Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The pulse of communication in improvised jazz duets
Author: Schögler, Benjamin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The study of live human communication has, in recent years, led to a focus on our musical beginnings, defined as an innate 'communicative musicality' evident from infancy (Malloch, 1999). Academic research in the field of music is dominated by a western classical approach concerned with explaining the learning of a rare level of skill in performance, or with the creative genius of great composers in a literate tradition. The psychology of music has concentrated on the perception and cognition of musical structures and on the categories of emotion that may be stimulated by music. In light of infant research it is necessary to examine music with a fresh perspective, not as the work of a gifted few, but as something that comes from innate talents common to us all. Such an approach requires a focus on the intentional and behavioural aspects of musical activity, particularly in spontaneous social and communicative contexts. This thesis represents a starting point for such a journey, in which musical behaviours such as folk, jazz and other socially based music offer the researcher a window to study a common root of temporal competence and expressive intentional co-ordination. The behaviours of art, music and poetry have been described as 'rich and mysterious sources of data' for communicative research (Trevarthen, 1986). We set out to test this claim in a controlled situation. A quantitative method has been developed to examine the rhythmic co-ordination of sounds between two jazz musicians improvising together. Through the application of micro analytic techniques developed in the study of mother-infant communication (Malloch et al, 1997) and of perceptuo-motor control (Lee, 1998), a specific paradigm for researching musical behaviour is applied through digital recording of sound and study of synchrony within 'blind improvised duets' improvisations mediated by instrumental sound alone (Schogler, 1999). Five duets performed by musicians separated in two studios linked by sound alone and employing the following instrument pairs were selected for analysis: 1) Kit drums and electric bass; 2) Kit drums and double bass; 3) Kit drums and electric guitar; 4) Electric guitar and double bass, and 5) Kit drums and double bass. After initial acoustic analysis producing a measure of the changing loudness of sounds in each duet (Malloch et al, 1997), graphical and statistical algorithms were specified for processing musical interaction for 'tau coupling analysis' (Lee, 1998). This measures the control of approach to points of synchronous activities, here defined as loudness peaks in musical sound. Through a comparison of measures of external and internal control in 5 separate pieces of improvised music, my findings illustrate, quantitatively, the nature of'shared control' in musical interaction, and I track emotional/intentional aspects of musical gestures, both in the individual and in the dyad. The interpretation of these findings in relation to the structural elements of synchrony in the generation of narrative lead to a new theory of'shared pulse', and how it is generated, perceived and maintained through joint activity in expressive behaviour. Implications for a general theory of narrative competence in collaborative performance are considered, and proposed as a basis for a new approach to the study of music and possible new modes of representation for both composition and analysis are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available