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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In his terms, this is broken down into NoiseNodeand Note Note is broken down again into note proper, harmonic spectrum, and inharmonic spectrum sprctromorphology, which is in reality a scale ranging from note to noise. The term Spectromorphology is an amalgamation of the terms Spectra and Morphology.

He also suggests that others could “supplement his basic listening with their own analogies” where appropriate Smalley Simply put, the Note to Spectromorlhology continuum is how one describes the spectral content of a sound.

It is not an analytical or compositional system. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 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: Initially these two terms were separated with a hyphen in the publication, but this has subsequently spectromorpology removed from the publication.


There are four qualifiers spectromorpbology spectral space, which are based on antonym pairs: We hear the first bi-directional phrase, as the node, which has been comprised of fairly comprehensible harmonic spectra although changing within itself due to shifting resonant frequencynow begins to diverge as two distinct phenomena can be heard.

On the fifth distinct note heard, the piece begins to change. He defines three groups that should be regarded as motions: A descriptive spectromorphological analysis of sound is sometimes used in the analysis of electroacoustic musicespecially acousmatic music. Spectromorphology is first and foremost a set of terms for describing the denls process.


Spectromorphology | The OREMA project

I have found Spectromorphology to be an incredibly useful technique in analysis. You are here Home. Smalle notion of spectromorphology builds upon Schaeffer’s theories relating to the use of a classification system for various categories of sound. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from January It does not relate to the spatialisation of sounds within a fixed-media piece.

Reversing, transforming, granulating and stretching among other techniques results in all other morphological objects, and can always be simplified down to the three archetypes.

Returning to morphologyit is interesting to note that the formalisation of the term ADSR envelope attack, decay, sustain, release was suggested around twenty years earlier by Vladimir Ussachevsky in reference to work he was doing with Bob Moog. Smalley also designates different morphological archetypes:.

Within each of these three states exists a number of terms to describe the way in which a sound evolves. He stipulates that there are three morphological archetypes, from which all other forms of morphology can be derived. These types of spectral density, depending on their relation to the distant-close continuum, will either block or allow other sounds from being heard.

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Motion explains a similar concept to morphology, but extends to the overall movement of complex sound through time.

Texture motion is used to describe the variations in the Motion and Growth process. Whether they are considered distant or close and whether they allow other sounds to be heard. Smalley defines three different spectral typologies that exist in what he calls the noise-note continuum.

The work is in five sections, each toeing the line between acoustic and electroacoustic. Denis Smalley defines Spectromorphology as a “collection of tools for describing sound shapes, structures, and relationships, and for thinking about certain semiotic aspects – potentially analysis of a kind” Smalley The two antonyms act as bookends between the vast possibilites of electroacoustic sounds.

This site uses cookies. We hear this repeated, so far in a linear fashion, the simplest motion. Smalley states that these functions can be applied to micro and macro levels of musical structure to describe notes, objects gestures and textures Smalley Smalley uses four terms to describe this relationship: Therefore, Spectromorphology can be considered a glossary of terms, within defined frameworks, that can be used to describe how one experiences specific electroacoustic musics.


This continuum is subdivided into three principal elements:. The piece then abandons the low harmonic spectra in favour of high harmonics.

Instead it suggests viewpoints and tools for “speculating and imagining”, but these cannot be organised into a single analytical or compositional action Smalley 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 speftromorphology all sound is music, and all music is sound — something which was solidified spsctromorphology earlier in the 20 th century by German and French electroacoustic composers but which Schaeffer failed in my opinion to attack properly.

The term was coined by Denis Smalley in and is considered the most adequate English term to designate the field of sound research associated with the French writer, composer, and academic, Pierre Schaeffer [ citation needed ].

For the purposes of this article the focus will be on the article. There exists three types of spectral space: Since then there have been numerous publications relating to this term and a number of extensions by other scholars within the field of electroacoustic music.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Organised Sound, 2 2specctromorphology. Smalley defines six types of spectral density ranging from high to low: Spectromorphology is the perceived sonic footprint of a sound spectrum as it manifests in time. Spectral density sma,ley used to describe xpectromorphology sounds emanate from one another.