Loading...

Environment Matters

Why Song Sounds the Way It Does

by Lynn Whidden (Author) Paul Shore (Author)
©2019 Monographs XII, 276 Pages
Series: Music and Spirituality, Volume 8

Summary

Why does human music sound the way it does? To better understand this, the authors look at the human and even animal ability for mimicry, at existing acoustic niches and introduce the idea of at least three habitats for music. Is there a unified sound quality for music created indoors, for song sung outdoors, and for music produced with electric signals?
Whidden and Shore seek answers from music ethnography, from the closed space of medieval churches, from Gothic architecture, from particular buildings such as the Prague Estates Theatre and from their own experience and that of others in the contemporary electronic music environment. Drawing on fieldwork, archival materials and media studies research, they propose a model that will inspire scholars to explore human music in its rightful and important place in the natural world.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the authors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Organized Sound Genres: Song, Music and Electronic Mode
  • Chapter 2: At Least Three Habitats for Song, Music and Electronic Mode
  • Chapter 3: Mimicry: The Song Enabler
  • Chapter 4: Fama: A Complex Sound Yields A Simple Song
  • Habitat One: The Outdoors
  • Chapter 5: The Canadian Subarctic
  • Chapter 6: Northern Plains
  • Chapter 7: The Northwest Coast
  • Chapter 8: The Canadian Arctic
  • Habitat Two: The Indoors
  • Chapter 9: Towards Habitat Two: Cold Space
  • Chapter 10: The Closed Space of the Medieval Church
  • Chapter 11: In the Realm of Notation: A Corollary
  • Chapter 12: Layered Music Space
  • Chapter 13: Silent Space
  • Chapter 14: Decorated Gothic Space: An Indoor Forest of Sounds
  • Chapter 15: Redefined Space, Reconfigured Sound
  • Chapter 16: Word Space, Sound Space
  • Chapter 17: Buildings Reused and Redefined
  • Chapter 18: Spaces Baroque and Rococo
  • Chapter 19: Nostalgia
  • Chapter 20: The Outdoors Imagined
  • Habitat Three: The Electronic Mode
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Series Index

Environment Matters

Why Song Sounds
The Way It Does

Lynn Whidden and Paul Shore

image
PETER LANG

Oxford • Bern • Berlin • Bruxelles • Frankfurt am Main • New York • Wien

Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche National-bibliografie;
detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Control Number:

Names: Whidden, Lynn, 1946- author. | Shore, Paul J., 1956- author.

Title: Environment matters : why song sounds the way it does / Lynn Whidden and Paul Shore.

Description: Bern ; New York : Peter Lang, 2018. | Series: Music and spirituality ; 8 | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2018022840 | ISBN 9781788744935 (alk. paper)

Subjects: LCSH: Music--Environmental aspects. | Music--Social aspects. | Singing--Social aspects. | Music and architecture. | Music--Origin.

Classification: LCC ML3916 .W5 2018 | DDC 782.01--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018022840

Cover design by Peter Lang Ltd.

issn 2296-164X

isbn 978-1-78874-493-5 (print) • isbn 978-1-78874-494-2 (ePDF)

isbn 978-1-78874-495-9 (ePub) • isbn 978-1-78874-496-6 (mobi)

© Peter Lang AG 2019

Published by Peter Lang Ltd, International Academic Publishers,

52 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU, United Kingdom

oxford@peterlang.com, www.peterlang.com

June Boyce-Tillman has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Editor of this Work.

All rights reserved.

All parts of this publication are protected by copyright.

Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution.

This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.

This publication has been peer reviewed.

About the authors

LYNN WHIDDEN is an ethnomusicologist whose career spanned a period of dramatic transformation in the Canadian North. She documented this change in a CBC Ideas show and a book entitled Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music. A Professor Emerita at Brandon University, she continues to explore the historical and environmental contexts of human music.

PAUL SHORE is a leading scholar of Jesuit history and has held teaching and research posts at Saint Louis University, Harvard Divinity School, Oxford University, and Trinity College Dublin, and in 2013 was the Alan Richardson Fellow in Theology and Religion at Durham University. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University.

About the book

IWhy does human music sound the way it does? To better understand this, the authors look at the human and even animal ability for mimicry, at existing acoustic niches and introduce the idea of at least three habitats for music. Is there a unified sound quality for music created indoors, for song sung outdoors, and for music produced with electric signals?

Whidden and Shore seek answers from music ethnography, from the closed space of medieval churches, from Gothic architecture, from particular buildings such as the Prague Estates Theatre and from their own experience and that of others in the contemporary electronic music environment. Drawing on fieldwork, archival materials and media studies research, they propose a model that will inspire scholars to explore human music in its rightful and important place in the natural world.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Preface

Although it is a joy to think about musics as derivative of their environments, this is not always a “comfortable” thesis, or perhaps better said, an easily data-supported idea. Many of us intuit the sonic connections, both creation and transmission, between our music and our habitats. In some instances, proof is at hand: the measurable acoustics of concert halls make our superb symphonic repertoire possible, but we can only suggest the connection between Northwest Coast Indigenous song and their great cedar plank houses. Proof is awaiting better measurement.

Why bother with “Environment Matters”? Well, the long evolutionary history of human music suggests that it contributes to our survival and here we seek to reinforce the essential role of music in the human story. Music is rooted in our very physical environment, be it outdoors, indoors or electronic. This is an important message in our time of changing sonic habitats: for our well-being we need to recognize how environment affects our music and our lives.

As authors, we would to like to thank each other. Any collaboration is an opportunity to grow and learn, and the balance of each of our interests and skills led us to new people and ideas and to rethink some of our old positions. When Lynn handed Paul a thirty-page outline of the project a few years ago, the possibility of asking very different and exciting questions about music was immediately apparent. The result is now ready for your consideration, dear reader, with the caveat that what follows is by no means the last word on the subject, but an invitation to new investigations and elaborations of the idea we have aimed to develop.

In a project of this sort there are many other individuals and institutions to thank. Archivists in far flung settings including Wells and York Cathedrals and the Archives of Westminster Abbey, London, have been gracious and generous, making available some of the illustrations that we hope you will enjoy. Professor Alec Ryrie took a chance on inviting a novice←v | vi→ to the University of Durham, thereby providing a context for discussion of some of the themes that we address here.

Professor James Clackson, of Jesus College, Cambridge University, supported the presentation and discussion of many of the ideas we propose, as did the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto. A special thanks to Indigenous peoples worldwide, especially the Dakota and Northern Cree of Canada who shared their songs and thoughts about song. We especially acknowledge the editor of this book series and advocate of our project, Professor June Boyce-Tillman, who has made the publication of this book a reality. Luis Ramirez produced excellent transcriptions of musical scores and shared his own Habitat Three composition. The editorial staff of Peter Lang has been extraordinarily helpful, flexible and professional through the process of completing this book. Thank you, Lucy Melville and Natasha Collin!

We acknowledge the Brandon University Research Committee whose support made a research visit to Prague possible and our many colleagues whose ideas and support have helped carry this project to completion.

So, the musics and their contexts are here, let the reflection and research on connections begin.

L. W. and P. S. June 2018 Brandon, Manitoba, Canada←vi | vii→

Details

Pages
XII, 276
Year
2019
ISBN (PDF)
9781788744942
ISBN (ePUB)
9781788744959
ISBN (MOBI)
9781788744966
ISBN (Softcover)
9781788744935
Language
English
Publication date
2018 (December)
Keywords
music sound habitats song
Published
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2019. XII, 276 pp.

Biographical notes

Lynn Whidden (Author) Paul Shore (Author)

Lynn Whidden is an ethnomusicologist whose career spanned a period of dramatic transformation in the Canadian North. She documented this change in a CBC Ideas show and a book entitled Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music. A Professor Emerita at Brandon University, she continues to explore the historical and environmental contexts of human music. Paul Shore is a leading scholar of Jesuit history and has held teaching and research posts at Saint Louis University, Harvard Divinity School, Oxford University, and Trinity College Dublin, and in 2013 was the Alan Richardson Fellow in Theology and Religion at Durham University. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University.

Previous

Title: Environment Matters