09-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sound Notation: The visual representation of sound for composition and analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sound Notation: The visual representation of sound for composition and analysis
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This compilation thesis details steps taken to develop and evaluate a new Sound Notation system for composition, analysis, and transcription with the capacity to describe all types of sound. Ideas from electroacoustic music analysis are combined with traditional notation to form a hybrid system. In this notation, all symbols are related to physical qualities in the sound, so that a person or a computer can identify the symbols from their sonification or musical interpretation.

Pierre Schaeffer early identified musique concrète's lack of music theory and music vocabulary as a major problem for its integration with music theory and musicology. Schaeffer, Denis Smalley, and later Lasse Thoresen would go a long way to provide the genre of electroacoustic music with classification, terminology, and graphical symbols for the benefit of its study. But if we are to think of music as a language, it becomes apparent that the lack of a shared inter-subjective notation system is a problem. Such a notation system would provide sound-based music with possibilities that were previously only afforded music based on pitch structures. This includes transcriptions and re-interpretations of musical works, notation-based ear-training and (computer-aided) composition.

Abstract [sv]

Denna sammanläggningsavhandling beskriver steg som tagits för att utveckla och utvärdera Sound Notation, ett nytt notationssystem för komposition, analys och transkription med kapacitet att beskriva alla typer av ljud. Idéer från elektroakustisk musikanalys kombineras med traditionell notation för att bilda ett hybridsystem. I denna notation är alla symboler relaterade till fysiska egenskaper i ljudet, så att en person eller en dator kan identifiera symbolerna från deras sonifiering eller musikaliska tolkning.

Pierre Schaeffer identifierade tidigt musique concrètes brist på musikteori och musikvokabulär som ett stort problem för dess integration med musikteori och musikvetenskap. Schaeffer, Denis Smalley och senare Lasse Thoresen skulle gå långt för att förse genren elektroakustisk musik med klassificering, terminologi och grafiska symboler till förmån för dess studium. Men om vi ska tänka på musik som ett språk blir det uppenbart att avsaknaden av ett delat intersubjektivt notsystem är ett problem. Ett sådant notsystem skulle ge ljudbaserad musik möjligheter som tidigare endast erbjöds musik baserad på tonhöjdsstrukturer. Detta inkluderar transkriptioner och omtolkningar av musikaliska verk, notationsbaserad gehörsträning och (datorunderstödd) komposition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2023. p. xii, 63
Series
TRITA-EECS-AVL ; 2023:39
Keywords
notation, aural sonology, music analysis, electroacoustic music, computer-aided composition
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Research subject
Media Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-327291 (URN)978-91-8040-576-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-06-07, https://kth-se.zoom.us/j/62182993824, Nathan Milsteinsalen, Kungl. Musikhögskolan, Valhallavägen 105, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20230523

Available from: 2023-05-23 Created: 2023-05-23 Last updated: 2023-06-06Bibliographically approved

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