Event Title

The Fusion of Timbre and Pitch in the Spectral Music of Gérard Grisey

Presenter Information

Rhys Hertafeld, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A255

Start Date

4-25-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

4-25-2014 2:30 PM

Abstract

In the 1970s, French composer Gérard Grisey pioneered a new form of avant-garde composition known as spectral music. In this music, Grisey creates soundscapes that obscure the distinction between pitch and timbre. The prominence of timbre in Grisey’s works challenges traditional music theorists’ treatment of pitch as the most important aspect of music. In my talk, I discuss the musical language of spectral music by analyzing Jour, Contre-Jour (1978), one of Grisey’s less well-known works. The innovations of this minimalistic composition suggest new ways to understand the relationship between pitch and timbre.

Notes

Session I, Panel 4 - Aesthetics of Musical Composition
Moderator: Rebecca Leydon, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Major

Musical Studies

Advisor(s)

Joseph Lubben, Music Theory

Project Mentor(s)

Joseph Lubben, Music Theory
Devin Burke, Musicology

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Apr 25th, 1:30 PM Apr 25th, 2:30 PM

The Fusion of Timbre and Pitch in the Spectral Music of Gérard Grisey

Science Center, A255

In the 1970s, French composer Gérard Grisey pioneered a new form of avant-garde composition known as spectral music. In this music, Grisey creates soundscapes that obscure the distinction between pitch and timbre. The prominence of timbre in Grisey’s works challenges traditional music theorists’ treatment of pitch as the most important aspect of music. In my talk, I discuss the musical language of spectral music by analyzing Jour, Contre-Jour (1978), one of Grisey’s less well-known works. The innovations of this minimalistic composition suggest new ways to understand the relationship between pitch and timbre.