Abstract Syntax refers to the manner in which compositional material may be organised according to formal principles, extrinsic to the sonic nature and characteristics of the material itself. Abstracted Syntax refers to the extraction of structuring principles according to what is perceptually perceived as of pertinence within the material itself. The pairing was proposed by Simon Emmerson, in ’The Relation of Language to Materials’ in Emmerson, S., ed. (1986). The Language of Electroacoustic Music. (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press), in which he proposes a continuum between the two. The pair is also related to Aural/Mimetic Discourse.
See also:Architectonic, Aural Discourse and Mimetic Discourse, Formalism, Musique Concrète, Schaefferian Theory