Music and Gesture  book cover
1st Edition

Music and Gesture

ISBN 9781138262935
Published October 19, 2016 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

This volume showcases key theoretical ideas and practical considerations in the growing area of scholarship on musical gesture. The book constructs and explores the relations between music and gesture from a range of differing perspectives, identifying theoretical approaches and examining the nature of certain types of gesture in musical performance. The twelve chapters in this volume are organized into a heuristic progression from theory to practice, from essay to case study. Theoretical considerations about the interpretation of musical gestures are identified and phrased in terms of semiotics, the mimetic hypothesis, concepts of musical force, immanence, quotation and topic, and the work of musical gestures. The lives of musical gestures in performance are revealed through engaging with their rhythmic properties as well as inquiring into the breathing of pianists, the nature of clarinettists' bodily movements, and the physical acts and personae of individual artists, specifically Keith Jarrett and Robbie Williams. The reader is encouraged to listen to the various resonances and tensions between the chapters, including the importance given to bodies, processes, motions, expressions, and interpretations of musical gesture. The book will be of significance to musicologists, theorists, semioticians, analysts, composers and performers, as well as scholars working in different research communities with an interest in the study of gesture.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Anthony Gritten and Elaine King; A Theory of Musical Gesture and its Application to Beethoven and Schubert, Robert S. Hatten; Emotive Gesture in Music and its Contraries, David Lidov; Hearing, Feeling, Grasping Gestures, Arnie Cox; Musical Gestures and Musical Forces: Evidence from Music - Theoretical Misunderstandings, Steve Larson; 'Plays Guitar Without Any Hands': Musical Movement and Problems of Immanence, William Echard; Mahler's Military Gesture: Musical Quotation as Proto-Topic, Raymond Monelle; Drift, Anthony Gritten; Musical Rhythm: Motion, Pace and Gesture, Justin London; Supporting Gestures: Breathing in Piano Performance, Elaine King; Origins and Functions of Clarinettists' Ancillary Gestures, Marcelo M. Wanderley and Bradley W. Vines; Listening in the Gaze: The Body in Keith Jarrett's Solo Piano Improvisations, Peter Elsdon; 'She's the one': Multiple Functions of Body Movement in a Stage Performance by Robbie Williams, Jane W. Davidson; Index.

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Anthony Gritten, Head of Undergraduate Programmes, Royal Academy of Music, UK and Elaine King is based in the Department of Drama and Music at the University of Hull, UK


'Music and Gesture presents a host of critical issues pertinent to music theory and performance that introduce readers to the colorful territories surrounding music and gesture.' Notes ’These essays are very inspiring reading.’ International Review of Sociology and Aesthetics of Music