Music and Shape

Daniel Leech-Wilkinson,

Music and Shape
 
 
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.


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