DIDIER GUIGUE'S OBJECT ORIENTED ANALYSIS


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1. I am afraid that I am probably not the best person to criticize this method, as it is seeped in Midi technology, which I know very little about. However I will do my best to give you a brief summary of what this type of analysis is all about.

2. "Debussy should be given credit for creating a new aesthetic where the sonic object acts as a concept in its own right." This is the basis for the analysis - Guigue is implying that a significant factor in Debussy's music is the exploitation of timbre. The analysis is limited (temporarily) to piano music.

3. [This is for all you polarity fans out there!] A sonic object is defined as the combination and interaction of multiple musical components. Components are designated as upper (large-scale components such as form) and lower (basically pitch classes), so the sonic object is a middle level conception - or where these components interact to create sound.

4. The first step in determining the specific sonic structure of an object is to calculate its basic sonic weight. This depends fundamentally on two qualities: The first is the sonic intensity of the individual pitch - shown as K in the graph below:


The second is the relative intensity of the sound, or to be more specific, the attack speed of the piano's hammer as it hits the string called V in the graph below:

These two factors combine to form Q "and the sum of the q factors for all the pitches of a given sonic object provide a weight for its relative intrinsic sonic quality.

5. The next step involves "a corollary effect to this density: the means in which the notes are distributed in space and time." By charting the distance and time between notes, it can be seen that various types of distribution of the notes in these two fields can affect the entire sonic structure.

6. Guigue sources Wallace Berry's Structural Functions of Music saying that the interaction of sonic objects forms a hierarchial network of relationships. Components are then evaluated - "The information on which this evaluation is founded is the rating of relative complexity which the composer has affected to a given component by way of its musical configuration".

7. This is an extremely interesting way of looking at Debussy's music, and I think that it holds tremendous potential for the analysis of French music in general. We discussed in class how much French music seems to foreground its timbres and pure sounds. It is understandable that this technique is limited to piano music, because the piano is the most stable instrument - or maybe the most consistent instrument - in terms of its acoustics. I'm not sure how you can get around this...

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