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The term gesture has been used widely but inconsistently in describing music, largely in terms of analogies and metaphors of human physicality and rhetoric.

The term is useful in electroacoustic music studies, where it also receives wide, and precise, usage in the areas of Interactivity and Spectromorphology.

Much research in the field of Interactivity and the construction of new musical instruments and interfaces is concerned with the detection and translation of physical movement. The terms gesture mapping and gesture capture are apropos in this context.

Denis Smalley has written extensively on the concept of the pairing of Gesture and Texture as structuring principles in electroacoustic composition and analysis.

Gesture is concerned with action directed away from a previous goal or towards a new goal; it is concerned with the application of energy and its consequences; it is synonymous with intervention, growth and progress, and is married to causality. (Source - Denis Smalley (1986). Spectro-morphology and Structuring Processes, in Simon Emmerson, ed. The Language of Electroacoustic Music. Basingstoke: Macmillan.)


See also:

Causality, Controller, Gestural Interface, Gesture Capture, Interactive Instruments, Interactivity, Interface, Motion, Sensor, Spectromorphology, Surrogacy, Texture, Triggering



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Arfib, D., Coutrurier, J. N., Kessous, L., Verfaille, V. (2002). Strategies of Mapping between Gesture Data and Synthesis Model Parameters Using Perceptual Spaces
Battey, Bret (2004). Musical Pattern Generation with Variable-coupled Iterated Map Networks
Battier, Marc (2000). Electronic Music and Gesture
Chowning, John, Roads, Curtis (1985). John Chowning on composition
Couturier, Jean-Michel (2004). Etheraction: Playing Musical Piece Using Graphical Interfaces
Doornbosch, Paul (2002a). Composers’ Views on Mapping in Algorithmic Composition
Dury, Rémi, Faber, Francis (2001). Musique électroacoustique, musique assistée par ordinateur et jeu instrumental: vers de nouveaux instruments pédagogiques
Emmerson, Simon (1998a). Acoustic/Electroacoustic: The Relationship with Instruments
Ferraz, Silvio, Aldrovandi, Leonardo (2000). Loop-interpolation-random & Gesture: Déjà vu in computer-aided composition
Ferreira Lopes, Paulo, Sousa Dias, Antonio de (2005). Musique et intéraction: aboutissement, mutations te métaphores de l’instrument de musique numérique
Field, Ambrose (1996). An Introduction to Discovery Strategy
Flety, Emmanuel, Serra, Marie-Hélène (1998). Utilisation récentes de capteurs gestuels en création musicale à l’IRCAM
Garcia, Denise (2000). Body Representations in the Electroacoustic Music
Gluck, Robert J. (2005a). eSaz: A non-Western instrument in the context of a live electronic performance system
Goto, Suguru (2000). Virtual Musical Instruments: Technological Aspects and Interactive Performance Issues
Heinrich, Marie-Noëlle (2003). Création musicale et technologies nouvelles
Hoopen, Christiane ten (1997). Perceptions of Sound: Source, cause and human presence in electroacoustic music
Iazzetta, Fernando (2000). Meaning in Musical Gesture
Kronland-Martinet, Richard, Voinier, Thierry, Guillemain, Philippe (1999). Agir sur le son musical avec la baguette radio
Lalitte, Philippe (2006). Towards a semiotic model of mixed music analysis
Mandolini, Ricardo (2006). Musique informelle, musique électroacoustique : une convergence insoupçonnée ?
Menzies, Dylan (2002). Composing Instrument Control Dynamics
Merlier, Bertrand (2003). La main, le geste instrumental et la pensée créative. CG3D, contrôleur gestuel tridimensionnel
Mountain, Rosemary (2004a). Theories Market: Open for Trading
Mulder, Axel (1999). Sobre los límites de los gestos de los intérpretes instrumentales (On the limitations of the gestures of musical interpreters)
Myatt, Tony (2002). Strategies for Interaction in {Construction 3}
Paine, Garth (2002). Interactivity, Where to from here?
Racot, Gilles (2002b). Du traitement sonore à l’écriture
Racot, Gilles (2002c). Subjestuel suivi de partition
Racot, Gilles (2002d). Anatomies d’écoutes
Reibel, Guy (2001). À la recherche d’une musique fondamentale
Sapir, Sylviane (1989). Informatique musicale et temps réel; geste-structure-matériau
Smalley, Denis (1986). Spectro-morphology and Structuring Processes
Smalley, Denis (1994). Defining Timbre - Refining Timbre
Smalley, Denis (1995b). La spectromorphology: une explication des formes du son
Smalley, Denis (1996). La spettromorfologia: una spiegazione delle forme del suono.
Smalley, Denis (1997). Spectromorphology: Explaining sound-shapes
Tarabella, Leonello (2004). Improvising Computer Music: An Approach
Thomas, Jean-Christophe (1994). Bayle : évidence et baroquisme
Toulemonde, Olivier, Moënne-Loccoz, Philippe, Donzel-Gargand, Bernard (1999). De nouvelles lutheries informatiques
Wanderley, Marcello, Depalle, Philippe (1999). Contrôle gestuel de la synthèse sonore
Weidenaar, Reynold (2002). Composing with the Soundscape of Jones Street
Wyatt, Scott A. (1998). Gestural Composition
Wyatt, Scott A. (1999). Investigative Studies on Sound Diffusion/Projection


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