Re: Req: pitch-to-physical space mappings, refs (Stephen McAdams )

Subject: Re: Req: pitch-to-physical space mappings, refs
From:    Stephen McAdams  <Stephen.McAdams(at)IRCAM.FR>
Date:    Thu, 27 Mar 1997 19:01:21 +0200

>From Bruce Walker: >So I gues it comes down to this: How spatial is the pitch space? There is an epistemological aspect to this question which has been studied by Marie-Elisabeth Duchez who has traced the words and concepts used to rationalize pitch relations from the ancient Greeks through the modern Western tradition. "Spatialization" of pitch relations would appear to have arisen in the 9th-10th centuries with the development of notational schemes, but the notion of pitch "height" only really became accepted in the 17th century after much debate. Thus pitch as space is a metaphoric convention of relatively recent invention and would thus not be likely to have a biological basis. Duchez, M.-E. (1989) An historical and epistemological approach to the musical notion of "form-bearing" element. Contemporary Music Review, 4, 199-213. Ask a young violinist to play a given note "higher" and they will probably raise the whole violin. Ask a cellist to play the note higher and they have to decrease the height of their hand. An so on and so forth. Stephen McAdams IRCAM, 1 place Igor-Stravinsky, F-75004 Paris, France smc(at) tel: (33 1) 4478-4838, fax (33 1) 4478-1540

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