The relationship between texture and tension in early French spectral music

Barış, Deniz Can
Süreli Yayın başlığı
Süreli Yayın ISSN
Cilt Başlığı
Graduate School
The aim of this thesis is to shed light on the relationship between texture and tension in early French spectral music and to make conclusions about the changes in texture that occur during the tension-increasing and tension-resolving processes. The analyses include excerpts from Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail's early pieces, both of whom are well-known composers and pioneers of French spectral music. The excerpts chosen were determined by taking into account the diversity of texture and tension curves. Along with the early period, an excerpt from second-generation composer Philippe Hurel's music is analyzed. Combined with the composer's approaches, the findings of research projects, approaches to texture and tension, the classifications for the texture of the music, and some parameters impacting the tension process serve as the primary sources of analysis. The thesis's main flow includes a brief history of French spectral music, texture definitions and comparisons, common texture types, some textural developments that occurred in the first half of the twentieth century prior to the French spectral music period, the timbral approach and its use in texture, definitions of musical tension and resolution, parametric and cognitive studies applied to these concepts, and analyses applied to clarify the relationship between texture and tension based on a parametric method. The introduction, the study's purpose, and a brief history of French spectral music are included in Chapter 1. The period's approach, the process of formation, influences, composers and their compositional attitudes, and the employed composition techniques are discussed. In Chapter 2, the texture is defined in line with the different approaches and definitions in the literature. Monophony, homophony, polyphony, and heterophony are defined under the title of common texture types and exemplified under this topic. Under the next subheading, some important developments and innovations in the texture of music and its components -in the first half of the 20th century, that is from the early 1900s to the first years of the French spectral music period- are discussed and exemplified. In the last part of Chapter 2, timbre, which has an important place in French spectral music is defined in line with different approaches, and its use in texture prior to the period is briefly discussed. In Chapter 3, texture in French spectral music, its form as a result of the use of instrumental and orchestral synthesis techniques, static sound masses, micropolyphony, and the shapes of texture created by layering these forms are demonstrated with the excerpts from the music by the composers of the period. The primary source and approach utilized in this chapter is the categorization made by Kari E. Besharse on the texture of French spectral music. In Chapter 4, concepts of tension and release in literature are defined and discussed in line with cognitive and parametric studies and approaches. In addition to associating parameters such as tonal harmony and melody, the concepts of consonance and dissonance, pitch movements, dynamics, tempo, rhythm, range in Western art music, and a number of studies, draw attention to the subjectivity and multidimensionality of the concept of musical tension, are discussed. The next subheading focuses on the process of tension and release in French spectral music, the period that the thesis aims to shed light on. Some experiments and studies carried out in this field are shared. In this section, the approaches of some spectral composers to tension, the results obtained from the studies of the researchers, the contribution of some physical properties, such as the harmony created on the basis of timbre, and the roughness of the sound to the tension process are presented. Under the last heading of Chapter 4, the parameters to be used to determine the approximate tension curves and texture types in line with all these studies, the findings, and the approaches to be considered are specified. Selected excerpts of early French spectral music are analyzed with the help of the composers' notes, information gathered from the scores, parametric transcriptions, spectrograms, quotations, figures, and tables. In the conclusion part, the data obtained as a result of the analyses are discussed, and the findings on the relationship between texture and tension are shared. The thesis is concluded with an overall assessment of the applied analyses and suggestions for possible further studies.
Thesis (M.Sc.) -- İstanbul Technical University, Graduate School, 2022
Anahtar kelimeler
spectral music, spektral müzik, texture and tension, doku ve tansiyon, composition, kompozisyon, classical music, klasik müzik, French, Fransa