Shape is a concept widely used in talk about music. Musicians in classical, popular, jazz and world musics use it to help them rehearse, teach and think about what they do. Yet why is a word that seems to require something to see or to touch so useful to describe something that sounds?Music and Shape examines numerous aspects of this surprisingly close relationship, with contributions from scholars and musicians, artists, dancers, filmmakers, and synaesthetes. The main chapters are provided by leading scholars from music psychology, music analysis, music therapy, dance, classical, jazz and popular music who examine how shape makes sense in music from their varied points of view. Here we see shape providing a key notion for the teaching and practice of performance nuance or prosody; as a way of making relationships between sound and body movement; as a link between improvisational as well as compositional design and listener response, and between notation, sound and cognition; and as a unimodal quality linked to vitality affects. Reflections from practitioners, between the chapters, offer complementary insights, embracing musical form, performance and composition styles, body movement, rhythm, harmony, timbre, narrative, emotions and feelings, and beginnings and endings.Music and Shape opens up new perspectives on musical performance, music psychology and music analysis, making explicit and open to investigation a vital factor in musical thinking and experience previously viewed merely as a metaphor.
About The Author
Daniel Leech-Wilkinson is Emeritus Professor of Music at King's College London. He studied at the Royal College of Music, King's College London and Clare College, Cambridge, becoming first a medievalist and then, since c. 2000, specializing in the implications of early recordings, especially in relation to music psychology and performance creativity. Books include The Modern Invention of Medieval Music (2002) and The Changing Sound of Music (2009).Helen M. Prior is Lecturer in Music at the University of Hull, and has taught at the University of Sheffield. Her work on music and shape began when she was a postdoctoral researcher at King's College London within the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice. She has interests in musical performance, music and emotion, and music perception and familiarity.