Event Title

Structure and Randomness in Iannis Xenakis' Analogique A

Presenter Information

Sam Goree, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 341

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 4:20 PM

Abtract

The music of late twentieth century composer Iannis Xenakis is often difficult to analyze because it makes use of complex computer-aided composition techniques, often involving randomness. While conventional set-theoretic approaches yield fruitful analysis, computational musicology, or treating music as data and using statistical methods to find trends, is really the analytical counterpart to computer-aided composition necessary to dig deeper into pieces like Xenakis’. In this paper, I apply data visualization and clustering techniques to Xenakis’ Analogique A and follow the same steps he used to create the piece, except in reverse. I then perform close readings of passages that the computational techniques struggle with, applying conventional set theory and Xenakis’ own sieve theory to dig deeper. Finally, I attempt to determine, using these results, where Xenakis followed his stated methods and where he made decisions based on his own aesthetic opinions instead.

Keywords:

music theory, twentieth century music, stochastic music, computer music

Notes

Musical Studies Capstone Panel
Session II, Panel 9 - Musical | Genres
Moderator: Ben Geyer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory

Major

Musical Studies; Computer Science

Advisor(s)

Jan Miyake, Music Theory

Project Mentor(s)

Benjamin Geyer, Music Theory

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Apr 28th, 3:00 PM Apr 28th, 4:20 PM

Structure and Randomness in Iannis Xenakis' Analogique A

King Building 341

The music of late twentieth century composer Iannis Xenakis is often difficult to analyze because it makes use of complex computer-aided composition techniques, often involving randomness. While conventional set-theoretic approaches yield fruitful analysis, computational musicology, or treating music as data and using statistical methods to find trends, is really the analytical counterpart to computer-aided composition necessary to dig deeper into pieces like Xenakis’. In this paper, I apply data visualization and clustering techniques to Xenakis’ Analogique A and follow the same steps he used to create the piece, except in reverse. I then perform close readings of passages that the computational techniques struggle with, applying conventional set theory and Xenakis’ own sieve theory to dig deeper. Finally, I attempt to determine, using these results, where Xenakis followed his stated methods and where he made decisions based on his own aesthetic opinions instead.