Éditorial 

Author: Ariane Couture

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Articles

Eccentric/Exzentrisch: On Gould, Gulda, and Becoming a Cultural Icon 

Author: Alexander Carpenter

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This article considers how cultural icons are formed and compares the cultural backgrounds, careers, and reputations of two of the most talented—if most “eccentric”—classical musicians of the twentieth century: Canadian pianist and broadcaster Glenn Gould, and Austrian pianist, composer, and provocateur Friedrich Gulda. Gould is a celebrated Canadian icon whose well-publicized eccentricities as a musical interpreter and an individual count favourably towards his iconic status; Gulda, while a pianist of similar skill and accomplishments, is regarded as an ambivalent—if not scandalous—figure in Austrian cultural history, precisely because of his eccentric behaviour and genre-bending performances.

Predictors of Piano Student Dropouts 

Authors: Karen Gerelus; Gilles Comeau; Mikael Swirp

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Dropping out of piano lessons before reaching a moderate mastery of the instrument is a frequent problem among students. Previous research finds that children often leave music lessons as the result of predictors such as expertise—measured by musical ability, academic achievement, and musical achievement—and environment—measured by social and educational status, gender differences, parental involvement, and home culture. Fifty-five former piano students and their parents filled out questionnaires with Likert-scale, multiple choice, and open-ended questions in a mixed-methods study. This group was compared to 153 students and parents who were still involved with lessons. The results between the two groups show that many of the attrition factors outlined in the literature predicted piano student dropouts as well.

Le geste sonore comme objet d’analyse pour observer les pratiques musicales distinctives d’improvisateurs jazz 

Author: Martin Desjardins

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The choice of music notes as prescribed by our common tradition set aside, what singles out a jazz improviser from another? What are their “sound”, their “signature” made of? Considering that traditional methods for analyzing fail to delineate extensively the expressive content of a jazz improvisation, we shall henceforth investigate the recordings of improvised solos looking closely at the performative aspect of music, that is paying attention to details regarding the sonic production by a musical performer. However, considering also that even a careful listening might lead to disregarding some details to the benefit of others, we implemented a spectrographic analysis as it is widely in use for analyzing singing within the field of popular music studies. Combining visual and aural contents, this model allows for a more comprehensive inventory of the “sonic gestures” embedded within improvisations, that is of the sonic manifestations produced by instrumental gestures throughout a musical process. Through a research-creation standpoint, an autoethnographic method provided me with a way for discriminating sonic gestures within my own improvisations, and thus compare them to those of internationally acclaimed saxophonist Chris Potter. This analysis has allowed for the identification of five sonic gestures, subtle but distinctive, related to pitch microvariations on the rise and decay of certain music notes, to a specific use of multiphonics, vibrato, sets of dynamics and keystroke noises.

Les enjeux de la cartographie sonore par rapport à la frontière de la neutralité 

Author: Rainier Leloup

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Primarily intended as a mere sonorous depiction of a site, these digital interfaces have now steadily switched from being “maps” to being “counter-maps” through the social, cultural or political commitment of their creators. Besides providing sonic landscapes, these “counter-maps” reveal some specific perspectives upon the daily environment of an individual, regardless of any authoritative control. This article addresses issues at stake regarding these artworks, by examining some of their tokens and providing a model for analyzing topographic markers in a sonic recording.

Developing Variation in Gilles Tremblay’s Croissant: Transformation and Identity 

Author: Stephanie Lind

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Gilles Tremblay, considered one of the forefathers of contemporary music in Quebec, is primarily known for a focus on rhythm, sonority, and aleatoric processes. This article explores another unexplored aspect of Tremblay’s composition: motivic development through developing variation. Beginning with a discussion of the historical antecedents of this style in the work of Schoenberg, d’Indy, and Dutilleux, the article analyzes Tremblay’s use of developing variation in his string quartet, Croissant, through the lens of transformational theory.

A Synthesis of Animation and Jazz in Begone Dull Care 

Author: Heather Pinson

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In 1949 filmmakers Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart created the seven-minute, forty-eight-second, animated short Begone Dull Care, filled with abstract images moving in time to the music of the Oscar Peterson Trio. In this three-movement film, McLaren and Lambart use the improvisatory nature of jazz to establish a narrative, allowing the animated shapes to respond and react to the music itself. This article addresses the collaboration between artists and musicians to create such an influential piece and examines the interdisciplinary relationship between music and animation in Begone Dull Care.

Ruth Crawford’s String Quartet, Mvt. 3: An Analysis of Dynamic Counterpoint, Contour Similarity, and Musical Form 

Author: Yi-Cheng Wu

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In the third movement of her String Quartet, locally Ruth Crawford crafts a unique dynamic contrapuntal fabric, where each instrument plays a different alternation of crescendo and diminuendo, thus the same dynamics never synchronize. Globally, this dynamic contrapuntal texture projects an extensively long gradual sound expansion from ppp to fff. In addition, Crawford stresses two temporary dynamics f and fff, subtly dividing the form into three parts. To support Crawford’s subtle formal division, I translate Crawford’s dynamic counterpoint into a chronological sequence of verticalized contours and measure their similarity. I find the essential changes in contour similarity always coincide with the structural boundary, sharpening the formal division in Crawford’s schematic design.

Book Reviews

Laurel Parsons and Brenda Ravenscroft, eds. 2016. Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960–2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 244 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-023686-1 

Author: Twila Bakker

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Federico Lazzaro. 2018. Écoles de Paris en musique, 1920–1950. Identités, nationalisme, cosmopolitisme. Mayenne (Fr) : Vrin, coll. « MusicologieS », 436 p. ISBN 978-2-7116-2768-4 

Author: Fauve Bougard

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William Cheng. 2016. Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 160 pp. 17 images. ISBN 978-0-472-07325-2 (hardcover), ISBN 978–0–472–05325–4 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-472-90056-5 (open access) 

Author: Jeff Warren

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