Narrativisation in Electroacoustic and Computer Music - Reflections on Empirical Research into Listeners' Response

Bridger, Michael


International Computer Music Conference .

Language: English

In this article, the author considers music as an ambiguous quasi-narrative - the spinning out of a content-free but logical thread that becomes imbued, in the interactive process of listening, with a generalised metaphorical significance that is all the more powerful precisely because it is both elusive and illusory. In this model of musical communication, the listener's engagement is in the nature of a hermeneutic quest, a continuum of three interlinked phases: perceptual - conceptual - emotional. The author explores these ideas through the context of his research into listeners' response, which has suggested that processes of musical communication and the engagement of listeners' pleasurable interest are in several respects similar to processes of narrative as exemplified in literary and film genres, even to the extent that the surface structures of these different narrative manifestations may both relate equally to a deep narrative grammar.