Musical Textures


The study of musical texture grew out of the investigation of multi-strata works which formed the basis of my dissertation.  One of the thesis chapters describes the use of musical periodicities to form textural passages and strands, and explains that even in textural passages which do not utilize periodicities, the periodic template can be a useful grid for reference of density (both "vertical" and "horizontal").


The article "Periodicity and Musical Texture", written for a book Aspects of Musical Texture was adapted from relevant parts of the thesis, and reflects my thoughts on the matter in 1997, with a few updates.  Unfortunately, that book was never published….


In these preliminary stages of investigation, the textural passages studied are those which appear to the listener as a single fabric with no single component (such as melody) clearly recognizable.  At present, a study is being made of the various possible configurations of texture according to their most salient perceptual characteristics.  This study is illuminated by passages from real musical contexts within the well-known repertoire of Western classical music to be used as models.  Due to copyright reasons, most of these cannot be made available on the web in score or auditory format, but some will be included in the Tool Kit.


Module II of the Armchair Researcher focusses on musical texture and gesture, and they are further explored by the IMP-NESTAR project.