Phonetic Relations between Vocal Music, Electronics and Linguistics in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

Paolo Galli
Arthur Cools (promotor), Wim Henderickx (promotor)
Type musicus:
zang, componist
composition, electronics, linguistics, vocal music
Gestart in 2014
20ste eeuwse muziek, 21ste eeuwse muziek



The main aim of this research project is to investigate the phonetic relations between vocal/electronic music and linguistics in the second half of the twentieth century.

Influenced by new, even revolutionary linguistic theories of renowned scholars, such as Roman Jakobson (1896- 1982), several composers established an interaction between vocal/electronic compositions and the phonetic dimension of the linguistic apparatus. By focusing his attention on compositions written by Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007), e.g. Gesang der Junglinge (1955-56), by Luciano Berio (1925-2003), e.g. Thema (Omaggio a Joyce) (1958), by Luigi Nono (1924-1990), e.g. Omaggio a Gyorgy Kurtag (1983), by Kaija Saariaho (1952), e.g. Lonh (1996), by Jonathan Harvey, i.e. Speakings (2008), Galli will pursue the following research objectives: 

1) Investigation of the interactions between the phonetic characteristics of a text and the timbral and formal features of a composition including voice instruments and electronics. 

2) Exploration of the subtle transformations between words as bearers of meaning (‘sense’) and words as sound material (‘sound’).

A substantial part of this research will be carried out by using music itself as a tool for text analysis through the creation of two original compositions for voice, instruments and live electronics. By musically exploring the intrinsic syllabic and phonemic structure of a text, it is Galli's intention to derive a new set of compositional parameters. The further results will be disseminated via the redaction of a handbook for composers, two articles, a doctoral thesis and via a series of five lectures for students at the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire.