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Spectralisme is a term applied to composers since the 1980s whose musical concerns include the use of instrumental, vocal, and environmental sound as models from which any number of attributes of a musical composition (e.g. micro-structures, macro-structures, harmonic content) may be extrapolated or mapped. The term is derived from ’spectrum’ and work associated with the term has been facilitated through the use of the computer to spectrally analyse, model, and visually represent sound (many composers thus called have worked at IRCAM, Paris, where research in this field was prevalent during the 1980s and 90s). Musical compositions are frequently for instrumental and vocal resources, or ’mixed’ electroacoustic works involving performers and live electronics and/or tape. Critics and scholars refer to composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Tristan Murail, Gerard Grisey, Magnus Lindberg as Spectralistes.



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