EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Language as Material – Language as Communication: “Words” and “Texts” in Electroacoustic Music

Tatjana Böhme-Mehner

Universität Leipzig & Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg, Germany


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Nearly from its beginnings electroacoustic music had a special approach to language. What began with common problems of music and spoken language in the radio in the early years as well as the research of technology and new concepts, was very soon recognised as a big chance. Recorded language was seen as possibility for an often more popular or more up-to-date contemporary art. However, the first problems in reflection and reception occurred very soon. The paper deals with specific aspects of musical communication, such as the relations of “music as communication” and “communcation of music” in particular, the latter focussing on music including recorded spoken language. Giving examples of different historical and cultural origins, possible forms of communication and understanding are categorised and thus forms of reflecting “musical understanding” are presented.