Solfège

Musicology of Electroacoustic Music [MEM]  >  Schaefferian Theory  ]

In Schaefferian theory, solfège is "the art of practising better listening"; it is an "experimental and realistic" approach to the sound object, a kind of becoming aware of the new materials of music while distrusting preconceived ideas and relying first and foremost upon what is heard. It is without notation, because it is intended to apply to the whole universe of sounds already available or capable of being made, and not only to the sounds of traditional music, of measurable pitch, and produced by a limited number of instruments. This solfège is situated more in the area of hearing than making, it is descriptive rather than being operational. The criteria, which it seeks to bring out, are not expressed by symbols leading to notations for new scores, but as a deepening of the act of listening, seeking in sounds their musical potential, prior to any plan of notation or composition. It is embodied in the five operations of his programme of musical research. Every sound object or criterion as the experimental solfège progresses is individually situated in types (typology), in classes (morphology), in genres (characterology), in species (analysis). The final two of these are treated more like a hypothese, whereas the first two are significantly detailed. (Paraphrase of Michel Chion (1983). Guide des Objets Sonores. Eds. Buchet/Chastel, Paris. 1995 translation by John Dack/Christine North.)

 

See also:

PROGREMU, Typo-morphologie (Typo-morphology)

 

Bibliography:

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