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Form-Building Patterns and Metaphorical Meaning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Lasse Thoresen with the assistance of Andreas Hedman*
The Norwegian Academy of Music, PO Box 5190 Majorstua, 0302 Oslo, Norway


This paper will present methods for the analysis of form-building patterns in general, formulating analytical principles across stylistic borders. We will demonstrate the use of two selected analytical tools on a specific work by the Swedish composer Åke Parmerud. We identify, firstly, time-fields which describe the segmentation of form sections and, secondly, dynamic forms tracing the perceived directions of energy flow. Eventually we will discuss a semiotic interpretation of the music analysed. The present paper is a continuation of two previous papers that have presented conceptual and graphic tools for an aural, spectromorphological analysis of music. The first paper, published in Organised Sound 12/2, demonstrated the spectromorphological categories for the transcription of sound objects (level one). The second paper, published in Organised Sound 14/3, demonstrated their application, and expanded the scope of analysis through a discussion of the Schaefferian terms of values/characters.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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Thorsesen supplementary material

Movie example 1: Music from Ake Parmerud, Les objets obscurs (1991), 203500

Download Thorsesen supplementary material(Video)
Video 46 MB
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