Mind the body : Materiality and physicality in a composer’s thinking process
Pohjannoro, Ulla (2021)
Pohjannoro, U. (2021). Mind the body: Materiality and physicality in a composer’s thinking process. Psychology of Music. Copyright © 2021 Ulla Pohjannoro. https://doi.org/10.1177/03057356211034916
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This exploratory case study investigated the grounds of the material and physical aspects of compositional thinking, viewing musical composing as organizing the world of sounds. The data tracks one compositional process, including the full body of the manuscripts and verbal data accounting those manuscripts. The results present a composer, who wishes to create music that has performative power, that is, expressivities that have the capacity to move the mind of the listener. The composer is inspired by the materiality of sound and musical instruments, but on the other hand constrained and challenged by the corporal affordances of performers and their instruments as well as by the (im)practicalities and intelligibility of notational practices. Five different aspects of materiality were identified: (1) visual images and representations, (2) the score as the material object of composition, (3) the material and physical affordances of musical instruments, performers that play them, and sounds that are produced by them, (4) physical reactions entailing embodied intuitive knowledge of the composer, and (5) metaphoric processes, where the composer, when shaping timbres and musical structures, “pushes,” even “forces” sounds to “move” and sound in a way that is meaningful and transpires to the listener as music that moves the mind.
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