Spectromorphology is a term that was first coined by Denis Smalley in his chapter Spectro-morphology and Structuring Processes, which can be found in the. Spectromorphology. Language for explaining sound-‐‑shapes. Adapted from: Dennis Smalley, Department of Music, City University, London. Organised Sound . Abstract. Denis Smalley’s concept of Spectromorphology () provides the listener of electroacoustic music with thorough and accessible sets of vocabulary to.

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Smalley also designates different morphological archetypes:. A descriptive spectromorphological analysis of sound is sometimes used in the analysis of electroacoustic musicespecially acousmatic music.

These tools are intended to be used for “describing and analysing the listening experience” Smalley By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The noise-note continuum is interesting, not only because it implies a deeper ability to reflect on auditory information by allowing for the almost infinite reduction of focussed analysis, but that all sound is music, and all music is sound — something which was solidified much earlier in the 20 th century by German and French electroacoustic composers but which Schaeffer failed in my opinion to attack properly.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Smalley states that Sprectromorphology is “intended to account for types of electroacoustic music” Smalley Within these groups exists more terminology for describing that particular motion or growth process.

Smalley states that these functions can be applied to micro and macro levels of musical structure to describe notes, objects gestures and textures Smalley On the fifth distinct note heard, the piece begins to change.

Texture motion is used to describe the variations in the Motion and Growth process. Smalley states that the canopy and root can be regarded as “boundary markers” that “frame spectral space” Smalley I have found Spectromorphology to be an incredibly useful technique in analysis.


Retrieved from ” https: It does not relate to the spatialisation of sounds within a fixed-media piece. We hear the first bi-directional phrase, as the node, which has been smalleey of fairly comprehensible harmonic spectra although changing within itself due to shifting resonant frequencynow begins to diverge as two distinct phenomena can be heard.

Benjamin Talbott

There exists three types of spectral space: Simply put, the Note to Noise continuum is how one describes the spectral content of a sound. Since then there have been numerous publications spectromorphologg to this term and a number of extensions by other scholars within the field of electroacoustic music. The degree to which the analysis is correct then becomes about how true the analysis is of the piece spectromofphology — less room is open for subjectivity. We hear this repeated, so far in a linear fashion, the simplest motion.

It is almost impossible to put forward a wrong statement, so long as the terms are understood properly. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Instead it suggests viewpoints and tools for “speculating and imagining”, but these cannot be organised into a single analytical or compositional action Smalley Whether they are considered distant or close and whether they allow other sounds to be heard.

Within denix of these three states exists a number of terms to describe the way specttromorphology which a sound evolves.

In his terms, this is broken down into NoiseNodeand Note Note is broken down again into note proper, harmonic spectrum, and inharmonic spectrumwhich is in reality a scale ranging from note to noise. It is not an analytical or compositional system.

Spectromorphology – Wikipedia

Spectral density is used to describe how sounds emanate from one another. Smalley’s term refers to the descriptive analysis of perceived morphological developments in sound spectra over time, and it implies that the “spectro” cannot exist without the morphology: If we were to go into further detail, we could also argue morphologically that the object begins as separated attack impulses, tracing a smooth line fenis the iterative form towards granulation, before dissipating.


He defines three groups that should be regarded as motions: These types of spectral density, depending on their relation to the distant-close continuum, will either block or allow other sounds from being heard.

It is important to note that although this article will tackle these two terms individually they are zmalley, as one cannot exist without the other. The two antonyms act as bookends between the vast possibilites of electroacoustic sounds. To formalise further, Smalley insists rightly that the spectra the harmonic information cannot spectromorphoogy without morphology, since something which occupies space must also extend in time — hence spectro-morphology. He also suggests that others could “supplement his basic listening with their own analogies” where appropriate Smalley This continuum is subdivided into three principal elements:.

The term Spectromorphology is an amalgamation of the terms Spectra and Morphology. This site uses cookies. This page was last edited on 21 Augustat fenis There are four qualifiers for spectral space, which are based on antonym pairs: Smalley says that motion is a subconsciously understood concept in traditional composition, as it is the overall harmonic movement against melody which drives musical structures.