Listening for phi: temporal proportion in recordings of Mozart’s piano sonatas

Warner, T 2006, 'Listening for phi: temporal proportion in recordings of Mozart’s piano sonatas' , WSEAS Transactions on Mathematics, 5 (8) , p. 1000.

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Digital recording, editing and signal processing offer performers and producers of Western European art music unprecedented levels of control over every sonic facet of the recorded artefact. Yet it is often the case that the ways in which these levels of control are exercised in the recording studio seem to contradict or at least partially go against the findings of musicologists, and specifically analysts of classical music. This paper will suggest that this situation is the result of differing approaches: musicologists usually look at scores while performers and producers listen to music in the recording studio. Hence, while scores may contain structural elements that are visually evident to music analysts (and perhaps also composers), some of these elements may not necessarily be easily perceptible aurally to studio performers, producers, and indeed the general record listening public. The paper will illustrate this point with the example of the use of the golden mean in the temporal proportions of the sonata form movements of Mozart's piano sonatas. Although these proportions are clearly visible in the scores, most studio performers and producers choose to produce recorded performances that only rarely contain temporal proportions that are based on the golden mean. This paper will conclude with the suggestion that the very process of recording, by dealing specifically with the art of manipulating sound in time, provides musicologists with, in some circumstances, more appropriate ways to approach the structural analysis of classical music.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: WSEAS: World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society
Themes: Subjects / Themes > M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QC Physics > QC221-246 Acoustics - Sound
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: WSEAS Transactions on Mathematics
Publisher: WSEAS Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 11092769
Related URLs:
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2007 14:17
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:07

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