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Maure Coise: Images of Music

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

Workshop November 6th, 10 am PDT

Maure Coise: Images of Music

A musical score organizes sound data for retrieval as musical information. Off the score, musicians modulate their environment. The organicist genealogy dominates the interpretation of standard music notation. Organicism conflates life and mechanics, conceptualizing systems of parts and wholes. Some composers think differently about the underpinning operative contingencies in writing and performing a score. Wadada Leo Smith delimits the origin of musical information through overlapping notation languages. His eleventh string quartet (2019) mixes a variation on standard notation with brackets indicating repetition with colors and shapes that, while visual, do not subordinate hearing to seeing. The score filters without reification.

What is the role of the image in techniques for musical composition? Arising as the bodies of the musician, "who?" determines the environment of frequencies and resonances. Yet Smith works without an agential or authorial framework. His music unbinds from developmental theories of harmony.

A new chaotic science, in terms of densities, might consider the structural function of music. Placing gestures transform the quality of air pressure into electrical cognition. Through the elastic strain of molecular masses, formant sensitivity potentially vaporizes temporal experience.

Link to assignment: Suggested readings Robert Rosen, "The Church-Pythagoras Thesis”, in Essays on Life Itself (1999). Aby Warburg, "The Theatrical Costumes of the Intermedi of 1589”, in The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity (1932). Eileen Jackson Southern, “The African Legacy”, in The Music of Black Americans (1971).

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Music is a special kind of art. It requires a special study and understanding. I am also a musician and have a few tracks of my own. I posted them on the spotify streaming platform and am now promoting them with spotify monthly listeners:

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