Saturday, January 30, 2016

Nordheim in Lasse Thoresen's book on aural sonology

After something like 30 years in the making, Lasse Thoresen has finally published his magnum opus on aural analysis: Emergent Musical Forms: Aural Explorations. In this mammoth book Thoresen sums up all his theories on sonology and musical analysis, and reviews virtually all approaches to listening-based analysis under the sun. I had the manuscript for a while, and I can attest to that it's quite a handfull to get through. But it is well worth it.

Thoresen uses Arne Nordheim's Solitaie as one of his example pieces, and this particular analysis sums up most of his theories. I might not agree on everything he writes. For instance we disagree on labeling and number of parts that the piece consists of (this will of course be addressed in my PhD thesis in due time). Still, it's one of the better analyses of an electronic music piece that I know of out there. The website accompanying the book has an entire page dedicated to Solitaire.

Thoresen's 2007-article in Organised Sound might have left things a bit hanging in the air, and because of that his system is probably not as widely used as it potentially could be. The book (and the website!) on the other hand gives all the tools one needs (and more!) to get involved in this wonderful analytical system. It's highly recommended.

It seems that the book still only is available in the USA, but I expect the Norwegian distributor to get it soon.
A little excerpt from my own dabbling in Thoresen's graphical notation.

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