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The audible and the physical: a gestural typology for ‘mixed’ electronic music

Andrew Lewis, Xenia Pestova

Andrew Lewis, Bangor University School of Music, Bangor UK
Xenia Pestova, Bangor University School of Music, Bangor UK


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This paper describes the development of a gestural typology for mixed electronic music. The typology embraces both the physical performance gestures used in instrumental music and the audible gestures characteristic of acousmatic music. The aim is to develop a unified approach to serve as a common currency for the discussion, analysis and composition of works involving both live instruments and acousmatic sound. We propose the development of a lexicon of physical-sonic gesture correspondences, which may be of use in composing, analysing, discussing and listening to instrumental, acousmatic and ‘mixed’ musical discourse.
In taking the first steps in developing such a typology, our approach has been to narrow the discussion of instrumental gesture to the piano alone. This allows us explore in detail a deliberately limited range of physical performance gesture, in order to build a foundation upon which typologies considering other instruments may be built in future work.

EMS12 Proceedings