Sound as Form

Albin J. Zak III

in The Poetics of Rock

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780520218093
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928152 | DOI:
Sound as Form

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This chapter illustrates five broad categories that account for all the sounds on a record: musical performance, timbre, echo, ambience, and texture. It is the configuration of relationships among these elements that gives the Hendrix track, or any other track, its full meaning and its unique identity. These categories include the activities and processes that shape sounds. The performances on records present a complex collection of these elements. Musical syntactic elements such as pitches and rhythms are augmented by specific inflections and articulations, which include particularities of timbre, phrasing, intonation, etc. The number of possible choices among tools and recording places is huge. Decisions on how to proceed depend on a varying set of criteria, which include availability, cost, musical style, and personal preference. Acoustical properties and behavior exhibited by architectural spaces and construction materials have various coloring effects on sound. Hence, it becomes the top priority of recordists.

Keywords: instruments; musical performance; sound phenomena; recordists

Chapter.  20072 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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