COMPOSING IN THE FLESH: PERCEPTUALLYINFORMED HARMONIC SYNTAX

Publication Type:

Conference Paper

Source:

SMC Conference 2004 (2004)

URL:

files/proceedings/2004/P43.pdf

Abstract:

A perceptually-informed harmonic syntax is described in which outer voices are harmonized according to psychoacoustic models of sensory dissonance and successive and referential pitch commonality. These models take into account the spectrums of the notated pitches of a sonority. The harmonic system is implemented using software written by the first author in the Common Lisp programming language. The user defines the relative degrees of each parameter for each member of a given set of outer voices, and the software calculates values for all appropriate chords found within a predetermined harmonic vocabulary. The paper describes one possible method of creating a harmonic vocabulary for a piece. It then provides an overview of the psychoacoustic models that correspond to the harmonic parameters and demonstrates the manner in which progressions are composed. Finally, it gives examples of progressions composed in this way from Dans la chair/In the Flesh, a recent piece for orchestra by the first author.